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Centre for Sustainable Development

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

Studying at Cambridge


Richard Fenner


Richard Fenner (BSc (Hons) PhD CEng MICE FCIWEM) is Director of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development.

He is a Fellow of Wolfson College.

Tel: 01223 765626



Dr Dick Fenner is a Reader in Engineering Sustainability in Cambridge University's Engineering Department and is the Course Director for the taught MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Dick’s research interests are in the general area of maintenance and rehabilitation of water industry buried infrastructure assets, water and wastewater treatment processes, and water and sanitation problems in developing countries. This has included work on the asset maintenance of sewerage infrastructure, scale laws for hydrodynamic separation, sensor arrays for monitoring sewage odour, and UV disinfection of greywater and recycling for single home use, desludging of pit latrines and a systems dynamics evaluation of the uptake of  household water treatment systems. Recently he has been involved with  a consortium of Universities on delivering sustainable water systems by optimising existing buried infrastructure and has been involved in developing a simplified climate impact assessment tool (SCIAT) with particular application in evaluating the impact of climate change on water treatment plant operation. He is the author of over 100 journal publications, book chapters and conference papers on aspects of urban drainage and wastewater quality as well as on engineering education for sustainable development. His book on Sustainable Infrastructure- Principles into Practice (co-authored with Charles Ainger) was published in 2014.

In addition to sitting on advisory groups for construction industry organisations such as CIRIA and BRE he is currently working with seven other Universities on an EPSRC project which is evaluating the multiple benefits of flood risk strategies in blue-green cities, with particular focus on Portland, Oregon and Newcastle, UK.   He is also a member of the Foreseer team examining the inter-relationships between water, land and energy issues with a current application to food security in Uganda. He is also working with other colleagues in the Department on a research council funded project developing whole systems energy modelling for the UK (WHOLESEM), with a particular focus on land and water constraints to the energy sector.  

He is the recipient of several awards from the Institution of Civil Engineers including the George Stephenson Gold Medal (jointly with Heather Cruickshank, Peter Guthrie and Charles Ainger), the R A Carr Prize and the James Watt Medal.