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Building resilience and adaptation; Sustainable construction; Building carbon and energy emission; Department of Architecture; School of Arts and Humanities

Dr Alice Moncaster is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Innovation at the Open University and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge.

Her research focuses on risk and resilience in the built environment, on multi-criteria decision-making for sustainable construction, and on minimizing carbon emissions and energy use from construction. Current projects include a socio-technical analysis of the resilience of road networks to climate change- induced flooding in Colombia, and a systems analysis of the impacts of energy policy on whole life energy and carbon in the built environment in China. 

Crossing the boundaries between academia and practice and incorporating engineering, architecture and social sciences, Alice’s research has direct relevance to the lives of the world’s poorest 3 billion people through its focus on the mitigation of climate change-inducing carbon emissions, and through the understanding of adaptation and resilience. In 2015 she set up a collaboration between the Arup Education Trust Arup in South Africa and University of Cambridge and has facilitated an exchange of students and knowledge between the two.

Alice’s motivation to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals through the participation in the Global Challenges Forum stems from the lasting horror of the news pictures of the Ethiopian famine as a teenager in the 1980s. Technology and development can play a role both as a solution, and as a magnifier, of such suffering and inequality; engineers have a moral responsibility to understand and use their knowledge for collective good, rather than just personal interest or short term gain.


Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Funding Opportunities

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