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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Tombo Banda, Clare Hall, 2015 - 2016

MPhil (Engineering for Sustainable Development- 2016)

Work experience: seven years in an electro-mechanical consultancy firm specializing in the building services, energy, processing and asset valuation sectors in Malawi.

Dissertation title:

Nuclear Energy in Malawi

Students report:

I did the ESD MPhil because I was interesting in directing my engineering career towards projects creating meaningful and sustainable development in Malawi and the region, creating tangible incomes for rural communities and alleviating poverty. In particular, I was interested in the growth of the energy, mining and manufacturing sectors in the region and how this growth could be delivered without compromising future generations or the environment.

In the course we learned to apply the systems thinking approach to problem solving which I have found very helpful in extending the lens of my analysis beyond the obvious cause and effect. We also learned about various sustainability methods and metrics including the Analytical Hierarchy Process, which I used in my dissertation.

I am now an Associate with the Africa Delivery Hub of McKinsey, and I will be working in African countries on projects in the public and social sector, across the infrastructure, energy, health and education sectors, where I hope to apply all the skills I learned in ESD!


Photo Credit: Tombo Banda

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.