skip to primary navigationskip to content

MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

 

Debate on nuclear energy

last modified Mar 21, 2018 04:54 PM
Debate on nuclear energy (description by Alejandro Fiocco)
Debate on nuclear energy

Photo credit: Owen

At the beginning of March, ESD students gathered once again for the much anticipated second event in our series of debates. This time, the discussion was around a rather hotter topic (in every sense of the word). Considering the goals set in the Paris agreement, the debate asked if Nuclear energy is required for achieving them. After an introductory video, the preliminary vote suggested that most of the class was “in favour of Nuclear energy.

As most topics discussed throughout the course Nuclear energy in a complex one and, as such, it sparked an interesting debate. It is clear that Nuclear power is not a renewable source of energy, due to its nature. However, it is also true that it is a “clean” alternative as opposed to fossil fuels and could help us transition into a greener future. Important issues were raised during the debate, including the problem with public perception of the technology, and time lags in building nuclear power.

Although the final vote remained constant, the debate proved to be very engaging, allowing us to explore interesting ideas and understand that the technical side is not enough to comprehend a problem. And this is the beauty in what we do: if we want to resolve the problems of our days, we need to acknowledge that environment, society and economy must be seen as a whole, a complex system in which all must be taken into account.


Happy Easter from ESD 2017-2018!

Key Themes of the Course

Image page 1 MPhil brochure png version

Context

The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.

Perspectives

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

Change

An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.

Tools

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.