UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Dr Will McDowall

Dr Will McDowall

Associate Professor

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2010

Research summary

Will McDowall's research activities cover several related areas of interest. First, his work on energy innovation applies 'innovation systems' approaches to understanding the development and deployment of new technologies, and has examined the role of expectations, visions and foresight processes in guiding and shaping technological change. Second, he has an interest in developing scenarios -- using both qualitative, participatory approaches and formal quantitative models -- to explore possible futures of the energy system, and provide insights for policymakers. Much of this work has focused on hydrogen energy. His research on scenarios and modelling includes work that takes a critical perspective on energy modelling, exploring how models are used and communicated in practice. Finally, he has wider interests in environmental policy, particularly related to resources and the circular economy.

Teaching summary

Will was Programme Leader for UCL's MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment (EPEE) between 2015 and 2018. He is module leader for:

  • BENV0016 Energy Technology and Innovation, part of the MSc Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment
  • BENV0077 Eco-innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship, part of the MSc Sustainable Resources.


University of Westminster
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2017
University of Leeds
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2004
University of York
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2001


Will McDowall is an Associate Professor at the Energy Institute and Institute of Sustainable Resources at University College London in the UK. Until 2010, he was a Policy Advisor with the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), in Canada, where he worked on climate change policy and governance. He has previously worked as Research Manager at the Community Energy Association, where he advised local governments on climate and energy policy, as Policy Associate at the Centre for Health and Environment Research at the University of British Columbia, and as a Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute in London.

From April 2020-March 2021 he is on part-time secondment to the Institute for Government, leading research on the use of evidence in energy policy-making.