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UC PhD student to work on UN Sustainable Development Goals


UC PhD student to work on UN Sustainable Development Goals

University of Canterbury doctoral researcher Emily Laing has been selected as a ‘talent’ to take part in UNLEASH, a global program for innovation, hosted in Singapore.

She will attend this year’s UNLEASH Innovation Lab from 30 May - 6 June. It is a forum for young innovators to work on solutions and strive toward UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNLEASH provides Emily with full funding to attend the lab with around 1000 other young talents selected from across the world in a number of different focus areas.

“My focus areas are affordable and clean energy, climate action and sustainable cities and communities,” she says.

“I was encouraged to apply for UNLEASH Lab by my brother who attended last year – he is a doctor setting up rural health centres in Gulu, Uganda. My application was based on my PhD research in Pacific studies and project management that I did here at the University of Canterbury through the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies (MBC), with assistance from theBusiness School’s Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

“It looks into the management of solar energy infrastructure development projects in the Pacific Islands and how these aid-funded projects can be better managed for sustainable development outcomes and stronger community-focused project impacts.

Only a few weeks ago Emily successfully defended her PhD thesis – Project Management of Renewable Energy Development Initiatives in the South Pacific: A Case Study Analysis of the Sustainability Potential of Foreign Aid – and will graduate in April’s graduation ceremonies.

Director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, Professor Steven Ratuva describes Emily’s award as “a great achievement”.

“Emily’s thesis displayed exceptional analytical skills and intellectual insight. We’re proud she’ll be flying the MBC flag there in Singapore. She has a great future in front of her,” Professor Ratuva says.


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