CUED Publications database

Graduate Education for Leadership in Sustainable Development Innovation , Practice and Research

Cruickshank, HJ and Fenner, RA and Ainger, C (2012) Graduate Education for Leadership in Sustainable Development Innovation , Practice and Research. In: International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering Education, 2012-9-18 to 2012-9-20, Coventry.

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This paper reflects on the motivation, method and effectiveness of teaching leadership and organisational change to graduate engineers. Delivering progress towards sustainable development requires engineers who are aware of pressing global issues (such as resource depletion, climate change, social inequity and an interdependent economy) since it is they who deliver the goods and services that underpin society within these constraints. In recognition of this fact the Cambridge University MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development has focussed on educating engineers to become effective change agents in their professional field with the confidence to challenge orthodoxy in adopting traditional engineering solutions. This paper reflects on ten years of delivering this course to review how teaching change management and leadership aspects of the programme have evolved and progressed over that time. As the students on this professional practice have often extensive experience as practising engineers and scientists, they have learned the limitations of their technical background when solving complex problems. Students often join the course recognising their need to broaden their knowledge of relevant cross-disciplinary skills. The course offers an opportunity for these early to mid-career engineers to explore an ethical and value-based approach to bringing about effective change in their particular sectors and organisations. This is achieved through action learning assignments in combination with reflections on the theory of change to enable students to equip themselves with tools that help them to be effective in making their professional and personal life choices. This paper draws on feedback gathered from students during their participation on the course and augments this with alumni reflections gathered some years after their graduation. These professionals are able to look back on their experience of the taught components and reflect on how they have been able to apply this key learning in their subsequent careers.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Div D > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:57
Last Modified: 22 May 2018 06:58