PhD Projects

How do companies incorporate social and environmental considerations in their decision-making?

Corporate sustainability is an enacted process:  the decision to act sustainably needs to be embedded throughout the organisation with companies needing to learn to incorporate factors other than economic performance into their ways of decision-making.  The objective of this research project is to show how organisational systems influence the inclusion of sustainability considerations into decision-making.  This understanding will enable leaders to change the way in which they make decisions, and so remove some bottlenecks to building environmentally, socially and economically sustainable businesses.  Contact - Catherine Tilley (Doctoral researcher)


Social Enterprises in Developing Countries and the Challenge of Promoting Sustainable Industrial Practices among SMEs

This study seeks to understand the key characteristics of societal challenges which are amenable to social enterprises, and how these characteristics compare with the challenge of promoting sustainable industrial practices among SMEs in developing countries. The study traverses the divide between two distinct subject areas, thereby producing new insights for scholars and practioners within the social enterprise and industrial sustainability fields. Contact – Olamide Oguntoye (Doctoral researcher)


Sustainable business model innovation: How it works and why it doesn’t

The capability for fast and successful business model innovation is a key competitive advantage for organisations and an important leverage for realising social and environmental ambitions. However, most business model innovations fail. To explore this problem, this research investigates the phases, key activities, and challenges of sustainable business model innovation in corporations. This understanding helps organisations to structure their activities better, anticipate key challenges, and build up sustainable business model innovation capabilities. Contact - Martin Geissdoerfer (Doctoral researcher). Learn more


Sociotechnical system change to sustainability by introducing the concept of "Hacking Sustainability

This research offers a fresh perspective to sociotechnical system change to sustainability by introducing the concept of “Hacking Sustainability”. This concept was framed to describe the means of circumnavigating sustainability bottlenecks of complex systems. The aim of this research is to develop a framework clarifying the shared characteristics and the breeding ground of Sustainability Hacks, as well as to reveal archetypes of Sustainability Hackers. The expected outcome consists of contributing to expand knowledge about important mechanisms to deliver immediate and “good-enough” changes in sociotechnical systems to meet some of the most pressing sustainability challenges.  Contact - Paulo Savaget Nascimento (Doctoral researcher)


A study of 3D printing technology and identifying value uncaptured and sustainable value creation from 3D printing

The research aims to investigate the disruptive effects of 3D printing on industrial systems and the environmental sustainability performance of 3D printing. It is very significant to learn more about the sustainability impacts of this technology, which is affected by the way it is being used. This research also proposes a framework to help 3D printing providers identify uncaptured value such as waste streams in the printing process, under-utilised resources, reusable parts and recyclable materials and uncover sustainable value opportunities. Contact - Wen Liu (Doctoral researcher)


Exploring ways to develop the sustainable design process: using ‘up-design’ thinking 

This research is concerned with design thinking and the associated skills needed to bring ‘up-design’ to practical reality. The aim is to develop a guide for product makers to help them implement design thinking in their development processes.

Contact - Jee-Yeon Choi (Doctoral researcher)


Business models for the secondary use of electric vehicle batteries

Batteries retired from electric vehicles (EVs) still have enough capacity for further applications such as low-speed vehicle traction and stationary energy storage. This research takes a multi-stakeholder’s perspective and explores business models for the post-vehicle applications of EV batteries.  The second-life batteries have the potential to link the transport and energy sector and generates new stakeholders.

Contact - Na Jiao (Doctoral researcher)


Long term planning for sustainable manufacturing using systems thinking    

This research aims to enable manufacturing businesses to contribute to and improve the transition towards sustainable industrial systems. Drawing insights from systems theory and theories of change, a scenario based method is being developed to support long term strategic planning in manufacturing businesses.

Contact - Sotirios Levakos (Doctoral researcher)


A capability study for business model and eco-efficiency for enterprise transformation

This research explores to identify the capabilities needed for better integration and implementation of business model innovation and eco-efficiency. An instruction tool aims to develop to help industry explore and analysis a good solution of their enterprise transformation.

Contact - Yan Li (Doctoral researcher)


Sustainable business models to improve nutrition and health: A study into the collaboration between the food and health care sectors

This research aims to improve our understanding of an emerging phenomenon—increasing integration of food and health care actors. The expected outcome is a framework clarifying the alignment of incentives among actors, which will contribute knowledge regarding how and why they work together to create business models supporting healthy nutrition.

Contact - Kirsten Van Fossen (Doctoral researcher)



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