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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

 

What is Engineering for Sustainable Development?

For Engineers to take on the issues facing the modern world, they need to be able to deal with a range of challenges and embrace key themes.

Society needs to develop new pathways to achieve a more sustainable future.  This is driving elements of government policy, business strategy and technical innovation, recognising that the past and present strategies of industrial societies have led to unacceptable damage of the physical environment and inequalities both within “developed” communities and with the rest of the non-industrialised world.  The goal is to achieve economic progress, ecological protection and social justice. 

Engineers are responsible for providing fundamental services in the delivery of infrastructure as well as manufactured products synonymous with the modern world.  There is now a professional duty on engineers to formulate systems, technologies and attitudes that will deliver a more sustainable approach across all these sectors of engineering. Anthropogenic climate change, resource depletion, waste generation and pollution, poverty and inequity are some of the difficult problems we face.  Engineers have a special place in being able to develop solutions and new strategies to deal with these critical subjects, whilst also providing the necessary tools to address global issues. The challenge is in finding robust ways of implementing sustainability at a practical level.

 

Course Overview

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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.