PhD in Systems Thinking and Sustainability Engineering
University of Hull (UK) and University of Melbourne (Australia) Joint Degree
The Centre for Systems Studies in the Business School at the University of Hull and the School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne welcome applications for admission to a ground-breaking, joint PhD programme, supervised across the two institutions.
While engineers and scientists often focus on technical solutions to sustainability problems, it is common knowledge that unforeseen issues can arise. Engineers do not always anticipate negative community reactions to their designs, and can find themselves embroiled in conflicts over their technologies.
The Universities of Hull and Melbourne are collaborating on a research programme to see whether a new approach to sustainability engineering - a systems approach - can prevent these kinds of problems from arising. A systems approach asks engineers, scientists, stakeholders and local communities to work together to look at the bigger picture; explore different perspectives on the sustainability issues being tackled; appreciate the potential interactions between ecological, social, economic and technological aspirations; and collaborate to design new ways forward, with technical fixes being only part of the solution.
The Centre for Systems Studies in the Business School at the University of Hull is widely recognised in the systems research community as a world leader in systems thinking to address complex social and environmental issues. The University of Melbourne is ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement as the top University in the Southern Hemisphere. Its School of Engineering is making a cutting edge contribution to sustainability on an Australian continent where issues of drought and climate change loom large.
The collaboration between these two institutions offers a unique and exciting environment in which to study for a PhD and make a substantial contribution to systems thinking for sustainability engineering. Applicants must meet the entry requirements of both the Universities of Hull and Melbourne, and the PhD will be jointly supervised and jointly awarded.
Applicants will have either Hull or Melbourne as their 'primary' institution, which means their fees will be paid to that institution, and they will spend more than half their time there. Students with Hull as their primary institution will spend their first year in the UK, where they will undertake research training, gain a deeper appreciation of the literature relevant to their research, and further develop their research proposal. They will then spend their second year in Melbourne undertaking fieldwork or an in-depth study on a sustainability issue of their choice, before returning to Hull to finish writing up in their third year. Applicants wishing to undertake systemic action research projects, quantitative studies, qualitative research and/or purely theoretical explorations are all encouraged to apply.
Please see the Hull University Business School guidelines for completing a PhD application:
The application form is a generic one for all the University of Hull's PhD programmes, so please specify 'Hull/Melbourne PhD on Systems Thinking and Sustainability Engineering' in the box asking which programme you are interested in.
The University of Hull and the Hull University Business School are both currently advertising competitive scholarships, with a deadline of 11 January 2013. If your studies are dependent on receiving one of these scholarships, you must apply for the PhD programme before, or at the same time as, the scholarships. If you are intending to be funded by a body outside the University of Hull, there is no deadline for applications.
Links to the scholarships can be found below:
7 University Scholarships:
4 Business School Scholarships:
Professor Gerald Midgley
Director of the Centre for Systems Studies
Graduate Research Director for the Business School
Leader of the 'Connected Communities' Interdisciplinary Research Theme for the University
T +44 (0)1482 463316
Hull University Business School
University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX, UK