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UCL Energy Institute

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About us

Delivering world-leading learning, research and policy support on the challenges of climate change and energy security.

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Our approach blends expertise from across UCL to make a truly interdisciplinary contribution to the development of a globally sustainable energy system.

The recognised quality of our teaching and research in energy demand and energy systems modelling owes itself to this unusual cocktail of specialisations.

Our research, spanning the entire demand system, from consumer behaviour and household technologies to policy-making, has five core themes:

UCL Energy Institute is a world-leading centre of research and teaching excellence and has received a series of awards, grants and accolades to confirm this.

The QS World University Rankings places UCL Energy Institutes’s faculty as the best for Architecture/Built Environment in Europe and the second best in the world. In the latest national research assessment (REF 2014), 46% of UCL Energy Institute’s faculty’s research was rated ‘world-leading’ (4*), with a further 35% recognised as 3* internationally excellent.

Through its work with the Complex Built Environment Systems group, the Bartlett School of Energy, Environment and Resources has been awarded a historic three EPSRC Platform Grants, prestigious awards of funding given to what the EPSRC calls ‘well-established, world-leading research groups’.

Visions and Principles

Our mission

Our aim is to help to build a globally sustainable energy system, by bringing to bear multiple disciplinary perspectives to observe, analyse, model and interpret energy use and energy systems.

Our values

Excellence
In all our activities, we promote excellence, rigour and impartiality.

Innovation
We address intellectually challenging problems with creativity and innovation.

Impact
We conduct research that has impact and can make a positive difference to society.

Diversity
We promote diversity and equality of opportunity, and nurture an environment where people of all backgrounds feel valued and respected.

The UCL Energy Institute supports all 4 of the UCL Grand Challenges:

  • Human wellbeing
  • Intercultural interaction
  • Sustainable cities
  • Global health
 
History

The UCL Energy Institute was officially launched on 29 June 2009, but our roots lie much further back in the university’s history.

In his 1865 book, The Coal Question, the leading economist WS Jevons made an observation that flew in the face of common intuition. Jevons noted that improving the efficiency of a technology using a resource such as coal tended to provoke an increase in the consumption of that resource, rather than a decrease. The Jevons paradox, as the effect became known, has since become central to the study of energy demand and environmental economics. And since Jevons took up the professorship of political economy at UCL in 1876, it has been central to energy research at the university.

Until the institute was set up, that research, which also included work on fuel cells, nuclear power, efficient buildings and buses, was spread across traditional science and engineering departments. The institute has brought together in one place UCL-wide research and teaching in the vitally important area of energy demand, and given it focus, coherence and visibility.

The institute’s rapid growth suggests it answered a pent-up demand of its own. By the end of its first year, it had a portfolio of over £8m, £3m of which was won through an EPSRC grant for a Centre for Doctoral Training. Confirmation of this funding allowed us to pursue a much bolder course of sustained growth in our teaching. Our intake of students to our Masters programmes has grown year by year, and UCL-Energy has become one of the most successful academic departments in the UK.

Structure

The UCL Energy Institute is a cross-faculty initiative within the built environment, set up by the Provost of UCL to unify and strengthen research and teaching efforts in the field of energy. The institute has five core research themes and a multidisciplinary team of more than 60 researchers and students.

Director of the Institute, Prof Neil Strachan, and Deputy Director, Prof Paul Ruyssevelt, are supported by the Directors of Research, Teaching, Enterprise and Ethics and by the Management Advisory Group made up of senior members of research and administrative staff.

Management Structure

Management structure

  •  Prof Neil Strachan, Director
  • Prof Paul Ruyssevelt, Deputy Director
  • Philippa Shallard, BSEER School Manager
  • Maija Powell, Institute Administrator
  • Paul Ruyssevelt, Director of Enterprise
  • Andreas Schafer, Director of Research 
  • Kim Novelli, Research, Contracts and Operations Manager

Advisory Boards

  • The internal Board of Energy Directors is made up of representatives from departments involved in energy-related research across UCL and aims to join up research and teaching efforts in this field.
  • The external International Advisory Board is formed by leading figures in the world of Energy, including the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency and the Chairman of Shell UK Ltd and Chaired by Lady Barbara Judge

Full list of UCL-Energy academic staff, students and support staff.

The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources

The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources (BSEER) is home to the Faculty’s Institutes that specialise in energy, environment, resources and heritage, and the staff and students that work within them.

Its role is to help the Institutes establish themselves and grow, enabling them to focus on and develop their academic direction and strategies.