Celebration of Teaching Excellence at UBC – Agnes d’Entremont

Discover the techniques and practices of outstanding teachers at UBC

Dr. Agnes d’Entremont

Mechanical Engineering
APSC 366, The Art of the Possible

Montreal Sewage Problem:

Are there other options?

In 2015, Montreal announced that they would need to dump 8 billion litres of sewage into the St. Lawrence over one week to complete an important sewer repair. Protests occurred over this planned action.

CBC News

4. Is there another option?

According to the City of Montreal, there is no other choice than to dump the wastewater into the river for seven consecutive days.

manhole cover

-Develop at least one other option within your group

  • You must keep the pipe empty for one week
  • You must not discharge the sewage to the river
  • Needs to be done within a year

-Try to think of something that no one else will come up with
-Consider (estimate, if possible) costs, resources, challenges
-Plan to discuss with the class

Why did you choose this slide?

It lies at an intersection. Engineering instructors from multiple disciplines and non-engineering students. Practical and imaginative. Generates discussion about trade-offs – what are you willing to give up for a solution to this problem?

  • Co-taught, multidisciplinary course, to students outside engineering
  • Active learning

What are you aiming to convey with it?

Learning about engineering is important for everyone in our society because engineering projects impact all of us.

Engineers alone cannot decide what we place worth on – are we together willing to divert funding or land to solve this problem? And what other things will we NOT be able to do as a result?

How do you think it contributes to student learning?

  • Active learning, discussion, creative thinking.
  • Engages students in critically thinking about what is possible, that there are always trade-offs.

View Dr. Agnes d’Entremont’s one-minute presentation on their teaching practice.