Jack is a Doctoral research student, working in collaboration with the Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand at Sussex.
He began his PhD with SPRU and CIED in September 2014, conducting research into the role of energy efficiency in economic growth. His work centres upon the concepts of ‘exergy’ and ‘useful work’, or the portions of energy inputs into the economy which can prove useful to economic activity and societal needs. He completed an MSc in Energy Policy for Sustainability with SPRU in 2014, having undertaken a project looking at the prospects for future shale gas development in the US. He has a degree in Physics (MPhys hons, University of Sussex, 2013), and has previously taught maths and physics from KS3 to first-year undergraduate level.
"The energy which is used to sustain societal prosperity originates from, and is put to use in, a wide variety of forms. From a historical viewpoint, the composition of energy requirements has been dictated by the availability of technology and resources, and as this availability has developed, new functions have arisen to which these resources may be put to use. Thus the type of energy used in society at a particular point in time is indicative of its progress along a broad set of transitions – from an agrarian society, through the process of industrialisation, and towards a service economy. The concept of exergy (or ‘available energy’) has recently come to be recognised as a potentially valuable tool for evaluating such progress; its more consistent thermodynamic basis (than conventional energy analysis) allows for a more thorough comparison of energy of different types, due to the fact that exergy is a measure of both quantity and quality of energy. An emerging branch of energy economics has utilised the fact that as societal energy usage has focused upon successively higher-quality forms (from combustible biomass, to coal, oil, and then electricity), exergy has become a suitable measure for forming comparable time series of national inputs (‘primary exergy’) and outputs (‘useful work’), along with the embedded transformative processes which constitute an energy system. Jack’s project seeks to extend upon this work by improving and expanding the accounting methodology, where possible. It is hoped that, by employing the use of tools such as index decomposition analysis and wider econometric analysis, new insights may be uncovered about the dynamics of energy use within different economies. A potential aim of the project is to then use such insights to assess the role of exergy, exergy efficiency and useful work within economic growth."
Donal Brown has 6 years experience in sustainable construction and consultancy, with an academic background including a First class BSc in Environmental Science and Distinction in Climate Change and Policy MSc.
Donal has also recently undertaken a CIED research project, into the status and bariers to low energy buildings in the UK. A sustainable energy specialist with extensive experience in the low carbon housing sector, Donal has technical knowledge of renewable energy systems as well as Passivhaus and energy efficient design. His research background includes climate and environmental science, energy policy, innovation and energy economics. He is also Sustainability Director of a eco-housing design and build firm who also provide consultancy services.
Sofia joined SPRU as a doctoral researcher in September 2015 and her research focuses on supply chain integration within the construction industry and its impact on the delivery of low energy innovations in non-domestic buildings. Sofia has 14 years experience in sustainability consulting within the construction sector, having worked with major commercial, infrastructure and industrial developers and building owners in delivering sustainable and cost-effective solutions for their property portfolios. Through her roles as a sustainability specialist, a project sustainability champion, and a BREEAM/LEED advisor and assessor, Sofia has gained an understanding of the organisation and dynamics of project teams, the benefits of an integrated design process and integrated teams and the positive effects of collaboration between disciplines in the delivery of project objectives. Sofia is a certified project manager and has managed a large number of sustainability consultancy projects working for one of the largest global multi-disciplinary consulting engineering firms. She holds a BA(Hons) in Architectural Studies and an MRes in the Built Environment with Distinction
Duncan Edmondson joined CIED in September 2015, working as a doctoral researcher on a project focusing on policy mixes for innovation and energy demand. With a background in Environmental Science (BSc; University of Leeds), Duncan previously completed an MSc at SPRU in Energy Policy for Sustainability for which he undertook a project researching Legitimacy in Technological Innovation Systems, applied empirically to the offshore wind sector in the UK. Duncan’s research engages with the politics of transitions, and the co-evolutionary dynamics of policy mixes and socio-technical systems. Empirically, the project investigates the Zero Carbon Homes target in the UK. The target (announced in 2007), mandated all new-build domestic buildings to achieve zero carbon by 2016, but was subsequently denounced in 2015. From such an instance of apparent policy ‘failure’, he aims to draw lessons for the design of policy mixes for sustainability transitions.