Towards the implementation of Circular Economy in Engineering Education: A systematic review

Jaime A. Mesa, Ivan Esparragoza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Nowadays, companies, governments, and designers are concerned about the environmental impact derived from the development of new products. In light of this trend, the concept of Circular Economy (CE) is gaining relevance since CE enables a set of strategies to avoid and reduce resource consumption, energy, and emissions derived from transforming raw material into functional products. These strategies also imply extending product lifespan, keeping their value as long as possible, and closing the loop of materials involved in such products. Future engineers will face the CE model, which involves a radical shift from the current linear model based on throw-away practices. Therefore, there is a need to educate professionals with knowledge in the topic and advance the research in the field. However, CE has not been yet globally introduced in the engineering curriculum in many parts of the world, and the research in the field has also been limited. CE has not been widely adopted yet as a strategy for the sustainable development of new products. Consequently, this article reviews and summarizes the research work and some implementation initiatives on CE in learning activities for engineering students during the last 10 years following a systematic approach. Results of the study provide a broad viewpoint in terms of where the research work is taking place and the means of disseminating the results. Additionally, an analysis based on the content reflects the methodological approaches used to introduce CE in the curriculum. Finally, the literature review also identifies the focus areas of the CE research and the emphasis during the life cycle of the products. This work also reflects on some challenges for implementing CE in the engineering curriculum. The analysis presented in this article serves as a keystone for educators, lecturers, and researchers in engineering education to include and implement CE strategies and methodological tools in the curriculum of engineering and advance the research work in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665438513
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2021 - Lincoln, United States
Duration: Oct 13 2021Oct 16 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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