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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Plastic Waste Recycling Model A Study of Plastic Supply Chain from UK to China

This dissertation investigates how pipelines and piping systems can be designed to promote carbon mitigation in light of climate change. The topic stems from my previous design experience within the Australian Oil & Gas industry combined with my new found sustainability knowledge and thinking.
The motivation for this dissertation is to attempt to understand the role design codes and designers’ tacit knowledge play in promoting sustainability. In particular this dissertation aims to determine if there is space to challenge design codes and/or interpret them in such a way to enable sustainability benefits to come to fruition. Furthermore it aims to identify how design changes that enable sustainability can surface in light of the current industrial climate. In order to quantify sustainability benefits this dissertation measures carbon dioxide equivalence emissions associated with the various design decisions.
This dissertation shows that there is worth in challenging the design codes associated with Australian Oil & Gas pipeline design. This is reflected through sustainability benefits surfacing in light of challenging the code’s wall thickness design criteria via taking a holistic look at pipeline safety. Furthermore this dissertation shows the importance of the route selection process in terms of maximising sustainability benefits which is illustrated by a hybridised case study. Finally this dissertation illustrates the significant worth of designers’ tacit knowledge to allow sustainability to surface in industry along with illustrating how there is opportunity, capacity and willingness to innovate in industry.
The practical implications of this research are to educate and empower designers with sustainability knowledge. From here the designers can exploit this knowledge and aim to achieve significant sustainability benefits which have previously been overlooked. This dissertation proves that there is a wider scope to challenge design codes in other industries via using a similar systematic approach as presented in this dissertation.

Keywords: sustainability; pipeline; piping; design codes; design standards; carbon mitigation; challenge design; tacit knowledge; wall thickness; route selection.


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.