The Centre for Sustainable Development in the Cambridge University Engineering Department was established in 2000, following support provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering, to introduce concepts of sustainability over all our undergraduate engineering courses.
The Centre has grown to encompass the delivery of a one-year full-time taught MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development, which was introduced in 2002, and a research community covering sustainable development issues in the fields of water, waste, sustainable communities, assessment methodologies and fragile nation states.
For engineers to address sustainable development, more options need to be considered and evaluated, and more choice criteria developed, than are often adopted using the traditional approach. Several of these criteria will not be conveniently measurable. Values, as well as mathematics, need to be applied in formulating the trade-offs and compromises involved in engineering decision-making, and these need to be transparent and accountable to a wide constituency of interested parties.
Our work adopts a multi-disciplinary approach and focuses on the context and complexity in which engineering products and services are delivered.