Engineering for Sustainability and Resilience (early and established career stages)

This fellowship area is intended to enable UK engineering researchers to engage with the grand challenges of sustainability and resilience, and to undertake truly adventurous engineering research to further these agendas.  Applications are welcomed from across the breadth of the engineering community, and should address either or both of sustainability and resilience through the performance of novel engineering research.

This area encompasses a wide range of engineering approaches to tackling sustainability and/or resilience; for example applicants might aim to design new sustainable and/or resilient processes or infrastructures, or alternatively to adapt or ‘retro-fit’ the status quo in order to ensure future sustainability and resilience. All applicants to this area must clearly articulate how their proposed research will address issues around sustainability and/or resilience, and how it aligns to strategic drivers in these areas. Applicants should aim to articulate their long-term view and the transformational potential of their research, avoiding short-term solutions or incremental change.

Research in this area must focus on novel and fundamental engineering approaches or the application of existing engineering methods in totally new ways. Applicants should aim to put their research into the wider context, considering its impacts on public policies, business models, product design, and the environment; however research focussing solely on policy change, business model innovation, or ecological challenges will not be accepted in this area. Candidates are strongly encouraged to use the flexibility of the fellowship scheme to engage with users and policy makers, to ensure that their novel engineering solutions are put into practice, and that their research has a genuine impact on the sustainability and resilience agenda.

Sustainability is broadly defined as not being harmful to the environment or depleting resources. From the point of view of engineering research, Sustainability could include, but is not limited to:

  • Appropriate design, alteration and use to ensure infrastructures or processes are sustainable through lifetime assessment, including extension of lifetime
  • Reduced lifetime costs with respect to materials, water use, energy and environmental considerations
  • Reducing inputs, limiting waste, minimising energy usage, recycling, or avoiding material depletion
  • Technological approaches to reducing the over-engineering of infrastructures, materials, and processes

Resilience is broadly defined as the ability to cope with change, to anticipate and adapt to disruptions and events. From the point of view of engineering research, Resilience could include, but is not limited to:

  • Infrastructures which are resilient to extreme conditions, disasters or change of use
  • Materials for extreme environments
  • Chemical processes and systems with increased lifetimes, or improved process safety and control.
  • Resilience of interrelated transport infrastructures, including resilience to network perturbation.
  • Future proofing and prediction of future risks for infrastructures