Dr Lai Fong Chiu
Principal Research Associate
Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
Faculty of the Built Environment
- Joined UCL
- 1st Jan 2013
Lai Fong is committed to understanding Energy and Climate Change using a socio-technical approach. In the specific areas of Energy and Building and Decarbonisation of Heat, her efforts can be summarised by her research journey since she joined UCL Energy Institute in 2011.
2011-2013 Designed and led the qualitative component of the FLASH (Facilitation, Learning and SHaring) project funded by the Energy Saving Trust and Institute of Sustainability. It aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of deep retrofit as part of the Retrofit For the Future Programme. She has since been involved in POE studies in both residential and commercial sectors.
2013-2015 - Co-Investigator of the People, Energy and Building-D3(EP/H051112/1) project.
2013-2018 - Co-Investigator of the EUED Centre for Energy Epidemiology, (EP/K011839/1)
2015-2017 - Designed and led the case study element of the RAPID-HPC analysis of the RHPP (Renewable Heat Premium Payment) Field Trial. This study was commissioned by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Her contribution to research has not been confined to UCL Energy Institute but has cut across the BSEER department. She has been involved in the HEW (Health, Energy and Well-being) project and advised on the TOP project (The Total Performance of Low Carbon Buildings) in China and the UK hosted by The Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE). These projects are funded by the EPSRC.
Currently, Lai Fong is a Co-Investigator of the Decarbonisation of Heat Challenge - part of the Centre for Research in Energy Demand and Solution (CREDS) EP/R0352881). Her role is to contribute to the understanding of social, regulatory, and governance implications of low carbon Heat Strategies.
Other projects (2017- present) include:
Two consultancy projects commissioned by BEIS and undertaken in conjunction with IEDE and Cambridge Architectural Research (BEIS LOT1 & LOT2) - Understanding best practice in deploying external solid-wall insulation in the UK, and Potential technological & process innovations to increase the uptake of internal and external solid wall insulation. UCL BRE 100 Homes - a Post-occupancy evaluation project aiming specifically to understand energy efficiency and ventilation in new development.
Lai Fong contributes to the Research Methods module and Theories, Measurement and Interpretation Module of the Centre for Doctoral Training Programme of the Institute. She also gives occasional seminars and talks on the subject of socio-technical methods in Energy and Build Environment Research. Lai Fong has successfully supported PhD students to the completion of their studies. Her enthusiasm has led her to be nominated and elected as one of the 24 women to be presented in the UCL Presence and Absence Exhibition in March 2016.
- University of Leeds
- PhD, Health and Social Science | 2000
- University of Manchester
- MSc, Health Education and Health Promotion | 1989
- Sheffield Polytechnic
- BA Hons, Communication Studies | 1984
Lai Fong is currently a Principal Research Fellow at the UCL Energy Institute. She joined UCL Energy Institute after a long and productive research/practice career in both the National Health Service, and Leeds University, UK. Her aim in joining the UCL Energy Institute was to use her experience and expertise to contribute to the establishment of a socio-technical perspective on energy demand through active participation in empirical research, teaching, and PhD supervision.
Lai Fong’s ambition in applying social research methods to energy use in buildings began with her involvement in two Action Research projects - the St. Nicholas Court and Stamford Brook projects (1999-2008), and as advisor to the high profile UrbanBuzz project - Lowcarb4real (2008-9) - a knowledge exchange initiative that took a multi-sectorial and participatory approach. Lai Fong’s role in this project was to support the engagement process and evaluation.
In 2010, Lai Fong led the qualitative component of a Post Occupancy Evaluation project - FLASH (Facilitation, Learning, And sHaring) - funded by the Energy Saving Trust and Institute of Sustainability, and has been involved in Post-occupancy Evaluation projects in both residential and commercial sectors. She was co-investigator on the Institute’s first large project, PEB-D3 (EP/H051112/1), and on the £6 million EUED Centre for Energy Epidemiology (EP/K011839/1).
Lai Fong completed a major case study project commissioned by BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, previously known as DECC). The report for the socio-technical analysis of 21 case studies data from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Field Trial is available on Case Studies report from the RHPP Monitoring Campaign
Lai Fong's previous funding portfolio awarded to her as a PI is near £1 million. She was a CO-I of one of the largest cluster-randomised controlled field trials (£1.4 million). Her research experience and expertise in research methodology has enables her to address complex subjects that demand multi-disciplinary inputs – such as The unintended consequences of decarbonising the built environment (EP/I02929X/1). She has also advised on many other projects within BSEER.