Sustainable innovation at Heathrow

This project requires a holistic systems thinking approach to realise the challenges set out in Heathrow 2.0 and its fast-paced sustainability and climate agendas.

Start date

30 September 2019


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source

Heathrow Airport Ltd

Funding information

Generous stipend of £18,000 per annum and an additional £500 p.a. allowance for attendance at conferences etc.

In addition to this, full-time tuition fees (£4,327) will be covered by the programme at the current Home/EU rate for the duration of the programme.


Heathrow has a bold ambition as it sets a direction towards a future of sustainable aviation. Its sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0 – sets stretching objectives in diverse areas such as community wellbeing, climate change and the circular economy.

This project is central to Heathrow’s ambition to deliver an exemplar sustainable airport for the future, ensuring that the infrastructure and activities of the airport provide a great passenger service whilst progressively moving to zero carbon. Through its Centre of Excellence Heathrow acts as a ‘sustainable innovation testbed’ and this project will be at its heart.

This project requires a holistic systems thinking approach to realise the challenges set out in Heathrow 2.0 and its fast-paced sustainability and climate agendas. In general, this approach will need to include the sustainable management and optimisation of resources and the ability to identify and implement leading practice for an expanding, complex multi-stakeholder environment and consideration of the whole life-cycle of Heathrow assets to ensure interventions are targeted at areas to capture the most appropriate benefits.

Particular, but not exclusive, foci could include:

  • The application of novel sustainable materials in infrastructure and buildings
  • Sustainable airport operations and the future of mobility
  • Optimisation of resources and the implementation of circular economy models and the airport
  • Innovative business models enabling sustainable, low carbon outcomes
  • Greenhouse Gas Removal in the airport context and within its supply chains
  • Applied research techniques, involving testing and monitoring of interventions

Academic project supervisor is Dr Mike Mulheron.

Related links

Centre for Environment and Sustainability Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence

Eligibility criteria

Open to UK and EU students only.


  • First degree with a first / 2:1 in Environmental Science, Materials Science, Geography, Environmental Engineering.
  • Interest and understanding of climate, natural resources and corporate sustainability
  • Awareness of innovation process in industry with at least 2 years work experience
  • Knowledge of energy resources, system thinking approaches, design and tools
  • Interest in novel materials, and use of materials, in construction (infrastructure and buildings). Specific training / expertise are not required
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills essential - IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual component
  • Self-directed and motivated worker, results driven


  • Appreciation of full life cycle attributes of buildings/materials
  • Knowledge of life cycle thinking and life cycle assessment – training will be provided
  • An appreciation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

How to apply

To apply for this project, please contact Mrs Deidre Richardson  for an information pack that will include:

  • A Project Brief;
  • Information about the Centre for Environment and Sustainability;
  • Details of the Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability programme.

Applications can be made using the Online application form

Degree certificates and transcripts required; up to date cv; two reference contact details (two academic references or one academic and one industry reference); cover letter including why this project is of interest and how your experience and interests make you a suitable candidate based on the specification provided (essential)

Deadline for application: Sunday 18 August.

Shortlisting to commence and invitation to interview to be sent out Wednesday 21 August.

Interviews to take place week beginning 26 August 2019.

Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability PhD/EngD

Application deadline

Contact details

Enquiries to Catherine Stuart:


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