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Centre for Sustainable Development

Est 2000 - home of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

Emma has been working in the international development and humanitarian sector as an engineer and project manager across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Most recently, working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, Emma focused on using new approaches to implement infrastructure projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of urban services.

During these experiences, Emma saw how challenging it can be to respond to complex, protracted urban crises where, over time, the additional strain on services and the eventual degradation of public infrastructure compounds the likelihood of wide-scale public health crises. Emma decided to return to academia to pursue a PhD in this topic. Her research explores how to strengthen the resilience of essential infrastructure and services in fragile urban contexts which are faced by a convergence of protracted conflict, climate risks, and environmental degradation. The aim of the research is to enable more effective humanitarian operations in fragile urban contexts, which will ultimately contribute to the protection and safeguarding of public health.

Emma previously completed a MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge, where she focused on post-disaster urban resilience. She also completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Emma was awarded two Gates Cambridge Scholarships: in 2016 for her MPhil, and in 2021 for her PhD.

Ms Emma Houiellebecq