DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Emerging Sustainable Technologies
Module Code MM417
School School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Éadaoin Carthy
Semester 2: Éadaoin Carthy
Autumn: Éadaoin Carthy
Module TeachersÉadaoin Carthy
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

The energy transition from unabated fossil fuels to truly sustainable renewable energy systems has started. To achieve zero emissions targets in the coming years engineers must apply innovative thinking and creative solutions to re-engineer and retro fit existing energy (heating/cooling, electricity and transport) and industrial systems and develop new and improved systems that can operate effectively and efficiently in a zero fossil fuel, zero emission and zero polluting society. The aim of this module is to provide students with the knowledge and background to assist in the development of strategies and solutions to alternative energy sources to fossil fuels, while at the same time, understanding the necessity to remove billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, achieved through nature based solutions and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. In the electricity system cover the interaction of new renewable technologies; students will also learn how to work towards zero emissions through new mobility systems, new batteries, new electro-fuels & sustainable biofuels; in heating improved solar, district, geothermal and heat-pump systems. While in all systems analyse the emerging societal change impacting policy decisions. ICT technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) & blockchain, must be developed to manage large interconnected, weather dependant and intermittent energy systems of the future supported by large seasonal storage systems based on energy carriers beyond electricity and on to the potential of ammonia & hydrogen where necessary.

Learning Outcomes

1. Recognise & understand unsustainable energy demand & climate change challenges that emerging technologies can help resolve
2. Discuss the suitability and potential that state-of-the-art of emerging new or advanced technologies; nature based solutions, bioremediation, carbon capture and storage, nuclear, solar, battery, hydrogen, etc; could have on emissions reduction / climate change and energy sourcing and management
3. Describe and present system and application specific solutions and challenges
4. Explore energy systems as a whole and evaluate which potential solution is appropriate for a given application/system/circumstance

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Assignment Completion60Preparation of continuous assessment assignment
Directed learning31Reading and researching additional materials beyond lecture content
Independent Study72.5Study for end of semester exam
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Traditional sources of energy
Fossil fuels; solar energy; wind energy; hydro energy; nuclear energy

Emerging sources of energy
Energy carriers; hydrogen & ammonia, biofuels, nuclear fusion, battery technology, CCS, etc

Emerging technologies for managing climate change
Nature Based solutions; bioremediation; carbon capture and storage

Systematic approaches to adopting new technologies
Managing large interconnected, weather dependant and intermittent energy systems of the future supported by large seasonal storage systems based on ammonia & hydrogen where necessary.

Technologies needed to manage energy systems
How technologies such as artificial Intelligence and blockchain can enable management of new energy systems

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Written ExamGroup assignment to design, integrate and evaluate the performance of a prescribed energy system.50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Richard Heinberg, David G. Fridley: 0, Our Renewable Future Laying the Path for 100% Clean Energy,
  • Chris Goodall: 0, What We Need to Do Now : For a Zero Carbon Future,
Other Resources

59444, IEA Report, 2023, Energy Technology Perspectives, Web, International Energy Agency, https://www.iea.org/reports/energy-technology-perspectives-2023,
Updating the module to 7.5credits Updating the content Updated LO & the examination Updated references
Programme or List of Programmes
SSEBEng in Mechanical & Sustainability Eng
SSEIBEng in Mechanical & Sustainability Eng
SSETBSc in Mechanical & Sustainability Tech

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement