UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


International Women's Day 2022 - Dr Gesche Huebner

8 March 2022

For International Women's Day we asked some women from BSEER about how they got where they are today, what they’re most proud of and what advice they’d offer to other women working in a similar role, read about their experiences below.

Gesche Huebner 800x500

Around the world people are marking International Women's Day. We are joining them by celebrating the contributions and achievements of women in our department.

Dr Gesche Huebner

Lecturer in Sustainable and Healthy Built Environments
UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering and UCL Energy Institute

How did you get into your current role?

I have been at BSEER for almost 10 years now, working on various projects – so I am not even sure how exactly I got into my two current roles, one as part-time lecturer at IEDE and one part-time researcher at the EI. I asked friends how to answer this and they said “through awesomeness, of course.”

What are you currently working on?

I have just started to work on the link between mental health and climate change – an area that has been overlooked for a long time but is finally getting some attention. Specifically, I am trying to understand if overheating in homes is a mental health stressor. I am also doing research focussed on understanding how Covid-19 impacted on energy use in the UK. I just finished my teaching commitments for this academic year.

Outside of my core research and teaching commitments, I promote open, reproducible and transparent science.

I am also BSEER Director of EDI, a role I am really excited about -  there are so many changes we need to make and hopefully will make.

What work achievements are you most proud of?

To have become much more outspoken. Nowadays, if I see something at work that I think isn’t quite right or could be improved, I tend to raise it and try to do something about it – whereas I used to be way too shy and too concerned about what others might think.

What advice would you give to other women working at a university in a similar role?

Work does not own you and you don’t owe work – that is, when it comes to important decisions, base them on your circumstances, preferences, and wishes, not on what you think is good or appropriate for your workplace. For example, I took a shorter maternity leave for my second daughter than I would have liked to because I thought it would be better from a work perspective. In hindsight, I should have just gone with my preference – and quite frankly, it would not have made a difference to my work either. And if a couple of months would have made an actual difference it probably would have been the wrong workplace to be in anyway….