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Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development

A transdisciplinary action-research centre in applied resilience science

 Dr Athanassopoulou

is the Head of Solutions Development team within IfM Engage. She is a Research Associate at the Centre of Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD), Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge. She is a strategy and technology management specialist and works with business and innovation leaders within the high-value manufacturing community, universities, and government. She has been working in the IfM Engage team for 13 years. Nicky has been leading the consulting team in delivering effective solutions to government, industry, and academia, based on the research output of the University Engineering Department Institute for Manufacturing. In her role as the Head of Solutions Development, Nicky assists clients with moving their organisations forward in the following key areas: Strategy development, Innovation strategy, Strategic, Product and Technology Roadmapping, Scenario development, Innovation process & system design, Project management, Entrepreneurship, and market research. Nicky has been working closely with academic colleagues to translate their research into practical approaches and apply them widely to a diverse number of companies as well as industrial sectors. She has co-developed, co-authored, and delivered tools and methodologies in innovation strategy, technology strategy, roadmapping, creativity, portfolio, and project selection. Before joining IfM Engage, Nicky worked as a project manager in different technology start-ups in Cambridge. During this time, she initiated, implemented, and managed many international projects to enable the commercialisation of new technologies into different markets. She commercially managed two product lines and was involved in many technology and business development activities, from the development of technical solutions to the creation of business plans, market research and fund acquisition. Nicky holds a master’s and a PhD degree in Physics from the University of Cambridge. She has a PRINCE 2 Foundation Qualification in Project Management and a CMI Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring.

Diana Khripko

is a Senior Solution Development Specialist and works with industry and local authorities on innovation in sustainability and digitalisation. She has been part of the Solution Development team since autumn 2018. Diana supports clients in the following key areas: developing effective technology and innovation strategies particularly focused on sustainability and digitalisation, enabling the sustainable and digital transformation of organisations as well as cities and municipalities and creating more effective innovation systems in general and specifically linking different areas of innovation to achieve greater value. As a research practitioner in innovation management, Diana has a deep interest in using science and technology to respond to the challenges of climate change, population growth, energy poverty and resource depletion. She is enthusiastic about energy transition and sustainable smart cities. Before becoming an innovation and technology-focused specialist, Diana has been conducting research in smart grids, distributed energy systems and industrial energy efficiency and has been working in the energy sector in Germany. During this time, she analysed and developed energy market designs for developing countries and supported large energy utility companies to optimise their business processes. She has a strong record in project management and delivering complex high-value projects. Diana holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Kassel, Germany, a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering – Environmental Technologies and certificate degree in Innovation Management.

Dr Imoh Ilevbare

is Principal Specialist in strategic technology and innovation management (STIM) at IfM Engage. He works alongside leaders in the private sector and in government to shape their technology and innovation strategies and enable change, by delivering effective STIM processes based on proven research and industry best practice.
Imoh has worked with several leading technology-focused organisations globally including Ocado, Henkel, BP, Subsea7, HVM Catapult, National Composites Centre (UK), Henry Royce Institute (UK), Airbus and Aramco addressing strategy-related challenges and also providing capability development. His areas of expertise include technology and innovation roadmapping and strategy, foresight and futures thinking (including scenario planning), technology and innovation management system implementation, and creative problem solving. Imoh is also Programme Director for the STIM Consortium, a network of multinational companies and researchers sharing best practice and solutions to current and emerging technology and innovation management challenges. Imoh’s first degree was in Mechanical Engineering, and he subsequently obtained a PhD from Centre for Technology Management at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Facilitator, with wide ranging project management and technical facilitation experience. He previously worked in FMCG, energy, and agri-business industries.

Dr Ermanno Miele

received the M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rome Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy, in 2014. He has been enrolled as Research Fellow with the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy (2014 and 2017), Visiting Scientist with Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA (2015), and Research Fellow with the National University of Singapore, Singapore (2016). He is currently Faraday Institution Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, working on optical methods to monitor Li-ion Batteries, predict device degradation and mitigate environmental impact. His research interests include advanced nano-fabrication techniques, surface chemistry, vibrational spectroscopies and optical waveguides for non-destructive analysis of materials.


Dr Ramin Takin is a Research Associate at the Centre of Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD), Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge. He works on designing and building new information infrastructure that promotes resilient, inclusive global value chains and sustainable investment. He has PhD from Imperial College London on spending behaviour under liquidity constraints, and an Meng in Engineering, Economics and Management from Oxford University. His research interests are in how sustainability and risk are measured and communicated and how they affect decision-making in markets and organisations. Theses interests are borne out of his quantitative analysis and programming skills complemented by over 15 years’ experience in global supply chains, capital markets and business technology, during which time he has worked at institutions such as Citigroup and software venture Exabler, in roles from Risk Manager to co-founder.

Dr Hannah Parris is a transdisciplinary social science with a strong focus on sustainability transitions and generating research with an impact. Her research interests lie in using transdisciplinary qualitative and quantitative methods, with the lens of institutional economics (governance) and systems theory, to explore processes of behavioural, policy and cultural change at multiple geographical and temporal scales. She has worked across academia, politics, government, environmental NGOs and in the private sector on a broad range of sustainability topics including international fisheries management, biodiversity conservation, fashion sustainability and climate change.

Francesca Re Manning is a qualified solicitor with an LLM from Cambridge University where she read human rights and international law. She has recently worked as a legal counsel at Save the Children International and previous to that she spent 10 years working as a food security specialist and intellectual property manager for the CGIAR network, first with the Central IP Office in Rome and then at ICARDA, where she maintained a Community of Practice ("National Programme Initiative", NPI) in all the countries where the CGIAR operates, and assisted in developing best practices and tools that would enable scientists in the various research institutions to deliver products to the benefit of poor farmers and their families. Francesca is Programme Manager at Cambridge Global Food Security IRC


 Brandon Staats

is an MPhil student in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge and an Engineer Officer with the United States Army Reserve in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. At the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD), he works as a research assistant focusing on data collection and analysis for the Centre's project with the Commonwealth of Nations. Within that project, he engages with research on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the scaling of the Centre's newly created Political Economic Resilience Index (PERI), both of which aim to help small or vulnerable states attract sustainable finance. As an undergraduate, Brandon studied at Wake Forest University in the United States, where he received a BA in Economics and a second BA in Politics and International Affairs. His research focuses, both as an undergraduate and as a master’s student, have been the creation of sustainable investment frameworks and broader sustainable development. While at Wake Forest University, Brandon worked with their Office of Sustainability to develop a carbon offsetting policy that employs a REDD+ framework. He has also worked on a joint project between the Wake Forest University Economics Department and Michigan State University, researching the relationship between Peru's university infrastructure and income inequality. Before graduating, Brandon wrote an honours thesis on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their adoption by multilateral development banks, and precipitating sustainable finance frameworks. Currently, as a graduate student within the Centre of Development Studies, his research focuses on methods through which communities can best de-risk, allocate, and attract investment for community-scale sustainable infrastructure projects. 

Past researchers

Arun Kelshiker worked for CRSD from 7th September 2022 to 17th March 2023.


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From the perspective of trust and cooperation as key to solving global challenges, we break down the silos between sectors, harness new theories of change and consider legacy effects using evidence, so that new systems can be introduced. By blending system dynamics with political and economic analysis and rigorously developed business cases, we help achieve lasting change. We have helped over 160 companies and over 20 countries through our cutting-edge research and capacity building efforts.


Our research enables:

  • Governments and civil sector foster innovation and enterprise to deliver social and economic benefits consistently.
  • Companies to develop life-changing products and services, build better businesses, create meaningful jobs, and improve the environment for the future collectively.
  • Decision makers to reinvent policies and practices to facilitate their institutions to move to higher sustainable and productive activities.

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