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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Role plays are based around real engineering schemes, issues relating to planning processes, and public consultations are explored with students assuming a range of roles and identities.  This encourages an empathy with a variety of different stakeholders impacted by different types of projects.
Examples of these activities include: 

  • Three Day Public Enquiry / Consensus Building (contrasting approaches to decision-making) 
  • Puerto Mauricio (mutual gains)
  • Fishbanks (tragedy of the commons)
  • Harborco (negotiation)
  • Owl and the Timber (problem framing)
  • Regulation (decision making)
  • Building Futures (stakeholder consultation)
  • North West Cambridge Development


Role Play Session 2014 

Photo credit: Repetto/Owen

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.