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Introducing the 2023 Student Sustainability Architects - Part 2!

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Highlights 2022-2023
Student Sustainability Architects

Introducing our next round of 2023 Student Sustainability Architects! These Architects have projects focussed on awareness and engagement, as well as increasing and enhancing circularity and waste management.

The Sustainability Service is welcoming it's new intake of 2023 Student Sustainability Architects, who are paid part time roles that help assist and deliver the University's strategic objectives. Here are our next eight architects with roles focussing on Awareness and Communication, as well as Circular Economy and Waste.

If you missed our first blog introducing our Student Sustainability Architects focussing on Leeds Sustainable Curriculum, Careers in sustainability and the Student Sustainability Research Conference - then find it here.

Our Architects will be working hard on delivering their projects all year, so make sure you are following our social channels for frequent updates!

Imogen Lee-Savage

A photo of Imogen Lee-Savage, who is smiling in a red raincoat and black beanie in front of a shipwreck.

Project title: Sustainability and Leeds 2023

School: School of Earth and Environment

Degree: BA Geography

About me:

Hello, I’m Imogen and I will be working on the Sustainability and Leeds 2023 project.

I’m really excited to engage with this project as sustainability is at the heart of my studies and can be considered a real fascination of mine. I’m so looking forward to working with the Leeds community and giving back to a city that has welcomed me so warmly, especially if this means incorporating sustainability into the picture!

I’d say that I’m passionate about making sustainable practices as accessible as possible without compromising on their effectiveness. I believe that environment and society go hand in hand and so with this project I hope that the people of Leeds will celebrate diversity and culture alongside sustainable practices to achieve overall a harmonised city community that’s also kind to the planet.

Ruth Sylvester

A photo of Ruth Sylvester, who is smiling on the moors in a navy jumper and white beanie.

Project title: Sustainable Travel Communication Projects

School: Civil Engineering

Degree: PhD in water insecurity in the UK

About me:

I am a new student sustainability architect, and I am excited to be working on the Sustainable Travel Communications Projects. Enabling others to take more environmentally conscious travel routes around Leeds is something I feel well placed to support, as I am a keen cyclist who has had my fair share of difficulties on the roads!

Sustainability is something I value so much because incorporating it into our lives is the only way towards a brighter future. Travel is just one way that we can create change, and get healthier and more connected to our surroundings at the same time! I’m really looking forward to working with everyone on the team to develop an amazing project.

Emma Green

A photo of Emma Green stood in front of a water wearing a hat, jacket and walking boots.

Project title: Development and delivery of Catering Services food and carbon engagement programme

School: School of Earth and Environment

Degree: Sustainability and Environmental Management

About me:

I’ve been working at a sustainable coffee shop for the last few months and aside from ensuring our business practices are as sustainable as possible, I really enjoy encouraging sustainable changes amongst our customers.

I believe that consumerism is the root cause of so many of our unsustainable practises, and therefore businesses have a huge role to play in fostering more sustainable behaviours amongst their customers.

Through my architect role, I’m really hoping to further enhance the sustainability of our catering services at the University, building upon my prior experience promoting sustainable behaviours amongst the 40,000 staff and students that Great Food at Leeds serve on a weekly basis, striving to reduce waste, reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our use of plastics.

Abbie Armstrong

A photo of our Student Sustainability Architect Abbie Armstrong smiling at the camera stood in a park.

Project title: Net Zero student engagement

School: Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Degree: Philosophy, Politics and Economics

About me:

I’m incredibly passionate about sustainability, with a particular personal interest in sustainable fashion! I think it’s so important to get as many people involved in the conversation of sustainability as possible, especially students – we have the potential to make significant change, particularly within large institutions like universities.

I would love to establish a dedicated channel for students and staff to communicate with each other on sustainability issues, whether it be to understand more about the University’s Climate Plan, or whether students want to raise issues with the University’s commitments to sustainability. It often feels like there are significant barriers in communication between students and staff, and it’s vital to ensure that students can express their views and actively partake in solving these issues.

Ashley Victoria

A photo of our Student Sustainability Architect Ashley Victoria.

Project: Sustainability in Labs – plastics, LEAF, and resource hub development

School: School of Physics & Astronomy

Degree: PhD at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecules to Product

Ashley worked on this project as a Student Sustainability Architect last year and is continuing her post this year.

About me:

I am working on the sustainable labs initiative and a particular focus last year was on reducing single-use plastics in labs and gauging the challenges across different labs in doing this. This year I am continuing this and developing a resources hub to be available for lab users, with guidance for implementing sustainable lab practices across areas such as water energy, waste and green chemistry.

I want to engage with sustainability because I am passionate about fusing sustainability and innovation. As a scientist I am aware of the challenges faced by researchers in operating sustainably. The nature of lab work makes this hard in terms of balancing resource consumption with the importance of experimental rigour.

So far I have loved every minute of this project and excited to continue the momentum! I hope that this year I can use the knowledge gained last year to develop and pilot the resources hub and get useful feedback from lab users to help improve it even more.

Ashley Sibanda

A photo of our Student Sustainability Architect Ashley Sibanda giving a thumbs up, wearing a lab coat in the lab.

Project title: Development of Sustainable Purchasing Guidance resources

School: Chemical and Process Engineering

Degree: Chemical and Process Engineering PhD- GREEN Nuclear CDT: “Bubble growth and gaseous release dynamics within viscoelastic waste sludges”

About me:

I have been working on sustainability within the energy sector which is a large part of my research project within nuclear energy waste management. Apart from the environmental aspect of sustainability, the current financial crisis and global trends have piqued my interest in economic and social sustainability. I look forward to having conversations with the Leeds community about how, as a nation, we can achieve a sustainable economy while addressing inequalities within global communities.

My project will more specifically look into the development of sustainable purchasing guidance resources. With this project, I hope to help staff and students to be more aware of their purchasing habits and the impact they have on the wider community and industries.

Arica Ching

A photo of our Student Sustainability Architect Arica Ching smiling at the camera wearing a bucket hat in the countryside

Project title: Circular Economy projects on campus and in the community

School: School of Earth and Environment

Degree: MSc Sustainability and Consultancy

About me:

I am so excited to be a part of this new project and deliver circular economy initiatives to members of the University as well as the community. Throughout the year, I am hoping to organise more easy-to-participate events to encourage adoption of greener practices. Every small step counts, I look forward to contributing to a circular economy with all of you!

Elizabeth Sprason

A photo of our Student Sustainability Architect Elizabeth Sprason, who is wearing a stripey green top and smiling against a white wall.

Project title: Circular Resource Use


Degree: Natural Sciences (Biochemistry and Physics)

About me:

I engage with sustainability because I want to make a difference. I have grown up in a family of keen gardeners so have always wanted to look after and appreciate nature. I am interested in seeing how science and technology can make us more sustainable and efficient. I am hoping to create something that students can feel proud of while they’re staying in their residences.

Keep up to date on the latest news

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our Active Travel work links to the following SDGs:

    • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
    • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
    • Goal 13: Climate action