Science for Sustainability Hub

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

Promoting sustainable urban landscapes

Name Areas of research Description
Eve Andrews

renewable energy

circular economy

offshore wind

Circular economy in offshore wind. Tools for renewable energy companies to select affordable steps towards a circular low carbon energy generation network.
Mohit Arora

circular economy

urban sustainability

low carbon construction

engineering for development

Interested in the current state of resource efficiency in urban systems and industries, and develops technological and policy interventions for a low carbon future. Mohit has worked with several cities to improve their materials management towards a more circular economy. In low and middle income countries, he is focusing on engineering driven solutions to achieve low carbon development solutions for buildings and construction sector.
Benjamin Bach

data visualization

data science

public engagement

Working on data visualization and making data accessible and understandable by experts and non-experts. Data visualization is essential in understanding complex processes and data sets. Especially, techniques from storytelling and visual communication have huge potential to communicate findings and information to large and diverse audiences. 
Christopher Beckett

sustainable construction

thermal performance

housing resilience

Engineering behaviour of earth building materials and structures, aiming to improve their durability and design.
Melissa Bedinger

social sciences & policy

human factors


Interdisciplinary work in human factors, systems approaches, cascading climate impacts, and sustainable development and global health. Currently using sociotechnical systems approach in neighbourhoods or cities, to understand climate impact scenarios, model possible interventions, and inform resilience planning.
Frédéric Bosché

built environment

digital construction

project management

Interest in digital twinning and the built environment, as well as digital technology to support Net Carbon assessment in the built environment.

Julio Bros-Williamson

digital twins & living labs

climate change resilience

healthy buildings

Interested in low embodied carbon materials and techniques in the built environment, energy-efficient technological solutions for the refurbishment of existing buildings, and climate change adaptation and resilience of buildings by developing solutions and low carbon building services.
Dominic Campopiano


industrial biotechnology


Using biocatalysts (natural and engineered) to catalyse chemical reactions, as well as developing chemical tools to reduce waste and increase yields of enzyme-catalysed chemical reactions.
Efthalia Chatzisymeon

environmental engineering

water and wastewater treatment

environmental sustainability

Development of sustainable technologies for water and wastewater treatment; life cycle assessment of environmental processes and technologies.
Charles Cockell




Interested in sustainable biotechnology in space to support human space exploration.
Jamie Davies

synthetic biology



Focussed on improved health and well-being, particularly through research and also dissemination to and partnership wit the global south in the area of pharmacology and diagnostics. 
Tim Drysdale


alternatives to travel


Interested in remote laboratories that eliminate the need for staff, students to travel to conduct practical work (for teaching, research, dissemination and outreach) as well as reducing the draw on natural resources by allowing fewer items of equipment to fulfill demand through sharing between sites. 
Katherine Dunn



renewable energy

Research on electrosynbionics, which involves the development of devices that use biological or bio-inspired components to generate, use or store electricity. This includes biophotovoltaics and biobatteries.
Daniel Fosas de Pando

net zero buildings


indoor air quality

Expertise in sustainable buildings that enhance the indoor environment. This involves appraising impacts on occupants and the energy and environmental footprint of buildings. Given the  lifespan of buildings, the scope includes research on both climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Andrew Free


anti-microbial resistance

biogeochemical cycling

Interested in the application of microbial communities to bioremediation, sustainable waste treatment and energy generation from waste. We also have interests in the evolution and spread of antimicrobial resistance and approaches to tackling it.
Daniel Friedrich

renewable energy

heating and cooling

data-driven engineering

Develop and apply mathematical methods to practical problems in energy system design and optimisation, in particulat for decarbonising thermal energy systems.
Jennifer Garden

sustainable polymers



Focus on improving the sustainability of plastics across their lifecycle. We approach this by making materials from renewable resources (e.g. plants and CO2), improving the efficiency of production processes (by making new catalysts) and investigating opportunities to improve recycling technologies.
Debora Gottardello


technological advancements

diversity inclusion



Research related to the future of work and HR. How organizations and HR department can empower innovation with the right diversity & inclusion, new edge leadership and inspiring culture within workforces. Understand the way in which HR can support ecosystems that consist of more community-driven learning and enforcing social capital along with human capital.
Margaret Graham




Remediation methods to tackle environmental contamination in urban areas, such as the use of biochar/microorganisms to remove manganese from drinking water.
Ross Grassie




Interested in the potential of quantum computing to address sustainability challenges.
Bjarnhedinn Gudlaugsson

energy transition

renewable energy

energy policy

Understanding decisions and policies in the context of the energy transition, energy system and policy implementation to provide practical information and support policy-making. 
Aliakbar Hassanpouryouzband

sustainable chemistry

renewable energy


Development of tools to enable hydrogen as a low-cabon energy pathway, and the use of sustainable chemistry technologies such as climate engineering, water desalination, gas storage, cold energy storage, etc.
Michael Herrmann
electric mobility Novel mobility solutions that combine energy efficiency with convenience and communal acceptance. We are asking what level and type of individual traffic will be desirable and tolerable in future and what structural changes we need to support the best options. Solutions to these questions may benefit from work in my group on optimisation, machine learning, and multi-agent systems.
Claire Hobday


decarbonising heating and cooling

Tackling issues of heating and cooling through understanding and developing solid-state refrigerant materials. We do this by analysing the structure of materials via diffraction and computational methods and understanding how the refrigerant properties are altered.
Louise Horsfall

sustainable biotechnology

resource efficiency

synthetic biology

Translating academic research into novel industrially-usable platforms for the sustainable production of scientifically improved enzymes, bio-based chemicals and other bio-derived materials by exploiting new analytical and bio-based technologies. Our disruptive innovations will lead to the development of unique and sustainable new products, derived from wastes and by-products, and demonstration of their cost-efficient and energy-saving production using novel biomanufacturing technologies.
Yuner Huang

renewable energy

sustainable construction

green material

Application of advanced steel solutions in renewable energy infrastructure, and structural optimization for sustainable construction such as demountable structural solutions.
Amanda Jarvis

green chemistry


Development of greener and more efficient methods for chemical production, with a focus on using knowledge from both Chemistry and Biology to design better catalytic processes. 
Susan Jarvis 

sustainable Food systems


animal welfare science 

Interested in Sustainable Food Systems, and in particular the role of animal welfare science to ensure sustainable and socially acceptable food production systems. Leads the delivery of UG programmes and courses in Global Agriculture and Food Security, as well as the DDI Agritech Talent programme aimed at upskilling learners in data science and technology relevant to sustainable food systems.  
Marc Krautzberger

renewable energy

technological solutions to manage the nexus between climate change and poverty

social science and policy

Interested in how policymakers and firms manage competing demands (e.g. economic vs. environmental goals) in the process of developing and providing technological solutions in response to societal challenges.
Sam Lau

chemical separation


polymer science

Interested in recycling plastic waste into polymer membranes and microporous polymers for chemical separations. We also deploy Green Chemistry principles to make these materials by deploying green solvents and biorenewable materials.
Wei Li

environmental remediation

greenhouse gas removal

clean air

net zero

Development of low energy solutions for multiple greenhouse gases removal at the climatically relevant scale to enable a transition to a net greenhouse gas neutral future. 
Jason Love




Expertise in chemistry of the recycling and extraction of metals from their ores and other sources, including electronic waste, with the aim to develop new, sustainable, and environmentally benign processes that promote the circular use of metals. 
John McCloskey




We run the GCRF Tomorrow's Cities Hub which aims to reduce disaster risk for the 2 billion new urban residents of tomorrow's rapidly expanding cities. We use interdisciplinary methods to understand risk and tools for risk assessment that can democratise the concept of risk and allow poor communities to argue for safer and more human future urban expansion.
Encarni Medina-Lopez

satellite data for coastal environmental applications

renewable energy


Expertise in water and energy and how these two interact in the natural environment. My research focuses on the development of tools to improve the monitoring of coasts and oceans using remote sensing and artificial intelligence. 
Afshin Mehrpouya


responsible investments

business ethics

Primary focus on governance of sustainability and the role of calculative devices within. Recent work explores how use of AI and Big Data are transforming governments' approaches to citizens' behavioral governance. 
Dominic Moran


agricultural and food systems economics

Interested in definitions and metrics of sustainability, economic appraisal of technological options using non-market valuation, and behavioral and political appraisal of technology adoption. 
Androniki Papathanasi

renewable energy

net zero buildings

eradication of fuel poverty 

Interested in domestic energy consumption patterns and socio-technical sustainable low-carbon energy solutions to carbons Scotland's building sector and eradicate fuel poverty by 2045.
Symon Podilchak 




Working on a UoE spinout which deals with AI and RF solutions for recycling.
Win Rampen


decarbonising heating

Working on grid scale energy storage, and interested in decarbonising building heating with heat pumps, and technologies to help decarbonise agricultural/off road and construction machinery.
Judy Robertson
data literacy Academic lead for Data Education in Schools. We're looking for researchers who work on sustainability themes using data who might want to explain their work to school children. Our seminar series for teachers is themed around the sustainability goals this year.
Björn Ross


social sciences & policy

Interested in responsible use of the technologies and resilience to nefarious uses. Particular focus in people's interactions with one another over technology and people's interactions with technology, using computational methods. This includes, for example, the automatic flagging of abusive social media content and the reduction of bias in AI methods that evaluate user-generated content online.
Michael Rovatsos
AI and its application to sustainability
Focus on AI algorithms that can support the development of technologies supporting fairness, equality, and social justice. As part of my role at the intersection of research and innovation, I am also interested in many other areas of sustainability where AI and data science can be applied.
David Rush

fire justice

informal settlements


Help understand and deliver fire safety in the poorest settlements in the global south. This ranges from the social and cultural drivers of fires and how they start, through to the large scale conflagrations that can occur. By understanding this broad spectrum of parameters that effect fire safety, appropriate evidence-based interventions can be proposed to create safe, more sustainable, and more resilient urban agglomerations.   
Rosa Santomartino

space microbiology


space biomanufacturing

Building a sustainable future for space exploration, by developing microbial biotechnologies which will implement circular economy for life support systems. 
Ione Smith

renewable energy

recyclable composites

tidal turbine blades

Developing key offshore renewable energy technologies whilst minimising waste and impact. Evaluate the use of recyclable thermoplastic resin in the manufacture of a composite tidal stream turbine blade and the impacts on blade performance.
Sean Smith

net zero

future infrastructure

construction technology

Delivery of net zero pathways, backcasting for green economy skills and construction innovation for future infrastructure.
Eva Steele



circular economy

Interested in valorisation of lignin, a major component of lignocellulose which is one of the most abundant sustainable and renewable resources on the planet. This will contribute significantly to the economic viability of second generation biorefineries.
John Thompson

energy efficient communications

renewable energy

sustainable infrastructure

Energy efficient solutions for wireless communications and internet of things systems. These technologies will help to underpin practical solutions in many application domains such as: low carbon energy generation; sustainable industry and infrastructure; smart cities.
Camilla Thomson

renewable energy

environmental impact

energy systems

Developing analytical tools for better evaluating the environmental impacts of energy systems and technologies. This aims to inform the rapid transition to low-carbon energy systems and support sustainable development. This is achieved by both evaluating emerging technologies, and exploring how they can be best combined and developed to produce energy systems that are secure, equitable, economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable.
John Vines



data-driven technology

Interested in issues of social responsibility around technology design and development, and co-creation of new systems with communities that are affected by and responsible for them. Conducted research around digital technologies and data-driven systems in relation to civic action, community development, and in general the role of technologies in supporting sustainable communities and address issues of social inequality.
Gary Watnough


poverty mapping

Interested in how satellite data can be leveraged for monitoring poverty and livelihoods. This is because we need more data on how SDGs are progressing but the traditional ways of doing this using household surveys are time consuming and expensive.