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Centre for Sustainable Development

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

Richard Fenner (BSc (Hons) PhD CEng MICE FCIWEM) is a Fellow of Wolfson College.

Tel: 01223 765626


Dick Fenner is Professor of Engineering Sustainability in Cambridge University's Engineering Department.. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

He set up and led the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development for 18 years from 2002 to 2020. His research interests focus on water, sanitation and sustainability issues in both developed and developing countries, with a focus on urban drainage and water industry asset maintenance.  

His research has included published work on: the asset maintenance of sewerage infrastructure; scale laws for hydrodynamic separation; algorithms for leak detection in water mains; sensor arrays for monitoring sewage odour; modelling UV disinfection of greywater and recycling for single home use; the impacts of coupled resource management of water, energy and land on food security; multiple benefit evaluation of blue-green infrastructure; urban-rural interactions of Natural Flood Management; rural water supply in Africa and a systems analysis of the SDGs. In addition he has written extensively on issues relating to engineering education.

He is joint editor/author (with Charles Ainger) of Sustainable Water, a book published in February 2016 and also co-author of Sustainable Infrastructure: Principles into Practice (published by ICE Publishing in 2014 and currently under revision for a forthcoming Second Edition).   Much of his work involves adopting a systems dynamics approach so that a wide range of interdependent factors are identified and understood in relation to the implementation of infrastructure projects.

He is currently working on EU and research council funded projects on resilient nexus systems and environmental hazards in Bangladesh. Dick has published over 180 journal papers, books, book chapters and conference papers and has served on a number of editorial panels for the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (as a founding Editorial Panel member of Engineering Sustainability), Nature Sustainability and Sustainability and also on Steering Groups for the Environment Agency, Thames Water, Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE). He is the recipient of several awards from the ICE including the George Stephenson Gold Medal, R A Carr Prize (twice: 2007 and 2020) and James Watt Medal, the Senior Moulton Medal from the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a University of Cambridge Pilkington Teaching Prize

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Professor Richard Fenner