Everyone in the LoLo community would like to congratulate (Dr) Ben Roberts on passing his viva with (very) minor corrections in November 2020.
Ben’s thesis title: “Ventilation and shading to reduce overheating in UK homes: an evaluation using matched pair test houses with synthetic occupants”
What was it about?
I conducted experiments in a matched pair of test houses with synthetic occupants to demonstrate how summertime overheating could be reduced using different ventilation and shading strategies. My research showed that closing curtains significantly reduces ventilation rates through open windows, which has implications for night ventilation; and neither of the strategies trialled during a heatwave prevented overheating, so other interventions are needed to maintain comfortable indoor environments. Then, using the test houses as a case study for modelling, I ran a multi-model dynamic thermal simulation validation exercise which allowed for quantification of the uncertainty in overheating prediction by dynamic thermal models (see https://doi.org/10.1177/0143624419847349).
What were the highlights of LoLo?
Being part of LoLo gave me the opportunity to gain expertise in an area that was quite new to me. The MRes, completed prior to the PhD, was a particularly useful way for me to gain new skills, which I then used in my PhD research. I am extremely grateful to have had access to the Loughborough University matched pair test houses in which to conduct my research.
What are you doing now?
I remain at Loughborough University as a Research Associate. In November 2020 I started a new project which involves researching ways to adapt dwellings to reduce extreme heat in sub-Saharan Africa (REFIT – Reducing the Impact of Extreme Heat to Improve Well-Being in Cities, British Academy). Prior to that, since January 2019, I was working as a Research Associate on the BEIS-funded Technical Evaluation of SMETER Technologies (TEST) Project.