UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

Dr Serban Scrieciu

Dr Serban Scrieciu

Senior Research Fellow

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
25th Mar 2019

Research summary

My work at UCL explores the extent to which core concepts and principles from systems thinking and complexity economics could inform a richer understanding of sustainability issues applied to the built environment and how it can better leverage transformational change in this respect. Several fundamental properties are investigated in this respect, such as holism and interconnectedness; system boundaries and structures; open systems and non-linear dynamics; heterogeneity and sub-optimality; uncertainty and endogenous innovation; feedback loops, system constraints and time delays; and self-organisation, emergent behaviour and regime change. These core concepts could act as guiding principles or criteria when developing and deploying a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and models to investigate sustainability changes of the built environment. More specific topics of interest include: equity and growth aspects relating to decarbonising buildings; energy democratisation and the rise of prosumers; and the integrated analysis and policy delivery of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Network interactions, workshop organisation and discussions with UCL colleagues and beyond are an integral part of my work. 

Teaching summary

I am currently not undertaking any teaching. However, in my past experience, I have taught and coordinated a Master's module on climate change economics. I have also given seminars and tutorials on trade and sustainable development. I am also particularly interested in communicating research not only to policy makers but also to pupils in schools when the opportunity arises - for instance, I was involved in explaining to secondary school pupils some basic aspects pertaining to energy sources, generation and climate change.


My background is in the economics of sustainability, particularly on the economics of climate change mitigation policy action. My research has emphasised the role of non-optimising, non-equilibrium system behaviour, path dependency, inequality, innovation, complexity, and uncertainty, all often applied at the science-policy interface. Previous to my current position at UCL, I worked in the international policy environment for five years at the European Commission (Directorate-General for Energy and Directorate-General for Employment and Social Inclusion) and UNEP (Energy branch of the Division for Technology, Industry and Economics). Before this, I was in academia, acting primarily as a researcher for around 10 years (University of Cambridge, University of Greenwich, The University of Manchester, and Vienna University of Economics and Business). I obtained my PhD from The University of Manchester (UK) in 2005 and an MA degree in 2001 in Development Economics from the University of Sussex (UK).