Dr Sonal Choudhary

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA

Management School

Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Management

+44 114 222 3287

Full contact details

Dr Sonal Choudhary
Management School
Sheffield University Management School
Conduit Road
S10 1FL

Dr Sonal Choudhary is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Management at Sheffield University Management School (SUMS).

She is leading Sustainability Research Theme at Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre.

She is also an active member of interdisciplinary research centres such as Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), University of Sheffield Sustainable Food Futures (SheFF) and Centre for Environment Energy and Sustainability (CEES).

Prior to joining SUMS, Sonal worked as a Marie Curie Research Fellow in the field of environmental sustainability (Project Sunshine and N-SINK) at the University of Sheffield.

She has also worked on a number of other projects funded by Food Standard Agency (FSA), DEFRA, European Commission (FP-7), Ministry of Environment and Forest, India, and IPCC.

She has published about 30 papers in leading international journals, peer-reviewed conferences and national newspapers. She has also received two best paper awards in international conferences. She acts as a reviewer to many international journals in the area of operations and supply chain management, sustainability, climate change, ecology and environmental economics,. She has chaired various international conferences.

Sonal has been recipient of many prestigious academic awards and scholarships including All-India postgraduate scholarship, DfID Commonwealth Scholarship, and Marie Curie Fellowship.

She has also received a “Gold medal” in Environmental Sciences for holding the first rank at her University during her postgraduate study in India.

Sonal is also involved in consultancy projects with Business in The Community (BiTC). In spare time, Sonal conducts education and outreach activities in the field of climate change, sustainable production and consumption, and behavioural change as well as encourages women participation in sustainability research.

She has received the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office grant and wide media coverage in India and the UK since 2011 for her outstanding contribution in community services and leading such thought-provoking activities.

She has also been named as a “Climate Leader” and trained in leading climate advocacy by former US vice president and noble laureate Al Gore in 2013.

She obtained a PhD in the area of environmental science, pollution and sustainability in the Arctic from the University of Sheffield, 2014.

Her education also includes a MSc. in GIS and Environmental Modeling with distinction from the University of Hull, UK and a MSc. in Environmental Biology with distinction from the University of Delhi, India.

Research interests

Sonal’s research interests are mainly in the domain of sustainable operations and supply chain management, inclusive and integrated value chains, lean six sigma and sustainable natural resource management (food-water-energy-environment nexus).

Her research interests also include understanding the impact of climate change, technological adoption, supply chain configurations and stakeholder relationships on building resilience of the food system.

She also investigates how sustainability and regulatory issues affect business strategies and shape attitude towards the sustainable and circular economy.

She welcomes exploring future collaborations in the following fields:

  • Lean and six sigma methodologies and tools for achieving operational efficiency and waste reduction across the supply chains
  • Role of Big Data and disruptive technologies (IoT, AI, Blockchain, digital twin, industry 4.0) for building more resilient, sustainable and circular supply chains.
  • Circular Economy practices across supply chains of MNCs, SMEs and at regional level (Urban metabolism) in developed and developing economies
  • Business ethics and corporate social responsibilities (CSR)
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adoption strategies in different organisations including education sector
  • Sustainability of SMEs including Dairy and fresh-food industry
  • Integrated assessment of science-business-policy collaborations for effective and efficient resource management
  • Sustainable management of natural resources including Carbon, Nitrogen and Water footprint management
  • Applications of remote sensing & GIS in devising sustainable management strategies for low carbon futures (including green logistics and short-supply chain).

Journal articles



  • Choudhary S, Bhaumik S & McGuinness M Investigating forces for change affecting corporate sustainability: global megatrends and future scenarios. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

She is currently supervising six PhD students and one post-doctoral researcher and is interested in supervising students in any area of her research interests or related themes.

PhD Students:

Ms Hui Sun (2015-2019): Resilience in Pork Supply Chain in China (ESRC funded; co-supervisor: Prof Lenny Koh)

Mr Tim Else (2017-2020): Sustainability in the UK Dairy Supply Chain (ESRC 1+4 funded; co-supervisor: Prof Andrea Genovese)

Ms Ola Al Haddid (2017-2020): Impact of the mining industry on SDG 6-Cleaner Water and Sanitation in Jordan (Jordan Gov. funded; co-supervisor: Dr Martina McGuiness and Dr Sanjay Lanka)

Mr Meletios Bimpizas-Akis (2017-2021): Promoting Circular economy in agri-food supply chain (Grantham funded; co-supervisors: Prof Andrea Genovese; Dr Estrella L Diez and Prof David Evans)

Ms Reena Sayani (2018-2022): Sustainable management of energy to improve quality of life in developing countries (Grantham funded; co-supervisors: Prof Darren Robinson and Dr Milijana Odavic)

Mecia Miguel (2019-2022): Methods and tools for evaluating the life cycle cost of new products based around the Circular Economy (Marie Curie fellowship; co-supervisors from Tata Steel – Dr Nick Coleman and Dr Peter Hodgson)

Dr Benjamin H Lowe (2014-2017): Monetary valuation of virtual water use in global supply chains (ESRC funded; co-supervisor: Prof David Oglethorpe)


At SUMS, Sonal is currently leading projects funded by Science and Technology Facility Council (STFC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), British Academy, WhiteRose Network and N8 Agri-Food.

These projects are looking into different aspects of operations and supply chain management practices along with technological adoptions for enhancing the resilience and sustainability of food system in different regions.

She is also involved in H2020 Marie Curie ITN project on Circular Economy, ESRC funded PhD supervision on food, water and energy issues.

She has created a network of national and international stakeholders in food, energy and water industry that includes some of the big players, service providers, retailers, processors, SMEs, farmer organisations, NGOs, certification bodies and policy makers in the UK, India, ASEAN and African countries.

She leads Sustainable Agri-food integrated VAlue chain Network (SAVAN). She is also a lead for industry and impact in STFC Food Network+.

Teaching activities

Sonal is committed to research-led teaching and encourages critical thinking among the students. She encourages interaction and collaborations among students, as well as students and faculty for student motivation and involvement.
She is Programme Director for MSc Management since 2017 and leads three modules. She is module leader for:

  • MGT6081 – Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management (for MSc LSCM)
  • MGT357 – Corporate Social Responsibility (3rd yr, BA Management core module)
  • MGT140 – Business Challenges (involves 5 different industry collaborations for 10 week project)

Sonal is also involved in research ethics committee of SUMS and is a HEA fellow.

Dissertation supervision for MSc. LSCM and MSc. Management.