Personal profile


Nuno is a Professor of New Infrastructure Development. Nuno was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where he trained as a civil engineer and worked as a project manager. Nuno joined The University of Manchester in 2002, after earning a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California at Berkeley; he moved to the Manchester Business School in 2004.

Nuno focuses his research on the design of structures and processes can bring the best of people in consensus-oriented (pluralistic) settings, and make the world a better place to live and share with future generations. Nuno has worked or done research with various organizations including CH2M HILL, Intel, Rolls Royce, BAA (now Heathrow Ltd), BP, Manchester City Council, Network Rail, London2012, Crossrail, High speed 2, Thames Water, and the UK Cabinet; Larsen &Toubro and DFCCIL (India), World Bank, UNHabitat (Egypt), JICA (Japan); Lamata (Nigeria); and UNRA and KCCA (Uganda).

In 2009, Nuno was the lead editor of the special issue of California Management Review Infrastructure meets Business: Building New Bridges, Mending Old Ones in 2009. Nuno co-founded and acted as research director of the MBS Centre for Infrastructure Development between 2013 and 2016. Nuno is the leading author of two books published with the Project Management Institute - Building Options at Project Front-end Strategizing (2014, with Guilherme Biesek) and Megaproject Organization and Performance: The Myth and Political Reality (2017, with Colm Lundrigan, Jeff Pinto, and Phanish Puranam). In 2013, Nuno co-founded the annual workshop series, Megaprojects Workshop: Theory meets Practice

Research interests

Design and Organization Theory, Commons Theory, New Infrastructure Development;  Megaproject leadership and governance


Nuno focuses his research on the design of structures and processes can bring the best of people in consensus-oriented (pluralistic) settings, and make the world a better place to live and share with future generations 

Nuno's research has been predominantly informed by studying new infrastructure development projects so-called 'megaprojects'. With his PhD students and collaborators, Nuno has developed theory, conceptual frameworks, and methods for communicating with key societal actors how to design and manage these capital-intensive project-based organizations. His research has investigated development processes, product and organizational architectures, and contracting and procurement strategies. More recently, Nuno has started to study the role of design in tackling the Grand Challenges of the XXI Century including population growth, climate change, and the development of the Global South . Nuno is currently working on two books: an edited book on Achieving Collective Ends with Limited Resources: Lessons from Africa's Struggle to Bridge the Infrastructure Gap (Cambridge Press, 2018); and authoring a book on Designing under Pluralism: Debunking the Performance Myth (MIT, 2018)


Nuno has designed and teaches two graduate-standing courses - Megaproject Leadership and Governance and New Business Ecosystems: Infrastructure and Shared Economy. He also teaches an undergraduate course - Projects: Organizing, Management, and Strategy.

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Urban Institute


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