The Energy Demand in Practice events are a series of events, including trips and seminars, which aim to prepare LoLo students for life after their PhD, providing opportunities to network with likeminded individuals in industry and showcase the various ways in which the work we do here at the LoLo centre is used in practice.
On the 16 May 2019 we were joined by two guest speakers, Lord Rupert Redesdale and Dr Clive Shrubsole, to highlight the various (and disparate) ways research into Energy Demand has been used throughout their respective career paths. Lord Rupert Redesdale is the CEO of the Energy Managers Association (EMA) and Low Energy Company (LEC). His career in Energy Demand started in 1991 when he took his seat in the House of Lords as an Energy Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats. The EMA promotes the development of energy management and the career structure of Energy Managers in the British economy and The LEC was launched in October 2013, aiming to drive the energy efficiency agenda by auditing companies according to their commitment to energy management. Dr. Clive Shrubsole is an Environmental and Public Health Scientist at Public Health England (PHE) who previously worked as a Project Manager at Cemplas Waterproofing and Concrete Specialist before returning to higher education in 2006, completing his degree in Environmental Science at the University of Greenwich. It is here Clive worked as an Environmental Compliance Practitioner at Linklaters and researcher at Carbon8 Systems during two placements, before joining UCL to complete his PhD thesis on Changes in Exposure to PM2.5 in Dwellings: An Unintended Consequence of Energy Efficient Refurbishment of the Housing Stock. Clive worked as a Senior Research Associate at UCL before leaving to join Public Health England last October.
The diverse career routes of the two guest speakers provided an ideal opportunity for students to explore the different destinations research into Energy Demand can lead to. The evening was designed to be relatively informal, with the chance for students to ask questions following the presentations. Lord Redesdale kicked off the talks first, discussing the ever-political nature of energy research in today’s climate and the dichotomy that can arise when academics and politicians collaborate, despite a shared agenda. The take-home advice being that simply translating academic findings into plain English can hold great benefits for PhD students who wanted to make a difference via political means, by improving likelihood of the research reaching policy-makers.
Dr Shrubsole echoed this piece of wisdom, explaining that for every piece of work published during his PhD, he produced a supplementary document detailing the main findings of the research to a lay audience. Clive talked us through the individual steps of his seemingly disparate (though energy-related!) career path that had made him an ideal candidate for his role at PHE today, emphasising the importance of having other interests alongside the PhD, and how arriving at a difficult crossroads in his life lead to his decision to re-enter higher education as a mature student.
The evening was rounded off with refreshments and the chance to speak with the guest speakers personally. If you would like to speak at an Energy Demand in Practice event, contact one of our LoLo representatives at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
by Lauren Ferguson – LoLo UCL MPhil Student