The UCL Energy Institute maintains a crucial dialogue with the general public on energy-related matters. Not only does it work to raise awareness of the energy challenges, it also engages with energy consumers enabling UCL-Energy to better understand how people use energy.
Below are some of the ways in which UCL-Energy has recently managed to capture the public's attention:
Energy Efficiency and Occupant Behaviour
In November 2011 PhD students Carrie Behar and Faye Wade organised and presented at an evening event ‘Energy Efficiency and Occupant Behaviour: Research Findings & their Implications for Building Professionals’ hosted by Sponge Network and the UCL Energy Institute. The event was attended by over 40 guests, who listened attentively as Faye, Carrie and UCL Energy colleague and LoLo supervisor Ian Hamilton spoke about their recent research projects, and took part in a lively discussion about the topics raised by the presentations as well as the wider issue of how to break down the barriers between academia and industry, in order to accelerate the process of making real life carbon emission savings.
Sustainability at the Barbican Estate
PhD student Carrie Behar’s work ‘Occupant Evaluation and Energy Performance of Barbican Estate Dwellings’ was concerned with identifying potential energy savings from more than 2000 dwellings across a series of Grade II Listed buildings. As part of her research she collaborated with the Barbican Residents Association and the Barbican Estates Office. The findings of her work led to recommendations for an energy saving intervention that is currently being piloted by the residents. Carrie was also invited to take part in the Barbican Christmas Fayre, held at the Barbican Library, where she exhibited her work as part of the sustainability stand. The Fayre attracted over 900 visitors of all ages.
MRes student on Carbon Reduction Committee
MRes student Joel Guilbaud is engaging with his local community by accepting the voluntary position of ‘Green Rep’ at his student accommodation. As part of his role Joel will sit on the Carbon Reduction Committee, who meet regularly to discuss ways to improve the energy performance of their building. The committee recently installed thin-film solar panels on the roof and Joel will be investigating and reporting on the efficiency of the system and the carbon savings made over the coming year.
BBC's Bang Goes the Theory: Human-powered Hydrofoil
A UCL-Energy researcher designs a human-powered hydrofoil to demonstrate how much energy is needed to propel a small boat at a reasonable speed, and to try and lift the craft out of the water so that it can go even faster.
(Listen here, 31 mins onwards)
UCL's Bright Club Listen to the recording made at the Wilmington Arms (listen to recording), and then at the Brighton Sea Life Centre, which features participants from UCL and the comedian Rufus Hound.
Turn Up the Style, Turn Down the Heat
Global Cool produced an audio feature in December featuring Michelle Shipworth, a researcher in Energy and Social Sciences at the UCL Energy Institute. It encouraged people to wrap up warm at home and turn down their heating to reduce their carbon footprint - the same message that has run throughout UCL-Energy's home energy campaign during the winter. Over 20 stations all over the UK aired the feature over the Christmas period, reaching an audience of 1.1 million people.
Lighting and Energy Saving
A UCL-Energy student writes a bi-monthly column for the lighting design magazine Mondo-ARC.