skip to primary navigationskip to content

MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Students cross examine industry in policy enquiry

last modified Jan 06, 2017 03:03 PM
For the final role play exercise of the Michaelmas term, the cohort were set the task of proposing policies to advance the sustainable development of the UK through the automotive industry.
Students cross examine industry in policy enquiry

Photo Credit: Owen

The students canvassed expert views from the automotive industry through presentations and subsequent cross examination. Working in political parties, the group evaluated the evidence gathered and developed a set of policies based on their party world view.

The party representatives then came together as part of the fictional All Party Parliamentary Group for Sustainable Development, to negotiate a shared position which would advance sustainable development but also be likely to gather the support of their colleagues.

The exercise aimed to give students the experience of an inquiry-like process, collecting evidence, cross examining witnesses, developing a policy position and negotiating a consensus. This provided an insight into the challenges which emerge at the intersection of engineering, business, policy and the political.

Key Themes of the Course

Context

The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.

Perspectives

An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions

Change

An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.

Tools

An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.