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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge


Widening Horizons update published

last modified Jan 28, 2020 06:33 PM
Dick Fenner and Charles Ainger have recently updated their 2006 paper (co-authored with Peter Guthrie and Heather Cruickshank) "Widening engineering horizons: addressing the complexity of sustainable development" to examine how much progress towards sustainability the civil engineering profession has made in each of the eight key areas defined in the original paper.
Widening Horizons update published

A Sustainable Framework For Engineers

They find there have been significant steps forward in assessment methods, systems thinking, multi-functional infrastructure, flexible and adaptive design, and adoption of a circular economy in construction. However, they highlight that the sustainability challenge is accelerating and much more needs to be done to go beyond business as usual. In particular, civil engineers need to be more vocal in calling out projects and practices that go counter to the planet’s and society’s needs.

The new paper is called "A review of sustainability in civil engineering: why much more commitment is needed" and is published in the  ICE's Civil Engineering Journal and can be found on-line at:

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.