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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Marilyn Waite, Clare Hall, 2007 -08


Marilyn Waite’s vision is a world where sustainability values of social cohesion, environmental consciousness, intergenerational equity, and economic health drive decision-making and business practices. A multi-lingual engineer, project manager, entrepreneur, and author, she has experience across four continents in mobile application development and marketing (Quadruple Sustainability Travel App), renewable and nuclear energy (AREVA), education (Kaplan and Shanghai Normal University), economic development (United Nations in Madagascar), and public policy (U.S. National Academy of Sciences). She served on the Science, Technology and Economic Policy Board as a Fellow with the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Marilyn holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Marilyn is founder and leader of the Green Economy Initiative (GEI) at the Professional Women’s Network and is a Member of the Board of Directors of Engineers for a Sustainable World.


Dissertation title:

Title: Sustainable textiles: the role of bamboo and a comparison of bamboo textile properties

Students report:

Why did you do the ESD MPhil?

I completed the ESD MPhil because I am passionate about sustainability and wanted to delve into how the principles could be applied to concrete engineering problems.

How did it help you?

The ESD MPhil gave me the opportunity to explore a completely different topic (bamboo fibers), develop an international network of peers, and obtain a deep understanding of sustainable development.

What are you doing now?

Many things, including developing Check it out!

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.