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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions


By ratifying the Paris Agreement in 2015, Singapore has pledged to reduce its carbon
emission intensity by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030. The industrial sector alone accounts for 59%
of the total carbon emissions, thus the government has introduced a policy mix to improve
industrial energy efficiency. This research aims at assessing the effectiveness of existing
government policies in addressing companies’ drivers and barriers to energy efficiency and
developing policy recommendations for further improvement. The semiconductor industry was
chosen as a critical case to understand the interactions between policies and barriers as well as
drivers. Multiple sources of evidence were triangulated but the main data source came from semistructured
interviews with representatives from semiconductor companies, ESCOs, and
government agencies, which were analysed using framework analysis.

Aligned with the aggregate level analysis that shows sub-optimal energy efficiency
performance, there are a number of gaps identified in companies’ existing energy management
practice resulting in energy efficiency gap despite government policies in place. Existing policies
have helped to address some barriers and drivers with mixed effectiveness. The analysis has
highlighted the important role of energy efficiency priority and management support, which are
deemed to be key to unlocking a number of barriers to progress in energy efficiency performance,
but existing policies have limited influence on addressing them. Therefore, more priority should
be given to developing driver-strengthening policies. A number of future work has been identified,
which includes replicating a similar study in other industries, conducting in-depth company-level
analysis, performing cross sites comparison, assessing the quality of ESCO, and assessing
opportunities in material efficiency.


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.