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Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship awarded to Cranfield student

Cranfield student Chidi Ofoegbu has been named by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the Schmidt Family Foundation, as one of eleven students, along with their academic mentors, for this unique and important Fellowship.

Cranfield University is a core partner in The Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship, which challenges postgraduate students and their academic tutors to innovate for a circular economy*.

Chidi Ofoegbu

Cranfield student Chidi Ofoegbu

Chidi is originally from Nigeria and will be studying Cranfield’s MSc in Economics for Natural Resource and Environmental Management. He is currently a consultant in the forestry sector in South Africa, where he is hoping to implement some of the ideals of the circular economy model.

Chidi said: “The uniqueness of the circular economy model in devising ways to reuse products or their components and restore more of their precious material, energy and labour will be of strategic importance in promoting a future sustainable economy. It can help Africa especially, help them to change the potential of the resources they have. The circular economy is good for the environment and the economy and I think this is the right way to approach it. It’s win-win, which is right for Africa.”

Each student will receive a Fellowship to help them undertake their own Circular Economy Innovation project with access to an exclusive online learning platform, mentoring support from their university and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and a place on an intensive week-long summer school in London 17-21 June 2013. In return, the Fellowship recipients will share their learning experiences and developing projects on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Dame Ellen MacArthur of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “Going through the considerable number of applications we received for the Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowships was like opening the window on a world of creativity, bold ideas and ambition. Shortlisting the candidates has not been an easy task, but we now have world-class student and academic partnerships in place and global universities paving the way for a rethink of the economy.”

Eleven students have been selected from countries across four continents including the UK, France, The Netherlands, Italy, South Africa, USA and India, and represent some of the world’s most renowned universities in the disciplines of design, engineering and business.


The names of the selected fellows and mentors are:

Imperial College London (UK)

  • Vidhi Mehta (fellow), Course: Innovation Design Engineering, Professor Peter Childs (mentor), Senior lecturer in Biomechatronics and Mechanical Engineering
    Timothy Sadler (fellow), Course: Innovation Design, Clare Brass (mentor), Head of Sustainability at RCA

Cranfield University (UK)

  • Chidiebere Ofoegbu (fellow), Course: Economics for Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Dr Paul Burgess (mentor), Senior Lecturer in Crop Ecology and Management

Yale University (USA)

  • Anthony Clark (fellow), Course: Business & the Environment and Life Cycle Design (Joint Master of Environmental Management and MBA Candidate), Reid J Lifset (mentor)
    Associate research scholar, Resident Fellow in Industrial Ecology and Associate Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program

Stanford University (USA)

  • Ernestine Fu (fellow), Course: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor Martin Fischer, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Computer Science.

University of California Berkeley (USA)

  • Antony Kim (fellow), Course: Architecture, Professor Galen Cranz (mentor), Professor of Architecture Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • Flora Poppelaars (fellow), Course: Integrated Product Design (Industrial Design Engineering), Professor David Peck (mentor), Assistant Professor of Industrial Design Engineering

Euromed School of Management (France)

  • Hugo Coton-Pélagie (fellow), Course: Entrepreneurship and Leadership, Loic Maherault (mentor), Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business

MIP Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

  • Luca Polzot (fellow), Course: Innovation Management, Dr Davide Chiaroni, Assistant Professor Politecnico di Milano School of Management

National Institute of Design (India)

  • Karthikeyan Gopinathan (fellow), Course: Faculty of Industrial Design – Product Design
  • Shashidhar Subramanya (fellow), Course: Faculty of Industrial Design – Product Design, Praveen Nahar (mentor), Associate Senior Faculty in Industrial Design

The Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship Programme, launched in 2013, is a global higher education initiative created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the Schmidt Family Foundation. The programme has been created to develop the skills and innovative thinking required to transition to a circular economy. The Fellowships are open to postgraduate students from a global network of ten partner universities including: Imperial College London, Cranfield University and London Business School in the UK, Yale University, University of California Berkeley and Stanford University in the United States, Euromed Management, Delft University of Technology and MIP Politecnico di Milano in Continental Europe, and India’s National Institute of Design. Students and academic mentors from these universities will take part in a London-based intensive summer school before returning to their university to focus on a postgraduate, circular economy innovation project. More information on Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship Programme.

*The circular economy is an economic model that aims to decouple economic growth from resource constraints, by design. Materials flows are classified in two types: biological materials, designed to re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical materials which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere. Waste is designed out of the system and materials or components no longer required in their place of origin are ‘metabolised’ elsewhere in the economy.

About Cranfield University
Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate institution with a worldwide reputation for excellence and expertise in aerospace, automotive, defence, engineering, environment and water, health, management and manufacturing. As the UK’s most business-engaged University, and led by research which is applied to real life situations, we are world-leading in our contribution to global innovation.


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