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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Sustainability assessment of industrial control systems: A study of the lifecycle management and value chain of SCADA and PLC systems to offer a framework for integrating sustainability into industrial control system projects.


Businesses are being scrutinized for their sustainability performance. Sustainable SCADA systems can improve a company's image and attract consumers, investors, and potential employees. However, conventional studies and practices fall short of demonstrating how a business model or regulatory framework may be applied to connect the attributes listed below from concept through project value chain and product lifecycle completion.

This research aims to provide a sustainability assessment of key components in industrial control systems, particularly SCADA and PLC. The study aims to fill a critical gap in the existing literature by identifying and addressing the major barriers - ranging from technical to organizational and regulatory - faced by stakeholders such as manufacturers, suppliers, system integrators, and end-users in adopting sustainable practices. Findings indicate that while these systems offer operational advantages, there is an urgent need to consider their sustainability implications throughout their lifecycle.

The research introduces the Sustainability Assessment Framework for Industrial Control Systems (SAFICS) to facilitate this transformation. This framework provides a methodology for integrating sustainability measures across SCADA and PLC systems' lifecycles. The study concludes that SAFICS serves as a catalyst for redefining industrial sustainability norms and will incorporate expert insights for a more nuanced application. This research, therefore, stands as a foundational step in transforming the sustainability landscape of industrial control systems.



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.