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Centre for Sustainable Development

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

Studying at Cambridge


Francesca O'Hanlon

Francesca studied civil and environmental engineering at Imperial College as an undergraduate. She has since worked & volunteered as a water engineer in Mexico for Engineers-Without-Borders, India and most recently, in Sub-Saharan Africa for two years with Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) in South Sudan and Central Africa Republic, providing water and sanitation to displaced populations.

She was in the 2013- 2014 MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development cohort and is currently carrying out her PhD research in the Centre for Sustainable Development as part of the FIBE CDT. Her research focuses on identifying the factors that influence water security in low-resource settings. She uses qualitative and quantitative research techniques to assess how rainwater harvesting can contribute to improved water security. She has won a National Geographic Explorers Award for her PhD research and for Blue Tap, a social enterprise that Francesca founded that 3D prints household water purifying solutions for users in urban environments.

Blue Tap website:

Francesca is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through the FIBE Centre for Doctoral Training.


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Post-Doctoral Job Opportunity at the CSD (closes 17th May 2021)

Apr 27, 2021

Post-Doctoral Position to Investigate System Dynamic Modelling of the Water-Land-Energy Nexus

To what extent will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the delivery of the SDGs?

Mar 11, 2021

Dick Fenner and Tom Cernev address this question in a new paper recently published in Futures in March 2021 (which can be accessed at:

Building Back Sustainably in a Deeper Shade of Green - article featuring ESD Lecturer Dr Kristen MacAskill

Feb 04, 2021

ESD Lecturer Dr Kristen MacAskill has been featured by Turner and Townsend as part of their 'Perspectives' series, speaking about the disruption of the pandemic and the challenge of building sustainability and resilience into the recovery.

Current State of Sustainability in Civil Engineering - Blog entry by Dick Fenner

Feb 02, 2021

Read Dick Fenner's blog entry on the current state of sustainability in civil engineering at the Institution of Civil Engineer's website, where Dick explores explores progress towards sustainability in the UK construction sector.

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