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Shirin Malekpour

Senior Lecturer and Research Lead, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University

Dr Shirin Malekpour develops and leads interdisciplinary research projects in the area of planning and governance for sustainable development. Her research explores how transformative change towards sustainable development could be enabled in different contexts, acknowledging that this would be a long-term endeavour, faced by uncertainty and disruption, and requiring robust and adaptive strategies. She has designed interventions based on scenario planning and participatory approaches to help with future thinking and developing pathways toward sustainable outcomes in different contexts. Her interventions have been adopted by industry, mainly in the water and food sectors.

Shirin has developed a research program on localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program tries to understand how the global SDG framework can be realised in different levels of society: in cities and urban spaces, in local and regional areas, and within sectors and organisations.

Shirin has an interdisciplinary background with a PhD in Environmental Sociology (Monash University – Australia), a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering (Delft University of Technology – the Netherlands) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering (the University of Tehran – Iran). Prior to her academic career, she has worked for 5 years in large water and wastewater infrastructure projects across Africa and the Middle East.

In 2018, Shirin was recognised as one of the top 25 young scientists in the world in the field of sustainable development.


  • 2019–present
    Senior lecturer, Monash Sustainable Development Institute
  • 2016–2019
    Research Leader - Planning and Futures, Monash Sustainable Development Institute
  • 2015–2016
    Lecturer, International Water Centre
  • 2005–2010
    Project Coordinator, Kianab Group Co.


  • 2016 
    Monash University, PhD in Strategic Infrastrucutre Planning
  • 2012 
    Delft University of Technology, Msc in Civil Engineering


  • 2019
    Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: A Review of Strategic Tools and Frameworks Available to Organisations, Sustainability
  • 2019
    Decision making under crisis: Lessons from the Millennium Drought in Australia, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
  • 2018
    A participatory exploratory modelling approach for long-term planning in energy transitions, Energy Research and Social Science
  • 2017
    Preparing for disruptions: A diagnostic strategic planning intervention for sustainable development, Cities
  • 2017
    Disruptions in strategic infrastructure planning–What do they mean for sustainable development?, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
  • 2016
    A methodology to enable exploratory thinking in strategic planning, Technological Forecasting and Social Change
  • 2015
    Strategic planning of urban infrastructure for environmental sustainability: Understanding the past to intervene for the future, Cities
  • 2013
    Judgment under uncertainty; a probabilistic evaluation framework for decision-making about sanitation systems in low-income countries, Journal of Environmental Management

Research Areas

  • Environmental Sociology (160802)
  • Urban And Regional Planning (1205)