Prof Nilay Shah
Contact NilayProf Nilay ShahProfessor of Process System Engineering

Sustainable Cities and Intelligent Systems

Globalisation was an experiment that started about 30 years ago. The first results are coming in now and they look far from perfect. Over half the global human population lives in cities making them large consumers of resources and producers of waste, and the supply chains that support cities are long and vulnerable. Advances in complexity science, sensor networks and computational power come together in the field of Process Systems Engineering to show you just what could be possible when we think about cities as interrelated systems of the future.


Professor Shah gained a PhD from Imperial in 1992, progressing from Lecturer to Senior lecturer at the College before his appointment as Professor in 2001. His awards include a Shell Lecturer Support Award (1992-1996), Imperial College London Teaching Excellence Award (1995), Institution of Chemical Engineers Junior Moulton Medal (1996), ICT/Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship (1997-2002), the Royal Society of Chemistry Beilby Medal and Prize (2005) and the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award and Prize (2007).

Prof Nilay Shah’s predictions from 2012

Within 1 year

We will see more local manufacturing, recycling and repurposing of materials.

2013 Superuse: meet the Dutch architects transforming the world with waste, Guardian

2014 Vertical farms sprouting all over the world, New Scientist

Within 5 years

Optimized energy trading, peer to peer trading, and leasing of personal assets to others within the city. 

2013 Obama to unveil $7 bn Africa power plan, Fox news

2013 Airbnb battles: Would you stay with strangers? BBC news

Within 10 yearsNew cities will have sustainability engrained into their footprint. 2012 In China, New Sustainable Cities Are Rising From Nothing, Fast Company


Profile Credits
Foresight Development: Alex Ayad, Shirin Alahi, Ali Salehi-Reyani, Smarties