Thesis title: Investigating the
effect of feedback on electricity, heating and cooling energy use at the
Primary supervisor: Professor Bob Lowe
Secondary supervisor: Dr. Rokia Raslan
Sponsor (if applicable): EPSRC
Starting date: 24 September 2012
Projected completion date: 15 September 2015
In general, people have little incentive to reduce energy use at their workplace as bills are paid for by the building operator and not by the building users themselves. This is a typical situation of so-called “split incentives” where the benefits of acting are misaligned between different parties. However, the potential to reduce electricity as well as heating and cooling use in workplaces through changes in user behavior is huge and it will be crucial to exploit it if carbon reduction targets for non-domestic buildings are to be met.
Paula’s work looks at how feedback and social norms can be applied to provide users with non-pecuniary incentives to take responsibility for the energy use of their workplace in order to achieve carbon reductions. In a field trial, building users will be provided with information on their levels of energy use compared to other workplaces. Detailed energy consumption monitoring before and after will show how effective this strategy can be to cost-effectively reduce the energy consumption of non-domestic buildings.
October 2005 – August 2011
Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDIES (“DIPLOM”) OF CHEMICHAL ENGINEERING
Focus on energy, environment and sustainable development
August 2008 – June 2009
Universidad Nacional De Río Cuarto
Río Cuarto, Argentina
GRADUATE STUDIES OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (“INGENERÍA QUÍMICA”) AS AN EXCHANGE STUDENT
September 2011 – September 2012
UCL Energy Institute
MRes IN ENERGY DEMAND IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Thesis on the challenges of heat metering in poorly performing blocks
Interests and vision
As a trained engineer, my education provides me with a strong technical background. I nevertheless believe that technology cannot be looked at in isolation, but needs to be put in the context of socio-economic and political factors. In the future, I therefore want to be working at an interface between technology and society. I joined the UCL Energy Institute because of its strong interdisciplinary focus treating to bring energy-expert from all disciplines together.
In addition, I have always been passionate about communicating technical aspects to a non-specialist audience. While still at school, I worked part-time at the local newspaper of my hometown writing amongst others about ICT products for children and youths. During my first degree, I did a three-month internship at “VDI nachrichten”, a weekly newspaper with a focus on technology. I learned there that gauging the level of understanding of an audience is vital for successful articles and presentations.
This insight was reinforced at the Cheltenham Science Festival, which I was lucky enough to visit this year with a bursary from the UCL Graduate School. The best presenters there were clearly those who had not only considered what they would be talking about but also who they would be speaking to. When myself and four of my colleagues hosted a debate about energy efficiency at this year’s “Wilderness festival” in Oxfordshire, I hugely benefitted from this experience.
Publications and Other Work
Selected articles for VDI nachrichten (in German):
Wrobel, J., Morgenstern, P. & Schmitz, G. (in press). Modeling and experimental validation of the desiccant wheel in a hybrid desiccant air-conditioning system. In: Applied Thermal Engineering.
Morgenstern, P. (2012). In-situ measurement of heat loss from thermal stores. Proceedings of 2nd Conference: People and Buildings held at London Metropolitan University, London, UK, 18th September 2012. Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings: http://www.nceub.org.uk