Jonathan Cullen
Cambridge University
CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
Member ID 0183
Member since Jun 23, 2007
Status Active


Jonathan Cullen is the Professor of Sustainable Engineering and the President of Fitzwilliam College, at the University of Cambridge. He leads the Resource Efficiency Collective ( and has a reputation for top-down studies of resource systems, bringing skills in developing new metrics to reflect both energy and emissions consequences of materials production.


Jonathan studied Chemical and Process Engineering in New Zealand and began his career as Process Engineer in heavy industry. After 5 years, he moved to Lima, Peru where he was involved in projects with ITDG (Intermediate Technology Development Group) and UNALM (Universidad Nacional Agraria de La Molina) to develop bio-diesel energy source options for Peru, including a mid-size plant to process used cooking oil in Lima and small-scale conversion of jungle seeds to biodiesel in isolated Amazon jungle communities. He also contracted Glidepath and Bechtel Overseas to design and install baggage handling and x-ray screening equipment at Lima and Santiago International Airports. After 10 years in industry and development work he moved to Cambridge to undertake the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development and complete a PhD on the Engineering Fundamentals of Energy Efficiency, before taking up roles of Research Associate, University Lecturer and Professor.

Research Interests

Jonathan's research interests span energy and material systems, efficiency limits, circularity and zero carbon transition pathways. He currently leads C-THRU: Carbon Clarity in the Global Petrochemical Supply Chain (, and is a co-investigator on: CCG: Climate Compatible Growth (, TransFIRe: Foundation Industries Research and Innovation Hub (, S2uPPlant: Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging from Plants (UKRI), and UK FIRES: Locating Resource Efficiency at the heart of Future Industrial Strategy ( He is a Lead Author for the IPCC AR6 Industry Chapter, an Expert Adviser to the IEA Technology Roadmaps, and co-authored the book Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open, which pioneered the concept of material efficiency for energy-intensive industries (

Website contributions from this member

29 Jun 2023 Research Assistant / Associate in Climate Compatible Growth (CCG)
01 Sep 2021 Online workshop: Carbon Clarity in the Petrochemical Sector
15 Aug 2019 Research Assistant/Associate in Material Circularity
05 Feb 2018 PhD Studentship in Resource Efficient Decision Making in Industry