A 43,000 strong force for change: Sustainability impact through the University Living Lab and student assessment

Organised by: University of Manchester
Date/Time: Thu, 29 Feb 2024 15:00 - 16:00 CET

Location: Online
Description: Prof. Jennifer O’brien | " A 43,000 strong force for change: Sustainability impact through the University Living Lab and student assessment"

Student assessment is an undervalued resource for sustainability (O’Brien, 2019). At University of Manchester our 43,000 interdisciplinary students all undertake assessment which could be better used. Drawing on Education for Sustainable Development, the University Living Lab brokers applied research framed around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals between organisations and students who can use it for their degree assessment. This approach offers flexible, accessible assessment that enhances employability and student experience whilst positioning interdisciplinary students within Sustainability. Interdisciplinary (free!) research adds value to organisations’ work. Thanks in part to HEIF funding, more than 1000 students have worked with a huge range of partner organisations, including international consultants, governments, NGOs, health bodies, charities and local businesses. Impact ranges from constructing sustainable urban infrastructure to framing council policy and informing NGO strategy. Two students have been employed by organisations they did their research for, many more attribute employment to this experience. Our award winning Lab is an open source of research, and pedagogic knowledge. Drawing on student voice, this presentation critically shares the scalable approach (O’Brien, et al., 2021) which unites teaching and research whilst transforming the ability of universities to support sustainability transitions (Evans et al., 2015). We invite partnership through assessment and projects.

Dr Paul Baguley | “Using Artificial Intelligence to Estimate the Cost of Engineering Sustainability and Social Responsibility: The Role of the Cost Engineer in Project Management”

It has been said that accountants know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. In the wide engineering industry cost engineers are from Venus and the commercial bid team are from Mars. The United Nations has used the term global boiling. Stakeholders in society are using the term real price of products to reflect on the cost of clean-up and environmental damage. However, it seems that despite exciting innovations in engineering nothing gets done if there is no profit given to shareholders and projects can beat cost competition to get done in the first place. This has largely been the case despite the increasing requirements of sustainability and social responsibility.

The talk discusses the role of the cost engineer in industry and plots its historical development to its current state of disruption. Several industry cases are presented demonstrating the challenge of estimating cost under uncertainty for projects. A case study with a global asset management company has been conducted to estimate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) cost using ArtificiaI Intelligence. In particular machine learning techniques have modelled cost and building data to predict emissions as a proxy for sustainability cost.
Link: Sustainable Futures February 2024 Seminar Series Tickets, Thu 29 Feb 2024 at 14:00 | Eventbrite