Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Vice-Dean (Education), Principal Teaching Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 7708m.tennant Website




105Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Mike Tennant works in the Centre for Environmental Policy. He is the Director of the M.Sc. in Environmental Technology and has convened the ''Business and the Environment Option'' since January 2008.

I am a natural scientist by training and an interdisciplinary scientist by preference. My main interests are in systems thinking, complexity and innovation in the context of sustainability and organisations.  Understanding the complex nature of environmental and social contexts in which an organisation operates and designing interventions informed by those contexts is key to coping with sustainability. I am particularly interested in using and developing creativity and systems tools to design disruptive and innovative products, services and policies that meet environmental and social needs.

I have an interest in the circular economy and was Imperial's lead investigator on the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability. My main interest there was understanding the role and form that the manufacturing industry could take in a constrained world.

The PhD students that I supervise are investigating topics ranging from social inclusivity in the circular economy, resilient urban design and environmentally-focused social movements. 

I have a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from The University of Manchester and worked for 14 years in various roles in research and management in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the UK and USA. In these positions I lead research teams, directed multi-disciplinary therapeutic area research (diabetes and anti-bacterial), helped set up and build out two biotechnology start-up companies in California and was active in portfolio management and business development.

A change of career saw me head to Imperial College and take the M.Sc. Environmental Technology course (Business and Environment) and an M.Ed. After a brief stint as the Chief Technology Officer in a cleantech development company in London I moved back into academia in order to further my interests in understanding how business can contribute to, and benefit from, the growing sustainability movement.



Clube RKM, Tennant M, 2023, What would a human-centred 'social' Circular Economy look like? Drawing from Max-Neef's Human-Scale Development proposal, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol:383, ISSN:0959-6526

Blomsma F, Tennant M, Ozaki R, 2022, Making sense of circular economy: Understanding the progression from idea to action, Business Strategy and the Environment, ISSN:0964-4733

Clube RKM, Tennant M, 2022, Social inclusion and the circular economy: The case of a fashion textiles manufacturer in Vietnam, Business Strategy and Development, Vol:5, ISSN:2572-3170, Pages:4-16

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