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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Climate-compatible natural resource utilization for development in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs)

Critical minerals are so-called for a variety of reasons, one of which is their susceptibility to supply chain disruption. With increasing demand for green transition technologies (such as electric vehicles and batteries), which rely on critical minerals, a lack of substitutes could negatively impact global value chains. The majority of mineral exploration projects in LMICs (specifically in Africa) have been funded by foreign investment linked to particular ores in particular countries of interest with a specific agenda to export raw materials to processing facilities closer to the direct use in finished products/manufacturing hubs in Asia/Europe. These arrangements with individual LMICs to secure access to resources provides minimal developmental benefit to the host countries because developmental indices capture remittances taken out of these LMICs in classifying their economies. As a result, studies have followed a siloed approach by capturing developmental strides through upstream investment only. By leveraging an inclusive sustainability lens, and increasing value further down the supply chain, LMICs can chart an industrialization pathway to development. To this end, this study investigated the interplay between technology and technical considerations, governance metrics, economic and investment drivers, and social-environmental implications in the transformation of natural resource potential to developmental capacity through value creation within a sustainability framework.


Course Overview


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


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.


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


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.