Researcher in Spotlight: Dr Lara Mottee | March

The John Grill Institute for Project Leadership’s monthly ‘Researcher in Spotlight’ piece aims to highlight the bright minds that make up our organisation and showcasing the diverse range of experts who contribute to our work. We are delighted to feature a profile on our incredible Postdoctoral Researcher for our Projects for Sustainable, Resilient and Just Futures theme: Dr Lara Mottee.



Please briefly introduce yourself.
I’m a self-confessed city and transport nerd, a wife, a mum of 2 girls and a cat named Aria. While I’m a Geographer at heart, these days I consider myself an interdisciplinary scholar in my role as Postdoctoral Research Associate and Research Lead of the Projects for Sustainable, Resilient and Just Futures theme of the John Grill Institute for Project Leadership (JGIPL).

What are your research interests?
My research interests centre around improving the social outcomes of infrastructure projects to address grand challenges in sustainability. I am passionate about exploring how social value is embedded in projects and how impacts are assessed, managed and measured. I lead research exploring the interactions between the geographical, social and institutional contexts that infrastructure projects operate within to realise positive outcomes for people.

How does this relate to Project Leadership?
It’s not enough to have experts on project teams driving sustainability, we need infrastructure project leaders to champion sustainable projects that contribute solutions to grand challenges. There needs to be a shift industry-wide from what is historically a technical leadership approach to delivering the engineering outputs of projects, to a wider focus on short and long-term societal outcomes.

How has being involved in the John Grill Institute for Project Leadership been? How has it enhanced your work?
Working at the Institute has provided me the opportunity to lead research that is deeply embedded in the infrastructure industry and engages with current and future project leaders. Being part of the JGIPL team that is connected to an extensive network of infrastructure leaders has enhanced the validity of my work and links the outcomes of my research to practical recommendations that can benefit society.