PhD students exploring sustainability challenges

Nicola Andreij Rieg, Doctoral Practitioner with the Sustainability and Energy Team at Surrey and Professor Angela Druckman (CES) obtained funding through the Doctoral College’s Building Research Communities competition to organise a two-day workshop for post-graduate researchers. The workshop aimed to create a thriving community while at the same time providing PhD students with a better grasp of current global challenges and opportunities to increase the impact of their research.

Researchers from seven different departments across all faculties participated in interactive lectures, group activities and competitions, ranging from a LEGO® Serious Play Session to a challenge that had teams compute pathways to decarbonise our global economy.

The workshop also established linkages with the University’s Strategic Research Themes of Sustainability and Urban Living that involve over 15 departments across all faculties. Moreover, the concept and outcomes of the workshop were presented at the 4th Sustainability in Higher Education Conference at Swansea University, furthering discussions on how to effectively engage post-graduate researchers with sustainability.

If you are interested in participating in the next workshop or would like to become more involved in sustainability activities you can contact the Sustainability and Energy Team by sending an email to

Nicola Rieg is currently a researcher on the Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability programme that links industry and academia to find innovative and enduring sustainability solutions for organisations.