UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


CEGE Associate Professor wins Provost’s Award for Public Engagement

17 May 2019

Dr Lena Ciric, CEGE Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering, and Dr Tse-Hui Teh, Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Planning, were announced on Wednesday as winners at this year’s Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement.

Dr Ciric and Dr Teh receive award

The Team Award was presented to Dr Teh and CEGE’s (UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering’s) Dr Ciric for their collaborative work on sustainable sanitation. This began in 2016, when they partnered with a number of allotment societies in London who had installed composting dry toilets. They used these projects to better understand the motivations and concerns about the composting toilets. Their work has since been showcased at a number of events at UCL, and the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. 

Currently, the team is working with Spitalfields City Farm, where they have run a number of workshops with different groups – including the local Bangladeshi community, teenagers excluded from education, city professionals and primary school children – to better understand views on composting toilets. Together, they have installed an on-site composting toilet and engaged directly with local groups to create artwork that will teach users about the nutrient cycle and more sustainable sanitation solutions in the urban setting. 

Speaking on the award, Dr Ciric, programme director for CEGE’s Environmental Engineering Systems MSc, said: “We are delighted to receive the Provost’s Award for Public Engagement. It is such an honour. Our project relied on Spitalfields City Farm and the communities we were working with through the farm, and by doing so the results were incredibly well-received. This award is a great recognition of the work we have put into this project.”

Professor Jose L. Torero, CEGE’s Head of Department, said that “Lena and Tse-Hui are both very deserving of this honour. The project was a unique one – to have communities so heavily involved in every step of the process is uncommon, but a process I would be very interested in seeing replicated further. Congratulations to both, and I look forward to seeing more exciting work from them.”

The Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement celebrate the work UCL staff, students and their community partners do to open up research and teaching at UCL to a wider audience through collaborative engagement. Dr Ciric hopes to continue such work, as earlier this month she was also named as one of three UCL Engineering British Science Association Media Fellows for 2019.


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  • Credit: UCL Provost’s Public Engagement Awards 2019. Photos courtesy of UCL Culture. Copyright: Photographer Natalia Janula