Engineering and Business for Sustainability – Certificate Program at the University of California, Berkeley
EBS-Approved Course List
Descriptions of EBS-approved courses in each EBS thematic course area are provided below. Also provided are the semesters in which each course is typically offered (F or SP). Because course offerings can vary with each academic year, EBS students are encouraged to consult UC Berkeley’s online schedule of classes for up-to-date information when planning their course registrations.
To jump to course descriptions in a particular EBS thematic course area, click on the links below.
I. Tools and Methods
II. Products, Processes and Services
III. Management, Strategy, Economics and Risk
IV. Policy and Systems
Civil Systems and the Environment
Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIV ENG) 268E [3 units]
Description: Life-cycle assessment (LCA). Methods and tools for economic and environmental analysis of civil engineering systems. Focus on manufacturing, construction, operation, maintenance, and end of life of energy, transportation, and water systems. Life-cycle planning, design, costing, and environmental assessment. Industrial ecology, design for environment, pollution prevention, external costs. Models and software tools for life-cycle economic and environmental inventory, impact, and improvement analysis of civil engineering systems.
Buildings and Sustainability – not offered in 2022-23
Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIV ENG) 268S [3 units]
II. Products, Processes and Services
Design for Sustainable Communities
Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIV ENG) 209 [3 units]
Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIV ENG) 290 [1 unit]
(F) Chow, Gadgil
Advanced Special Topics in Design
Mechanical Engineering (MEC ENG) 292C-003 or Development Engineering (DEV ENG) 290-001 [3 units]
Description: This course provides hands-on and real world experience in the development of innovative and realistic customer-driven engineered products, services or systems. Design methods and tools are introduced, and the student’s design ability is developed in a capstone design project or equivalent. The course is organized around the following modules: design research, analysis & synthesis, concept generation & creativity, prototyping, communication & visualization. Students will be expected to use tools and methods of professional practice and use these tools to consider the social, economic and environmental implications of their products, services or systems. There is an emphasis on hands-on innovative thinking and professional practice.
Green Product Development: Design for Sustainability – not offered in 2022-23
Mechanical Engineering (MEC ENG) 290H [3 units]
Description: The focus of the course is management of innovation processes for sustainable products, from product definition to sustainable manufacturing and financial models. Using a project in which students will be asked to design and develop a product or service focused on sustainability, we will teach processes for collecting customer and user needs data, prioritizing that data, developing a product specification, sketching and building product prototypes, and interacting with the customer/community during product development. The course is intended as a very hands-on experience in the “green” product development process. The course will be a Management of Technology course offered jointly with the College of Engineering and the Haas School of Business. In addition, it will also receive credit towards the new Certificate on Engineering Sustainability and Environmental Management program. We aim to have half MBA students and half Engineering students (with a few other students, such as from the School of Information) in the class. The instructors will facilitate students to form mixed disciplinary reams for the development of their “green” products.
Energy and Society
Energy and Resources Group (ENE,RES) 100 (undergraduate) or 200 (graduate), PUBPOL C284 [4 units]
Description: Energy sources, uses, and impacts: an introduction to the technology, politics, economics, and environmental effects of energy in contemporary society. Energy and well-being; energy in international perspective, origins, and character of energy crisis.
Climate Change Mitigation
Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIV ENG) 107 [3 units]
Description: Assessment of technological options for responding to the threat of climate change. Overview of climate-change science: sources, sinks, and atmospheric dynamics of greenhouse gases. Current systems for energy supply and use. Renewable energy resources, transport, storage, and transformation technologies. Technological opportunities for improving end-use energy efficiency. Recovery, sequestration, and disposal of greenhouse gases from fossil-fuel combustion. Societal context for implementing engineered responses.
Energy and Environmental Markets
MBA 212 [3 units]
Description: Business strategy and public policy issues in energy and environmental markets. Topics include development and effect of organized spot, futures, and derivative energy markets; political economy of regulation and deregulation; climate change and environmental policies related to energy production and use; cartels, market power and competition policy; pricing of exhaustible resources; competitiveness of alternative energy sources; and transportation and storage of energy commodities.
(F and/or SP) Borenstein / Wolfram / Bushnell
Health Risk Assessment
Public Health (PBHLTH) 220C [4 units]
Description: This course introduces the basic scientific principles of environmental health risk assessment, develops the understanding necessary to carry out and interpret quantitative risk assessments, and describes the context in which decisions manage environmental health risks are made. The course presents the quantitative methods used to assess the human health risks associated with exposure to microbial and chemical agents, focusing on the four major components of risk assessment: hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization. The course examines the application of environmental health risk assessment to contemporary issues including the associated complexities, challenges and controversies.
(SP) Smith, Zhang
Economics of Sustainable Resource Development
DEVP 222 [3 units]
Description: Introduction to the basic concepts including economic welfare, externality, public good, global commons, policy approaches for dealing with externality, and techniques for quality analysis. It will include case studies where groups will design economic incentives and policy solutions to major problems. It will have sections on particular problems including climate change, water and air quality, animal waste, toxic contamination, forestry and fishery policy.
(F) Roland-Holst, Zilberman
Climate Change Economics
ER 276 [3 units]
Description: A self-contained introduction to the economics of climate change. Climate change is caused by a large variety of economic activities, and many of its impacts will have economic consequences. Economists have studied climate change for more than two decades, and economic arguments are often powerful in policy decisions. The course will familiarize students with these arguments and equip them with the tools to participate in discussions of climate change policy through an economic lens.
Regulation of Energy and the Environment
Environmental Economics and Policy (ENVECON) 147 [4 units]
Description: This is an applied economics course on government regulation of energy with an emphasis on policies that seek to mitigate the impact of energy production and consumption on the environment. The course is designed to help students make connections between economic concepts and real world regulatory policy questions and issues.
Environmental Economics and Policy (ENVECON) 101 or (ECON) C125 [4 units]
Description: Theories of externalities and public goods applied to pollution and environmental policy. Trade-off between production and environmental amenities. Assessing nonmarket value of environmental amenities. Remediation and clean-up policies. Environment and development. Biodiversity management.
(SP) Roland-Holst, Zilberman
CE 256 [3 units]
This multi-disciplinary course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of sustainable transportation, with an emphasis on: 1) current trends, climate and energy science, and the policy context; 2) methodological and analysis techniques; 3) vehicle technology, fuels, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) solutions (supply side); and 4) land use, public transportation, and demand management.
Environmental Law & Policy
Law 271 [3 units]
Description: This introductory course is designed to explore fundamental legal and policy issues in environmental law. By focusing on constitutional issues and a limited number of federal statutes – principally the Administrative Procedure Act, the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; CERCLA (the Superfund law; the National Environmental Policy Act; and the Endangered Species Act – the course exposes students to the principal approaches to environmental law (litigation, command and control regulation, market incentives, and providing information), as well as to the challenges of setting environmental policy goals and choosing policy targets. The course is designed both for students who intend to pursue environmental studies further and for those who simply want to gain a basic understanding of this key area of public policy.
(F and/or SP) Doremus, Infelise
Energy Law and Policy
Law 270.6 [3 units]
Description: This course teaches foundational principles in energy law and regulation. We will trace the history of modern energy production, transportation and distribution and explore regulation of those enterprises by state and federal courts, legislators and regulators. We will pay particular attention to the regulation of natural gas and electricity and the partial restructuring of those industries. The course will conclude with discussion of contemporary challenges for energy law and regulation.
Energy Project Development & Finance
Law 270.65 [3 units]
Description: The course will follow the progression of the development of an energy project, from early stage site and offtake development issues through construction and project financing through operation and disposition and abandonment. The class will highlight the differences between developing renewable and conventional energy projects, including baseload vs. intermittent resources, energy vs. capacity, fuel risk vs. renewable source risks, etc. In addition to a primary focus on utility-scale solar and natural gas combined cycle plants, the course will address issues unique to the development and financing of other modern types of energy infrastructure, including energy efficiency, energy storage, biofuels, fuel cells, wind and distributed solar projects and portfolios. For each stage of the development process covered, we will begin with the federal and state legal and jurisdictional issues, then identify the primary risks and contractual arrangements, and finally do problem identification and resolution. The course addresses the theoretical foundations for risk allocation and project finance structures typically used in the energy and infrastructure industries, while also covering practical negotiation and contract drafting strategies for addressing business and legal issues that arise on energy projects.
(SP) Glass, Zimmermann
Renewable Energy Law and Policy
Law 270.7 [3 units]
Description: Students will examine the laws and policies designed to promote renewable energy development. Students review existing renewable energy technologies and the practical limitations on their development, siting and integration into the U.S. electricity grid. Students then explore the dominant renewable energy laws, including subsidies and tax credits, renewable portfolio standards, feed-in tariffs and net metering. In addition to the regulation and development of renewable energy projects, students will be exposed to the mechanics of, and issues associated with, financing energy projects. Finally, the course addresses legal, policy and economic issues associated with the expansion and improvement of the transmission grid to support renewable energy development. While the focus is on renewable energy development in the U.S., some comparative examples of renewable energy policies used in other countries will be considered.
Climate Change and the Law
Law 272.3 [2 units]
Description: Climate change will be a core concern that will influence policy and economic activity for years to come. It raises profound policy issues, and regulatory responses will help shape business activity for decades to come, particularly in the Clean Technology sector and the energy sector more broadly. Despite the lack of federal legislation, climate change has been the subject of extensive legal developments at the state, federal (EPA and courts), and international level.
Renewable Energy Policy in the United States
PP 283-001 [3 units]
Description: This course will focus on the evolution and current status of renewable energy policy on the federal, state, and local levels. It will explore the context for promoting renewables in a country that has long subsidized fossil production and encouraged consumption, as well as the extensive and ongoing post-war efforts to deploy nuclear power. We will explore the particular tools and perspectives that governments on different levels bring to the issues and the ways various governmental bodies have ceased that opportunity. We will look at the work of Goldman’s own American Jobs Project, using various finished reports from that effort as part of the course materials, and discussing the research techniques employed. This will bridge movement from consideration of broad policy to examine the specific policy challenges and opportunities faced by proponents of each of the major renewable energy technologies.
Student performance will include an in-class presentation and the option of preparing a paper comparing programs in two distinct jurisdictions or completing a take-home exam. The course will also expose students to a number of important individuals in the field on the local and state level in California.