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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge


ESD supports ISA Lab workshop in Valencia

last modified Jul 24, 2019 12:15 PM
Dr Dai Morgan supported the 3rd ISA Lab workshop, hosted by Universitat Politècnica de València
ESD supports ISA Lab workshop in Valencia

ESD ISA Lab participants 2018 (Image courtesy of Dima Yankova)

The ISA Lab programme is designed to bring together students and teachers of sustainable development to share knowledge and perspectives, whilst work on real challenges in a intensive residential workshop environment. The aim of the workshop, led by Javier Orozco-Mescanna (UPV, Spain) was to give students an inter and transdisciplinary experience, finding sustainability oriented solutions to real problems across the Valencia community. 

Working in small groups with colleagues from different institutions and disciplines, and supported by local project stakeholders and faculty sponsors, the students immersed themselves in the local context and developed concepts which might address the needs identified.

In 2018, Josephine Tumwesige (Uganda), Kaustav Dutta (UK/India) and Dr Dai Morgan (UK) participated in the 2nd ISA Lab workshop running from 11th-15th June in Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Spain. This brought together staff from University of British Columbia (Canada), University College Cork (Ireland), Carnegie Mellon (U.S.A) and was hosted by Universitat Politecnica Valencia (Spain). 

One of the 2018 projects was supported by Dima Yankova who graduated from the ESD programme in 2017/18, and settled in Valencia after participating in the 1st running of the ISA Lab. The concepts were then formulated into short pitches which were presented to academics, project stakeholders and supporting staff at the end of the week, with the students also producing handover documents so that interested parties could follow up on the ideas generated, with 3 of the stakeholder groups planning on taking project elements forward.

In 2019 Dr Dai Morgan attended with colleagues from University College Cork (Ireland), Carnegie Mellon (USA), University of British Columbia, (Canada) Université Paris Sud (France), and TU Berlin (Germany) to support the projects and identify future collaboration opportunities.

The ISA Lab workshop series is part of an emerging programme of research seeking to understand how we can create better trans-disciplinary learning experiences, whilst supporting the development of the knowledge and experience of the participating staff and students. A paper outlining the results of the first workshop were presented at the 2018 Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference (EESD 18) in Rowan University, with a further paper covering the 2018 workshop, currently in development.

The next EESD conference will be held in University College Cork in Ireland

Morgan, D.C., Byrne, E.P., Nesbit, S., Ellis, N., Hemmes, K. and Orozco-Messana, J. (2018) Process, Improvisation, Holarchic Learning Loops and all that Jazz: Experiences in Transdisciplinary Education for Sustainable Development, EESD 2018 9th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, 3-6 June, pp. 253-261. Available online:

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.