Megan Farrelly

Assoc Professor

  • 20 Chancellors Walk, Building 11 Rm W819

    3800 Clayton

    Australia

20052021

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an interdisciplinary researcher situated at the intersection of environmental/urban geography, sustainability transitions, and policy/governance scholarship. I examine (i) the role of experimentation in influencing sustainable urban transitions and (ii) strategic governance and policy levers for driving these sustainable transformations in practice. I have worked extensively within the urban water domain, having undertaking numerous research projects within the (former) National Urban Water Governance Program, the recently completed CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, and various government agencies. I also have experience working with the Monash Energy Institute to examine (i) just energy transition pathways and (ii) early experiments with microgrids to support greater penetration of decentralised energy systems. 

 

My current research projects are outlined below and focus on a broad range of sustainability experimentation and transitions pathways: 

Tracing the impact of urban experimentation in water and energy domains (2021-2024)

I am Primary Chief Investigator on this ARC Discovery Grant (DP210100571), working closely with Prof. Rob Raven (MSDI). This research project investigates how the processes of experimenting with alternative urban infrastructure systems can lead to sustainable urban transitions. We have recently appointed 2 PhD students who commence early in Q1 2022 and we are thrilled to have Dr Wikke Novalia join us as our 3-yr Post-Doctoral Research Fellow.

Sustainability transformation pathways for small to medium enterprises (2021-2024)

This ARC Discovery Grant project (DP210110572) Led by A/Prof. Wendy Stubbs, I am a Chief Investigator and Lead on Work Package 2 – which seeks to characterise the enabling policy environment to support SMEs with embracing a transformation to more sustainable business practices. Our new PhD student for this project will commence in December 2021.

 

TRANSFORM: Accelerating sustainability entrepreneurship experiments in local spaces. I lead the Australian Research Hub for this international research program (2018-2025), led by Prof. Sarah Burch at University of Waterloo, Canada (funded by SSHRC). This program of research seeks to advance knowledge around how SMEs can expedite a transition towards greater sustainability outcomes. 

Net Zero Precincts: An interdisciplinary approach to decarbonising cities

This is an ARC Linkage project led by MSDI. I am a Chief Investigator on this project which seeks to identify how transition management and design anthropology can come together to innovate new methods to advance decarbonisation of city precincts. I will lead the joint supervision of a Monash Arts funded PhD student (recently appointed) who will examine Innovation in local governance for net-zero transitions at precinct-scale.

Supervision interests

While I am not immediately taking on any new students, I am always open to discussion about futture projects. I will be busy with my five new PhD students who will commence between December 2021 and March 2022. I will be working closely with Prof. Rob Raven (MSDI) on the following two PhD projects:

The two projects below are associated with a 3-year ARC research project – Tracing the impact of urban experimentation in water and energy domains.

  1. Processes and places: how urban experimentation accumulates to influence urban water sustainability.  (Arts Funded) 
  2. Experimenting with energy futures: advancing distributed energy transitions in Australia. (MSDI funded) 

In addition Prof. Rob Raven and the Net Zero Precincts ARC Linkage Team  have recently recruited an outstanding PhD candidate who will be focused on Innovation in local governance for net-zero transitions at precinct-scale (Arts-Funded). Also, we have recently identified a suitable candidate for an ARC funded scholarship within this program who will be working with myself and Prof. Ariel Liebermann in the Faculty of IT on mico-grid management for precinct scale decarbonisation.  

 

I have strong supervisory expertise having supervised Masters by research (n=4), Honours projects (n=5) and have successful seen 9 PhD completions. If you would like to discuss possible PhD topics in the following areas, please get in touch. 

  • Water Governance & Climate Change Adaptation
  • Intersection of water management and nature-based solutions
  • Novel approaches to emerging energy policy and governance
  • Innovations in environmental governnace (policy, approaches, strategies)
  • Place-making and reimagining urban streetscapes

Monash teaching commitment

Current teaching: 

Extreme Earth! Natural Hazards and Human Vulnerability (ATS1310)

Perspectives on Sustainability (ENS5020) 

Previous teaching/coordination roles:  

Resource Evaluation and Management (ATS3554/APG4554) (2015-2019)

Cities and Sustainability (2019-2020)

Environmental Governance (2009-2010)

Environmental Analysis and Decision-Making (2009-2010)

Frontiers in Environment and Sustainability (2011-2012)

Consulting

I am available to discuss your consultancy research requirements around topics associated with sustainable urban practices - particularly water and energy domains - from a local and state government perspective, but also for NGOs and other peak industry bodies.  

I have previoulsy worked with State and Local Governments and research-based organisations in the past - including, among others: Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee (2016); Clearwater (Melbourne Water) (2014); Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (2014); and the Environmental Protection Authority, Victoria (2009). 

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research area keywords

  • Environmental Policy
  • Sustainability Transitions
  • Experimentation & Innovation Systems
  • Environmental Governance
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Social Learning
  • Sustainablility
  • Urban Water Transitions
  • Evaluation & Learning
  • Energy Transitions
  • Transformation
  • Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design

Network

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