UCL Energy Institute


About us

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

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

We aim 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 research works to develop a range of tools, models and methods to address the energy challenges facing the world over the next two decades.

Our Faculty, The Bartlett, has been ranked #1 in the world in Architecture and the Built Environment, and remains #1 in the UK for the ninth year running, in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023.

In the latest national research assessment (REF 2021), we are number one for Research Power in the built environment, and 91% of our research has been deemed ‘World Leading’ and ‘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’.

Our values

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

We address intellectually challenging problems with creativity and innovation.

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

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


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. Our multidisciplinary team now spans over 130 researchers and students.

Director Catalina Spataru and Deputy Directors Maria Kamargianni and Steve Pye are supported by a Management Advisory Group and professional services staff within The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources (BSEER).

Management Structure

  • Catalina Spataru, Director
  • Maria Kamargianni and Steve Pye, Deputy Directors
  • Philippa Shallard, BSEER School Manager
  • Cathy Bridge, PA & Administrator
  • Velvet Young, Communications Officer

UCL Energy Institute academic staff, students and support staff.


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, and our intake of students to our Masters programmes has grown year by year since.

Remembering Harry Bruhns

In late August 2011 Harry Bruhns, Principal Research Associate within the UCL Energy Institute, sadly lost his long battle with cancer.

Having joined University College London in 1999, Harry initially worked at the Bartlett before becoming one of the founders of the UCL Energy Institute when it was formed in 2009.

Before moving to the UK from his home country of New Zealand in the early 1990s, Harry was awarded a Master of Science in Physics at Canterbury University (New Zealand) and then joined Victoria University (Wellington) as a Research Fellow.  At the Open University, Harry’s first role in the UK, work with the Department of Environment saw the beginning of many projects for the government.

Harry dedicated his working life to analysing building energy and floor area data and his extensive work underpinned the building industry in the UK for the past 20 years. He will be greatly missed within UCL and the wider industry.

Harry Bruhns

We are The Bartlett. We’re here to build a better future.

We are part of The Bartlett School of Environment Energy and Resources - home to four specialist institutes in energy, environment, resources and heritage within The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment.

The Bartlett is the UK’s largest and most multidisciplinary hub for built environment education and research, drawing students and academics from around the world.

Our work is all about human spaces and resources, understanding and influencing how and why they are structured worldwide. This includes physical structures like houses, buildings and cities – but also the resources we use, and the invisible social, political and economic structures that govern how we live together. 

Located in the heart of London, The Bartlett is an unparalleled space for collaboration, creativity, innovation and impact. We are formed of 13 schools and institutes spanning a unique variety of disciplines including architecture, urban design, planning, construction, resources, policy and heritage.  

We are united by our mission to find bold solutions to the crucial issues facing people, societies and the planet, and to build a better future for everyone.  

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