Desha - Research Principal/ Lecturer
Dr Cheryl Desha is a lecturer in sustainable development
at the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering,
Queensland University of Technology, and a Research
Principal at The Natural Edge Project (TNEP), a non-profit
partnership on research, education and strategy for
innovation for sustainable prosperity.
Cheryl graduated in 1999 from Environmental Engineering
at Griffith University (First Class Honours), receiving
a University Medal and Environmental Engineering medal.
She worked for consulting engineering firm Arup for
four years, also undertaking work placement within the
Queensland government. From 2004 Cheryl worked for Griffith
University in formal collaboration with TNEP, as a lecturer
in the School of Engineering and member of the Urban
Research Program. In 2011 she moved to QUT as part of
TNEP's transition to a new hosting arrangement.
Cheryl and the team from TNEP have developed a range
of projects focused on education and training for sustainable
development, including working with universities, professional
bodies, government agencies, companies, schools and
touring international keynote speakers. She is also
a contributing author to The
Natural Advantage of Nations (Earthscan, 2005),
and co-author of Whole
System Design (Earthscan, 2008), Factor
5 (Earthscan, 2009), and Cents
& Sustainability (Earthscan, 2010).
In 2005 Cheryl was selected as the Engineers Australia
Young Professional Engineer of the Year. In the same
year, she was a member of the TNEP team which was announced
winner of the prestigious Banksia Award for Environmental
Leadership, Education and Training for The Natural Advantage
of Nations, and the Engineering Sustainable Solutions
Program. In 2010 she was awarded the university teaching
medal for the Science, Environment, Engineering and
In the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
(2005-2014), Cheryl is focusing on developing TNEP initiatives
related to rapidly transitioning engineering education
to education for sustainability (EfS). In 2010 she completed
her PhD on this topic at Griffith University, and is
currently writing a guide book with co-author Charlie
Hargroves on engineering education and sustainable development
(EE&SD) including a model for rapid curriculum renewal.
She also co-founded the Queensland node of the Sustainable
Living Challenge at Griffith University in collaboration
with the Port of Brisbane Corporation (2006-2008).
Cheryl’s career goal is to facilitate sustainable
development by empowering society with emerging language,
knowledge and skills related to achieving sustainable
solutions. In particular she is committed to building
capacity in biophilic urbanism (i.e. 'nature loving'
Text: EE&SD - A Guide to Rapid Curriculum Renewal