Everyone in the LoLo community would like to congratulate Pamela Fennell on passing her viva with minor corrections in December 2017.
Pamela’s thesis title was “The impacts of project scale, scope and risk allocation on financial returns for clients and contractors in Energy Performance Contracts – a stochastic modelling analysis”.
What was it about?
My PhD used stochastic modelling to explore the effects of project scale, scope and risk allocation on financial returns for clients and contractors in Energy Performance Contracts in UK schools. Although the global Energy Performance Contracting market is worth in excess of $24bn, little research has been undertaken to date to understand the impact of key procurement decisions on project outcomes. My research used cost data collected from interviews with industry participants and building energy simulation to model the impacts of energy efficiency upgrades. These were combined in a stochastic economic model to determine their impacts on client and contractor cash flows.
My results showed that some projects are not very well-suited to this form of procurement. In particular, cases with a small number of energy conservation measures perform less well than those with a more diverse set of measures. The way in which energy savings are measured is particularly important and more effective monitoring methods are needed, but crucially, these must be focused on the collection of data which facilitates the allocation of responsibilities between the parties. It is also clear that bundling smaller projects together may actually increase risks for the contractor unless there is a mechanism for balancing returns between individual projects.
What were the highlights of LoLo?
I joined LoLo after almost 15 years in industry so having the freedom to define my own research question and the time and space to develop a range of skills to explore it was a real highlight for me. I surprised myself with the range of new skills I acquired, but at the same time, found the project and time management skills developed during those years in industry to be invaluable.
What are you doing now?
I’m about to start a role as a research associate in UCL’s Energy Institute working on the development of an urban building stock and energy model for applications in the UK a