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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Sandra Rán Ásgrímsdóttir, Darwin, 2014-2015

Sandra is from Iceland and graduated with a B.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iceland in 2013. After graduation she joined the Maritime Division of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration where she investigated an unstable tidal inlet in Iceland and how safe navigation through the inlet could be secured. Along with that work she also assisted on other port and coastal infrastructure projects the division worked on.

Dissertation title:

The Role of Interconnectors in Challenging the UK’s Carbon Footprint, Contribution of Interconnectors to Decarbonisation of Future Energy Scenarios.

Students report:

I’ve always been passionate about the environment and consent that we should be able use our resources in a sustainable way.  After finishing my undergraduate degree and working for some time I knew I wanted to be able to transmit sustainability more effectively in the projects I worked on. Thus when I was looking for master courses and found this one I knew it was the right fit for me.

The MPhil was an enjoyable experience that helped me look at projects from a wider perspective than I was doing before but also consider sustainability in a different way. I believe that it not only showed me the importance of asking the right questions at the right time  but it also gave me the confidence to do so in different, and sometimes difficult situations. Taking on a variety of different tasks and working with people from all over the world, at all ages and with different views on the world I grew as an engineer but also as a person.

After I returned to Iceland I’ve been working at the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, where my main task is to define the countries natural capital, its value and sustainability criteria that should be followed to secure sustainable usage.

I have now (April 16) been offered an exciting opportunity as a sustainability engineer ino ne of the largest engineering consultancies in Iceland. My task is mainly to map the knowledge they already have on sustainable design and solutions, define where the gaps are and systematically work across departments to make sustainability a more important factor in all they're projects.


"I've been going through material from the course and I'm actually shocked on how prepared I am for this job. It's gonna be tough but I feel like the course has prepared me well so I just want to say thanks again!"

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.