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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Mark Frey 2007-08

Prior to completing the MPhil course, I studied civil engineering at the Cooper Union in New York City, which is where my interest in sustainability began. My focus then had tended toward water resources and environmental engineering. I was part of a research group working on sustainable water treatment systems in Ghana, and attended the college's first course in sustainable development and engineering.

I feel that I gained a lot through the ESD course, and the broad base of knowledge has been particularly useful for me. From learning more about policy mechanisms and policy development, to the courses and projects in the Judge Business School, and of course through the Centre for Sustainable Development's courses and staff, I feel that the master's programme was of great value to me academically and professionally. I am also very thankful for the network of colleagues, and for the personal experiences that living in Cambridge afforded me.

Following the master's programme I returned "home" to San Francisco, where my focus has revolved around carbon footprinting and greenhouse gas measurement / reduction projects. For two years I worked with TerraPass, a carbon offset retailer and developer of carbon offset projects in the United States. I worked on several methane capture projects, mostly at small rural landfills, using both Climate Action Registry and VCS / Clean Development Mechanism calculation and reporting methodologies. Since January 2011 I have been with EMCOR Group, Inc., Fortune 500 construction and facilities services company focused on mechanical and electrical systems. I am working from the ground up developing our corporate sustainability program, starting first with environmental reporting for our apx. 75 US-based operating companies.

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.

 

MPhil Brochure