Every product has economic, environmental, and social impacts whether or not those impacts are explicitly considered. These impacts affect society and are an important part of engineering design. "Triple Bottom Line Sustainability" focuses on economic, environmental, and social sustainability and has become an important goal for those designing products. Economic considerations are an established part of the engineering design process. Environmental considerations are increasingly being considered in design including the development of design standards and widely used methodologies. Social impact considerations, however, lack the standardization and wide inclusion of economic and environmental considerations. This results in reduced and unbalanced consideration of social impacts compared to economic and environmental impacts. Improved consideration of social impacts in engineered products would benefit society in many areas of life. While many tools and methodologies for assessing social impact exist and are used in the social science and development fields, these tools are not broadly used in the engineering community. Some reasons these methods are not more standardly practiced include designers not being aware of the methods, methods not being widely applicable or adaptable, methods being too complicated or time intensive to use, or methods not being useful in product development processes. The purpose of this research is to classify and organize design tools for social impact and create methods that fill holes in the social impact design tool space. The classification and organization is done through the classification of 374 papers in the EGD literature along several dimensions including method purpose, industry sector, social impacts considered, sustainable development goals, paper setting, and data inputs required. This will increase awareness of available methods and help designers find relevant research to aid them. Additionally, this research describes two methods developed by the author to fill specific gaps identified in the literature.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





social impact, engineering for global development, design theory & methodology, sys- tematic review, meta-analysis, economic & social effects, sustainable development, product devel- opment, social impact assessment, FMEA, failure mode and effects analysis, social sustainability, service learning



Included in

Engineering Commons