Members of Sussex Energy Group

See the members of the group, including its doctoral students.

Our people

These members come from several Schools at Sussex as well as SPRU – the Science Policy Research Unit.


Marie Claire Brisbois

Marie Claire Brisbois

Marie Claire Brisbois is a Lecturer in Energy Policy at SPRU. She is Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group and Co-Convenor of the Online Masters in Energy Policy. Her work examines questions of structural power, politics and influence in energy, water and natural resource governance contexts.

Areas of expertise: energy policy, political power, power, sustainability transitions, energy governance, water governance, collaborative governance, grassroots innovation, energy transitions

Projects: Powershifts , Carbon-Intensive Regions, ROLES.

Mari Martiskainenpic of Mari

Mari is Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group. She is also the Theme lead in Equity and Justice for the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS). Mari is a social scientist with a focus on sustainability transitions and finding out how we can ensure that net zero energy, housing and transport systems help create an equal society for everyone. She has researched a wide range of topics including the energy justice implications of low carbon transitions, development of low energy housing, community action on fuel poverty, and diffusion of renewables. Mari’s research has been published widely, and she regularly advises and works with different stakeholders and partners, including government departments, not-for-profit organisations, business and consultants. Mari also supervises MSc and PhD students and teaches on the online Energy Policy MSc. 

Areas of expertise: Energy justice, community energy, energy efficiency, energy policy, fuel poverty, grassroots innovations, sustainability transitions.


Matthew LockwoodMatthew Lockwood headshot

Matthew Lockwood has worked on climate and energy policy for over 15 years and serves as Co-director of the Sussex Energy Group. He joined SPRU in December 2018 from the Energy Policy Group at the University of Exeter, where he was a Senior Research Fellow working on innovation and governance in the UK energy system, with a particular focus on institutions. Prior to that he was the head of the climate change team at the Institute of Development Studies at Brighton. He has also worked for the Institute for Public Policy Research, in the NGO sector, and for national and London government. He has an MPhil in economics and a DPhil in social and political sciences, both from the University of Oxford.

Areas of expertise: Political economy of climate and energy, political stability of decarbonisation policies in the energy sector, role of incumbents in influencing policy design, institutional contexts between countries affecting policies and outcomes. 

Projects: The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC)Going Dutch

SPRU – University of Sussex Business School

Rocio Alvarez TinocoRocio Alvarez Tinoco

Rocio Alvarez Tinoco is a Research Fellow at SPRU with extensive experience as a researcher and consultant for development working with international organisations and firms, as well as in teaching management of innovation and strategy. Rocio has a PhD and MSc in Science and Technology Policy Studies from SPRU and an MSc in Food Technology and Management Science from the University of London.

Areas of expertise: Science, technology, and innovation policy studies for development; knowledge processes for climate change, sustainability, capabilities building and understanding complex systems.

Projects: LANDMARC

Lucy Bakerphoto of Lucy

Lucy Baker's areas of research include: the political economy of energy; socio-technical transitions; and low carbon development in low & middle income countries. Prior to joining academia she worked in policy and campaigns with non-governmental organisations Oxfam, Amnesty International, Bretton Woods Project. She has a working proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Areas of expertise: Electricity, Energy finance, energy policy, Energy transitions, Political economy, Renewable Energy, Socio-technical transitions.

Projects: Energy demand and the UK steel economy, Reorienting investments and divesting from fossil fuel assets , Urban transformation in South Africa through co-designing energy services provision pathways , China’s Involvement in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Sector , INNOPATHS

Noam BergmanNoam Bergman photo

Noam Bergman is a lecturer in Energy Policy with interests in energy and sustainability. He studied physics and environmental sciences before switching to interdisciplinary research on transitions to sustainability, first at the University of East Anglia and then the University of Oxford. He joined SPRU in 2015 to work at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand.

Areas of expertise: Energy transitions, microgeneration, transport, human dimensions of energy use.

Projects: Futures of Personal Mobility, Reorienting investments and divesting from fossil fuel assets, CREDS.

Donal BrownDonal photo

Donal is a Research Fellow at both SPRU and in Renewable Electricity Business models at the University of Leeds as part of the European Union H2020 project's - Solar-Biomass Reversible energy system (Sol-Bio-Rev) and Prosumers in the Energy Union (PROSEU). Donal is Sustainability Director at an innovative Design and Build practice - Sustainable Design Collective. Donal has past experience in sustainable energy consultancy, a first class BSc in Environmental Science, Distinction in Climate Change and Policy MSc and PhD in Domestic Retrofit from SPRU. A sustainable energy and energy demand specialist in the low carbon housing sector; Donal has provided consultancy on renewable energy and sustainable solutions to the UK Labour Party. Donal has in depth technical knowledge of renewable energy systems as well as Passivhaus and energy efficient design, a research background in energy policy, innovation and energy economics, and senior experience in business strategy, project management, financial analysis and personnel management.

Projects: Sol-Bio-Rev

Rob Byrnepicture of Rob Byrne

Rob Byrne is a Senior Lecturer at SPRU and has been working in the sustainable energy field for more than 15 years as an engineer, a project manager and, more recently, in policy analysis. He is particularly experienced in energy and development in an African context, having spent a total of five years on renewable energy projects in a number of countries (Botswana, Tanzania and Kenya). He also teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level in energy, development and sustainability issues.

Areas of expertise: Climate policy, energy policy, Innovation for sustainability, Low carbon development, Renewables, Socio-technical transitions.

Projects: STEPS Centre

Roberto Cantoni

Profile Photo of Roberto

Roberto is a research fellow at SPRU, working on EU-funded project CINTRAN (Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition - Unravelling the Challenges of Structural Change. Before joining SPRU, Roberto worked in the energy humanities and, more broadly, STS, in several institutions in Europe (LATTS - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech; CERI - Sciences Po Paris; Department of Sociology - Universität Augsburg; ZEF - Universität Bonn; CEHIC - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). He obtained his PhD (History of Science, Technology and Medicine) from the University of Manchester with a thesis on oil exploration, diplomacy and security in Cold War France and Italy. Following that, he was worked on the sociology of shale gas in France and Poland; on nuclear energy in France and Italy; on solar energy in West Africa. His current, main research focus is on energy justice.

Projects: CINTRAN

Claire CopelandClaire photo

Claire Copeland is undertaking a PhD in SPRU, looking at economic constraint due to changes in net energy supply in the transition to a low carbon economy. Alongside her Phd, Claire works on the policy engagement initiative, Policy @ Sussex, developing Policy Briefings and helping academics respond to Select Committee inquiries. In 2015 Claire was awarded a Research Fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) where she conducted research and compiled the policy briefing on The Future of Natural Gas in the UK.

Projects: Policy @ Sussex, CESI

Ed DearnleyEd Dearnley photo

Ed is the Programme Manager for SEG. He assists SEG’s Directors with group activities and development, and provides project management and other support for the energy projects portfolio. Prior to joining SPRU Ed worked in environmental policy for NGOs and as a consultant, where his work included air quality policy development and production of widely used policy-to-practice guidance.

Anna DevenishProfile photo of Anna Devenish

Anna is a Research Fellow in the Governance of Heat Transitions at SPRU. She works with Dr Matthew Lockwood on a research project funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (Going Dutch?). The project uses a comparative qualitative case study to compare how political and institutional contexts have shaped governance arrangements for heat decarbonisation and natural gas phase-out in the UK and the Netherlands. Anna received a PhD in Public Policy from Oregon State University in 2020. For her dissertation, she used a mixed-method study to examine barriers and facilitators of incentive-based demand response development in the U.S. electricity sector. She previously worked at the World Resources Institute and the Utah Office of Energy Development.

Areas of expertise: governance of energy transition, heat decarbonisation, demand-side management in the electricity sector, siting of renewable energy projects

Projects: Going Dutch? 

Adrian Ely

Adrian Ely photo

Adrian Ely is interested in innovation for sustainable agri-food systems, especially with respect to their energy/ resource intensity and environmental risks.  He has looked at these issues in Europe, North America, East Africa and China, most recently through the project ‘Low Carbon Innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practice’. He is a deputy director of the ESRC STEPS Centre and co-leads the ISSC  'Transformative Pathways to Sustainability' network as part of the work of the centre's global consortium.

Projects: STEPS Centre , Low Carbon Innovation in China

Tim Foxonpicture of Tim Foxon

Prof Tim Foxon is Professor of Sustainability Transitions at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex. He was previously a Reader in Sustainability and Innovation at the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI), University of Leeds, and a Research Associate at University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. His research explores technological and social factors relating to the innovation of new energy technologies, co-evolution of technologies and institutions for a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy, and interdependencies between energy use and economic growth.

Areas of expertise: Low carbon transitions, innovation systems, industrial strategy, reorienting investment, energy and economic growth.

Projects: Low carbon industrial strategy, Economic growth and energy demand, Exergy economics, iBUILD, CREDS

Dylan Furszyfer Del Riopicture of Dylan

Dylan is a research fellow at SPRU working on smart, industrial, and household energy systems in Mexico, Northern Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. Dylan holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London - Centre for Environmental Policy- and a PhD in Environmental Policy from the same institution, where he examined technology adoption and household energy behaviours. Prior to beginning his PhD, Dylan worked at CFE (the state provider of electricity in Mexico) where he collaborated in developing and conducting research for the sustainable development agenda. He also has experience working with French Development Agency (AFD). Right after his BA in international relations, Dylan worked with the Association of Volunteers in the International Service (AVCI) to improve education systems in the poorest communities in the south of Mexico.

Projects: CREDS

Bipashyee Ghosh

Bipashyee G photo

Bipashyee Ghosh is a Research Fellow at Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, UK, working in the Deep Transitions and Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) research projects.  She recently completed her PhD in Science and Technology Policy from SPRU, studying sustainability transitions and transformations in urban mobility systems in Global South megacities. She has a Master’s degree in Innovation Sciences from Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Jadavpur University (India). She also served as a climate change activist, working with British Council, India. Bipashyee is interested in transdisciplinary research and collaborations for fostering innovations that can lead to social and technological transformations towards sustainable and inclusive urban futures. Follow her on Twitter @bipashyee and in Linkedin

Areas of expertise: Sustainable transport, urban mobility, Sustainability transitions, smart cities, Global South.

Sabine HielscherSabine Hielscher photo

Sabine Hielscher joined SPRU as a Research Fellow in October 2010. Her work has focused on studying grassroots innovations. Since 2015, she has also been a Research Fellow at the Centre for Technology and Society (ZTG), Technical University of Berlin. Prior to joining SPRU, Sabine completed an EPSRC funded PhD in Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University.

Areas of expertise: Sustainable energy and civil society activities, ‘Smart’ energy transitions , Everyday practices and energy demand.

Projects: Social Innovation in Energy Transitions (SONNET)

Ralitsa HitevaRalitsa Hiteva photo

Ralitsa Hiteva is a Research Fellow specialising in infrastructure governance and regulation. Ralitsa works on changes to business models for infrastructure provision due to pressures such as cross–sector integrations and low carbon transitions; and the complex governance arrangements across scales and multi-scale systems strategic infrastructure decision-making.

Areas of expertise: Low carbon infrastructure; Governance, regulation and business model innovations for energy services; Energy policy; Energy intermediaries; Smart grids and smart cities; Renewables and offshore wind.

Projects: CREDS

Marc HudsonProfile photo of Marc Hudson

Marc completed his PhD at the University of Manchester in May 2019. Contributing to the burgeoning field of the politics of sustainability transitions, it investigated the strategic responses of incumbents to proposals for carbon pricing in the last thirty years at the Federal level in Australia. He then worked at Keele University, and was affiliated to the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity. His work involved teaching on a history of protest course, and researching activist biographies (interviewing long-term activists). He has published articles in academic journals: Energy Research & Social Science, Technology in Society and (as a co-author) in Global Discourse and contributed a book chapter to a Palgrave Macmillan publication.

As of November 2021, he is a Research Fellow at University of Sussex, at the Science Policy Research Unit examining the politics of industrial decarbonisation policy, in the UK and other countries.

Areas of expertise: Energy Humanities (1970s eco-castrophe fiction especially); local authority (in)action on climate; social movement organisation (dys)functionality.

Projects: The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC)

Marfuga Iskandarova

Marfuga has research interest and expertise in the areas of innovation, emerging technologies, renewable energy, sustainability, andProfile photograph of Marfuga energy policy and regulation. She joined SPRU, University of Sussex in August 2020 to work on the EU-funded Horizon 2020 SONNET project. The project brings diverse groups together to make sense of how social innovation can bring about a more sustainable energy sector in Europe. Before joining SPRU Marfuga was working as a postdoctoral researcher at Small Business Research Centre (SBRC), Kingston University London, on a number of research projects, including three-year 'ENERGISE' initiative funded by EU Horizon2020 which investigates socio-economic, cultural and political aspects of the energy transition developing tools for changing individual- and community-level energy consumption ( .

Projects: SONNET

Phil Johnstone

Phil Johnstone photo

Phil is a Research Fellow with a background in Human Geography and Science and Technology Studies interested in energy policy, the political and democratic implications of technological development, understanding the role and nature of the state in the 21st century, and developing more spatial understandings of Science & Technology policy. Before joining SPRU he completed a PhD on Public Engagement with Nuclear Power in the UK at the University of Exeter.

ProjectsDeep Transitions

Sofia Kesidoupicture of Sofia Kesidou

Sofia Kesidou joined SPRU as a doctoral researcher in September 2015. Her research focuses on supply chain integration within the construction industry and its impact on the delivery of low energy innovations in non-domestic buildings. Sofia has 14 years’ experience in sustainability consulting within the construction sector. She holds a BA(Hons) in Architectural Studies and an MRes in the Built Environment with Distinction.

Paula Kivimaapicture of Paula Kivimaa

Dr Kivimaa is Senior Research Fellow at SPRU since 2015, and Research Professor in Climate and Society in the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). She has published circa 40 peer-reviewed articles and contributed to several reports, policy briefs and consultation responses addressed to policymakers in climate, energy, transport, and innovation policy.

Areas of expertise: Climate and energy policy, Policy analysis and evaluation from innovation and transition perspectives, Innovation in building energy efficiency, transport and bioenergy, Intermediary organisations and actors in sociotechnical transitions, Policy integration and coherence, Policy Experimentation.

Projects: Smart Energy Transition (SET)

Max Lacey-BarnacleProfile Photo of Max Lacey-Barnacle

Max joined SPRU as a Research Fellow in Energy Justice in February 2020 after completing his PhD at Cardiff university in 2019, focusing on the energy justice implications of energy decentralisation. His research and policy interests lie at the intersection of climate change policy and social inequality, equity and justice. Before joining SPRU, Max spent one year as a Policy Officer at the Energy Saving Trust, where he participated in Welsh, UK and EU energy and climate policy projects, focusing on community energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon transport initiatives. He has also previously worked for the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, focusing on extending energy justice research in the developing world and collaborating with academics from METU in Ankara, Turkey.

Projects: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship on 'Democratising the Just Transition: critically exploring the role of Community Wealth Building pathways and approaches'.

Katherine Lovell

Kat Lovell photo

Katherine is a Research Fellow in SPRU. Her research is focused on how established infrastructure systems can develop and change. Prior to joining SPRU Katherine worked at Imperial College London conducting research on innovation and restructuring in the railway sector, first as a researcher as part of Rail Research UK and then as a PhD student in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at Imperial College Business School.

Areas of expertise: Business models, Infrastructures, Innovation studies, Large Technical Systems, Railway system.


Gordon Mackerronphoto of Gordon Mackerron

Gordon is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at SPRU. He was formerly the Director of the Sussex Energy Group as well as the Director of SPRU. His original training is in economics, with particular interest in nuclear power both in the UK and internationally.  Gordon has held multiple advisory roles in public policy and was previously member of The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and Chair of Committee on Radioactive Waste Management  

Areas of expertise: Economics, politics and innovation in the energy system, specialising in nuclear power and policy trade-offs.


Irene MaffiniIrene Maffini photo

Irene Maffini is a part-time PhD student. Irene holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College (UK) and a double degree in Business & Economics from Northeastern University (US) and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy). Irene is an Independent Expert on innovation projects for the European Commission and Climate-KIC and a Consultant to UNDP and various cleantech ventures.

Areas of expertise: Clean energy investment, alternative finance (e.g. crowdfunding), commercialisation, incubation and innovation policy.

Fiona MarshallFiona Marshall photo

Fiona is a Professor at SPRU and a specialist in environment and development, with over 20 years’ experience in the design, management and implementation of interdisciplinary research and engagement initiatives. Her research is concerned with sustainable development and, in particular, the impact of rapid social and environmental change on the livelihoods of poor and marginalised people in the developing world.

Areas of expertise: Ecosystem Services, Environment and Health, Innovation for sustainability, International Development, Natural Resource Management.

Abigail MartinAbigail Martin Headshot

Abigail Martin is an interdisciplinary social scientist and Research Fellow at SPRU. Her interests lie at the intersection of environmental politics and the governance of energy and agricultural value chains. She is particularly interested in questions concerning political economy and political ecology, including how capitalism shapes and is shaped by struggles over environmental injustices and economic inequality. She has looked at these issues in industrial policy for low-carbon biofuels in the US and Brazil, solar energy policies and energy efficiency programs in California, “green” innovation in global chemical value chains, and most recently the development of shale gas in the UK.

Areas of expertise: Climate change and energy governance, low-carbon development, “green” industrial policy, the politics of low-carbon verification, environmental justice

Projects: ‘Fracking’, Framing and Effective Participation

Giulia MininniProfile photo of Giulia M Mininni

Giulia M Mininni is a Research Fellow in Social Relations of Energy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) of the University of Sussex. Giulia was awarded her PhD from Keele University, UK, and her thesis focused on a case study of the solar programme of the Barefoot College (NGO) in India working on rural women’s engagement in energy technology training to promote their empowerment. She also holds an MSc on Environment and Sustainable Development from the University College London. Prior to her PhD Giulia has been working for different agencies in the fields of energy, environment and sustainability in the UK and in India.

Areas of expertise: gender and energy, energy justice, community energy, fuel poverty, sustainability, Global South.

Projects: CREDS Local Green New Deals; CREDS Place-based Business Renovation; Net Zero Neighbourhoods

Chukwuka Monyei

Profile photo of Chukwuka Monyei

Chukwuka is a research fellow at SPRU, working on the EU-funded project named JUSTNORTH (Toward Just, Ethical and Sustainable Arctic Economies, Environments and Societies). Prior to joining SPRU, Chukwuka worked as a research fellow on DBEIS funded projects at the Energy and Environment Institute (EEI), University of Hull and the Bristol Business School (BBS), University of the West of England. His current research interests centre around Energy Justice, Value Sensitive Design, Low-Carbon Energy Transitions and Sustainability.


Chantal NaidooChantal Naidoo photo

Chantal is a doctoral researcher working on the co-evolution of financial systems and green transformations. Her case work addresses the financing of South Africa’s renewable energy sector. She also supports countries on their long-term climate response programmes for funding by the GCF.

Her research interests are evolution of finance in transitions, DFIs and strategic approaches to development and climate support. 

Bryony ParrishBryony Parrish photo

Bryony Parrish joined Sussex in 2016. Her PhD research investigates UK residential user engagement with heat pumps and demand response, two technologies that are expected to contribute significantly to decarbonisation, but remain largely unfamiliar in the UK.

Previously Bryony worked as a Research Assistant at Imperial College (ICCEPT), in sustainability consultancy and as a secondary school science teacher.

Sandra PointelSandra Pointel photo

Sandra is a Doctoral Researcher, focusing on the politics and governance of energy transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Ghana. She is an experienced Associate Tutor, regularly teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students. Sandra has also hands-on experience of policy processes in West Africa, acquired through consultancy work for Climate Parliament.

Karoline Roggephoto of Karoline Rogge

Karoline Rogge is Senior Lecturer in Sustainability Innovation and Policy and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand and Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group. Her interdisciplinary research studies the link between policy and innovation in the energy sector, with a focus on transformative policy mixes for low-carbon energy transitions in Germany and the UK. Karoline is Course Director of the online MSc in Energy Policy which commenced in January 2019. She is also a Senior Researcher at Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Germany.

Areas of expertise: Energy innovation and transitions, policy mixes for transformative change, corporate strategic decision-making, market-based climate policy instruments, politics of transitions, social innovation, local transition governance, inter- and transdisciplinarity.

Projects: Smart Energy Transition (SET)Social Innovation in Energy Transitions (SONNET)EMPOCI

Roman Sidortsov

photo of Roman Sidortsov

Dr. Roman Sidortsov is a comparative socio-legal scholar focusing on the intersection of energy and environmental law and policy.    Dr. Sidortsov’s current and past academic appointments include an Assistant Professor of Energy Policy at Michigan Technological University, Senior Global Energy Fellow and summer and distance learning programs faculty at Vermont Law School, adjunct  professor at the Marlboro College Graduate School, and Assistant Professor at the Baikal State University of Economics and Law. Prior to transitioning to academia, Dr. Sidortsov practiced law in Russia as in-house counsel for an American non-profit organization and in the United States as a transactional attorney. Dr. Sidortsov’s research focuses on international and comparative energy law and policy with a special emphasis on the Russian Federation and the United States, revitalization of post-industrial communities through sustainable energy development, energy security and justice, risk governance in the energy sector, and Arctic energy development.

Areas of expertise: energy security and justice, risk governance of the energy sector, arctic energy development, russian energy and environmental law and policy, U.S. energy and environmental law and policy, pumped hydro storage

Projects: JUSTNorth

Adrian Smith

Adrian has been a contract researcher at SPRU since 1997. His first degree was in Mechanical Engineering (Bristol). He has a Masters degree in Environmental Technology (Imperial College, London), and a DPhil in Science & Technology Policy Studies (Sussex). From June 2017 he is a Visiting Professor for one year at the Centro de Innovación en Tecnología para el Desarrollo Humano at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid thanks to the 'cátedras de excelencia' programme of the Community of Madrid.

Areas of expertise: Grassroots innovation, Innovation studies, Politics of technology, STS, Sustainable development, Technology and society.

Benjamin Sovacool Headshot

Benjamin Sovacool

Professor Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom.

Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation.  More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. He is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), due to be published in 2022, and an Advisor on Energy to the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation in Brussels, Belgium.

Areas of expertise: Climate change adaptation, Climate change mitigation, energy justice, energy policy, energy security, Energy Supply, Sustainability: Environmental.

Projects: Societal Implications of Nordic Vehicle-to-Grid TransitionLeverage Points for Low Footprint Solutions in CitiesHOPEINNOPATHS‘Fracking’, Framing and Effective Participation, ROLES.

Steve SorrellSteven Sorrell Headshot

Steve is an energy and climate policy specialist with 25 years of experience in academic and consultancy research. He is currently Professor of Energy Policy in SPRU, Co-Director of Digital Society theme of the  Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, Co-Director of the MSc in Energy Policy and Honorary Senior Fellow at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College.

Areas of expertise: Energy and climate policy, energy efficiency, rebound effects, resource depletion.

Projects: CREDS.

Andrew StirlingAndy Stirling

Andy worked as a field archaeologist and ecology and peace activist in the 80s, going on to co-ordinate the nuclear, disarmament and energy campaigns for Greenpeace International. Andy completed his doctorate at SPRU and has worked here since 1995 as an interdisciplinary "policy-engaged" researcher. His current work here involves research and postgraduate teaching on democracy and sustainability in science and technology. Among many projects, he co-directs the ESRC-funded joint IDS-SPRU STEPS Centre, am Deputy Director for the DEFRA-funded joint Surrey-Sussex Research Group on Sustainable Lifestyles, and is the Director of a spin-off University Enterprise on Multicriteria Mapping.

Areas of expertise: Technology politics, science and technology studies, ecological economics, energy policy, innovation democracy, Sustainability transformations, uncertainty, precaution and diversity.

Projects: STEPS Centre, DiscGo, MCM‘Fracking’, Framing and Effective Participation.

Blanche TingBlanche Ting photo

Blanche is a Doctoral researcher and Tutor based at SPRU. Her PhD is analysing the relationship between industrial policy, energy security and the implications on sustainable development.  Her area of focus is primarily on electricity generation from renewable energy, coal and gas. She holds two Masters Degrees: Climate Change and Development from IDS as a Mandela-Sussex Scholar and Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Projects: TIPC

Paul Upham

Profile photo of Paul Upham

Paul Upham is a Research Fellow in Energy Policy in the Sussex Energy Group, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex Business School. He previously held the Chair for Human Behaviour and Sustainable Development at Leuphana University, Germany. Paul works on the social processes involved in energy transitions at individual, organisational and institutional levels, particularly connections between these levels. He has been Visiting Professor at Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Innovation Studies group, Utrecht University; and Visiting Professor in Governance of Energy Systems and Climate Change at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki. He was previously University Senior Research Fellow in the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds; and Senior Research Fellow at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Manchester Business School (University of Manchester). He has published extensively on energy social science topics, co-investigating research funded by UK and European funders.

Areas of expertise: Psychological and social theory; research design in sociotechnical transitions studies; energy transitions governance; public and social acceptance of energy technology and infrastructure.


Anna Watson

Anna Watson photo

Anna’s PhD examines the political economy of clean energy innovation organisations, utilising case studies from the UK and US to better understand why different countries pursue different clean energy portfolios.

Areas of expertise: Renewables policy, Institutional economics, Political economy.

Laurence Williams

Photo of Laurence Williams

Laurence joined as research fellow in 2018. He currently works on the NERC and ESRC funded project ‘Fracking’, Framing and Effective Participation. The project looks at the socio-political challenges facing shale development in the UK that arise from its contested nature. He initially joined SPRU in 2014 to conduct a PhD on the English planning system’s oversight of shale gas development and the scope for the accommodation of public views therein. Prior to this, he completed a Masters by research degree jointly within the Geography Departmart, Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience and the Durham Energy Institute, all at Durham University.

Areas of expertise: Hydraulic fracturing and shale gas, Planning, Power and decision making, Public involvement with science, Techno-scientific controversies.

Projects: ‘Fracking’, Framing and Effective ParticipationCREDS.

Keija Yangphoto of Keija Yang

I joined SPRU in September 2016. Before come here I worked as a research assistant in Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where I got my master degree. My doctoral research mainly focused on actor interactions and transformation with cases of solar and wind power in China.

Areas of expertise: Energy transition and sustainability, renewable energy, low-carbon economy, evidence-based policy making, scientific advice.

SPRU doctoral students

Abbas AbdulRafiuphoto of Abbas

Abbas is a Doctoral researcher working on dynamics of public research funding across the domains energy systems at SPRU. He is a low carbon development specialist with extensive experience Climate Change and Energy financing in Africa. He holds a master’s in Environment and Resource Management and MSc. Energy Policy University of Sussex. He is a co-founder of Africa Green Mini-Grid Community of Practice (AfGMG), and co-founder of Africa Partnership Low Emission Development Strategies (AfLEDS).

Projects: De-Risking Renewable Energy Investments (DREI) in Africa.

Asli AtesProfile photo of Asli Ates

Asli is a PhD Researcher at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex and works for the ERC funded EMPOCI project under the supervision of Prof. Karoline Rogge and Dr. Katherine Lovell. In her PhD project, she particularly look at the role of data (and policies) in an increasingly connected electricity and mobility systems for accelerating sustainability transitions in the UK. She employs mixed-method research in my project and experiments with novel approaches for methodological advancement including natural language processing techniques.

She holds an MSc in Sustainable Development from SPRU, University of Sussex, and a BSc in Management Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. She also worked on several projects in academia,and the private and non-profit sectors.

Cecilia Llamosas

photo of Cecilia

Cecilia Llamosas is a PhD researcher at SPRU. Her current research is focused on energy justice and energy security dimensions of the distribution of transboundary and cross border hydropower dams. She specialised in Energy Systems in Germany (Jülich Forschungs Zentrum) and the United States (Argonne National Laboratories) and holds a masters degree from Leuphana University in Lüneburg where she worked under supervision of Prof. Paul Upham and Prof. Sybille Münch analysing the political dynamics of energy policy making in Paraguay.

In Paraguay, she works in the intersection between academia and policy. She coordinates the Energy Policy Lab at the Energy Systems Research Group of the University of Asunción and co-founded CRECE, a think tank in 2017 where she has acted as a consultant for the IADB, UNDP, CAF and government institutions in Paraguay and Latin America in Energy and Transport Policy. In 2019, she was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board to the Paraguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the negotiation of the Treaty of Itaipu with Brazil. She has been selected as a Policy Leaders Fellow of the School of Transnational Governance in the European University Institute in Florence where she will work on a database on transboundary hydropower benefits.

Thesis Working Title: Justice and security implications of large transboundary hydropower dams - A comparative analysis

Supervisors: Lucy Baker and Benjamin Sovacool

Yushi ChenYushi

Yushi Chen is currently a Doctoral Researcher at Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, majoring in Science and Technology Policy Studies. His supervisors are Tim Foxon and Ralitsa Hiteva. He did his master at Imperial College London, majoring in Climate Change, Management and Finance. He finished his bachelor degree at The University of Tulsa, double majoring in Energy Management and Finance. His research question involves how blockchain shapes the interaction between the energy and financial systems towards low carbon transition. He has more than three years of working experience in sustainable finance, cleantech, and digital finance. He worked in five different countries including US, UK, Singapore, Switzerland and China. He has developed strong financial acumen from experience in investment banking, venture capital firm, and hedge fund. He previously worked in large businesses including large internet companies, the big four and small startups. Technology capabilities in AI, Blockchain, IoT, and Big Data.

Aline ScherrerProfile photo of Aline

Aline Scherrer is a doctoral researcher at SPRU and holds an MSc in Sustainable Development with a major in Governance from the University of Utrecht. She is interested in social science aspects of low-carbon energy transitions with a particular focus on technology change in transportation. In her PhD, she examines the case of competing alternative drives to find out how technology interactions can support or hamper transitions. Aline’s research interests include theories of socio-technical change, sustainability transitions, social acceptance, innovation studies, systems thinking, and actor coalitions and networks. She is also a junior researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Qi SongProfile photo of Qi Song

Qi Song is a doctoral researcher at SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex. Funded by the EMPOCI project, his PhD research is investigating the role of transformative policy mixes in accelerating energy-mobility transitions. Qi's area of focus is primarily on the interdisciplinary perspectives, bridging innovation studies and policy sciences, in terms of capturing multi-sector, multi-level, multi-actor dynamics towards systemic socio-technical transitions. Qi holds an MSc in Science and Technology Policy from SPRU and a BMgmt in Public Administration from the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), China.

Valentin Vogl

Profile photo of Valentin

Valentin is a PhD student at the Department of Technology and Society at Lund University, Sweden. His PhD investigates the decarbonisation of the global steel industry. He works with a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods such as policy and discourse analysis, modelling, and techno-economic assessment. Valentin has a BSc and MSc in chemical and process engineering from the University of Graz, Austria. Engagement with non-academic stakeholders forms an important part of his PhD work, such as recently by providing evidence for the Cumbria coal mine public inquiry, coordinating the launch of a global green steel tracker, and contributing to the Green New Deal for Europe.

SPRU visiting researchers

No current visiting researchers.

Business and Management – University of Sussex Business School

Michael CoulonMichael Coulon photo

Michael Coulon is a Senior Lecturer in Finance in the department of Business and Management. Prior to joining the University of Sussex as a Lecturer in July 2013, Michael worked as a postdoctoral research associate and associate research scholar at Princeton University (2009-2013), in the department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE).

Areas of expertise: Commodities, Energy, Environmental policy, Finance, Financial Mathematics, Financial Modelling.

School of Global Studies

Andrea Brock

Andrea BrockAndrea Brock researches the political ecology of extractivism, particularly coal and fracking, in Germany and the UK. Her PhD explored the political economy of biodiversity offsetting and its role in legitimising extractive operation and invisibilising the voilent ingerent in coal mining.

She current works as a lecturer in International Relations at the School of Global Studies. 

David Ockwellphoto Dave Ockwell

David is a Professor in the Department of Geography, co-convenor of the Climate and Energy research domain in the ESRC STEPS Centre, a member of the Sussex Energy Group at SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), Fellow of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and a board member of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN).

His research, teaching and international policy advisory work focuses on sustainable technology, innovation and development, with a particular current focus on sustainable energy access and climate technology transfer and development. He also has a nascent interest in work on public engagement with climate change and low carbon behaviour change.

Areas of expertise: Climate change, Climate change mitigation, climate policy, Energy and climate policy, Energy transitions, Innovation Policy, International Development, Sustainable energy production

Projects: The political economy of state-led transformations in pro-poor low carbon energy: A comparative study across China and Kenya

Pathways: Making international climate change policy work for low-income countries: Supporting East African policy makers in leveraging international climate finance for low carbon economic growth and poverty alleviation

Jan Selbyphoto of Jan Selby

Jan Selby is a Professor of International Relations. His research focuses mainly on water, climate and energy security, though he also maintains interests in peace-building and peace processes, the links between conflict and development, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and International Relations theory. 

Areas of expertise: Environmental security, Israel-Palestine, Peace processes


Andrew Hook   Andrew Hook headshot

Andrew is a Research Fellow in Energy Justice and Transitions who joined SPRU in 2018. He is working on the Innovation Pathways, Strategies and Policies for the Low-Carbon Transition in Europe (INNOPATHS), as well as other SPRU projects, such as Digital Society and Energy Demand.

Areas of expertise: The political economy and political ecology of: energy justice, low carbon transitions, climate change policy, and extractive industries.


School of Law, Politics and Sociology

Francis McGowan

Francis Mcgowan photo

Francis McGowan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Sussex University. 

Areas of expertise: EU Energy Policy:  Shale Gas Development and Regulation; Renewable Energy in Europe; Comparative Policy Analysis.

Projects: The Evolution of European Energy Policy; The Politics of Shale Gas in Europe and North America

School of Engineering and Informatics

Peter Fussey

Peter Fussey headshotPeter Fussey has worked in the Automotive industry for 25 years in the areas of Control and Electronics, Emissions Control, Hybrid Vehicles through to Noise and Vibration. In 2016 he joined the University of Sussex as an Industrial Research Professor in Engineering where he leads research bids in a wide range of fields from Electric and Hybrid vehicle technology, Control Systems and applications of Machine Learning to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. 

Areas of expertise: Automotive Applications, Combustion, Control Engineering, diagnostics, Emissions (Combustion), Model Predictive Control, Noise and Vibration Control, Optimal Control, Real-time Software Systems, Software Quality, Systems modelling, Vehicle Emissions. 

Spyros Skarvelis-Kazakos

Spyros Skarvelis-Kazakos

Dr Spyros Skarvelis-Kazakos is a creative engineer working on smart grids and renewable energy. With a PhD from Cardiff University, he joined Sussex in 2015. He has successfully attracted research funding and participated in major EU projects. Professional activities include EPSRC Peer Review College and IEEE and CIGRE Working Groups.

Areas of expertise: Resilient and reliable operation of electricity networks, Integrated energy systems (electricity, gas, heat, etc), Intelligent control and co-ordination of energy resources, Distributed energy resources, microgrids.

School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Simon PeetersProfile Photo of Simon Peeters

Prof Simon Peeters is Professor of Physics at the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sussex. After obtaining his PhD in Experimental High Energy Physics at the University of Amsterdam, he joined the University of Oxford, where he specialised in neutrino physics. In 2007, he joined the University of Sussex. In 2016, he shared in the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He has always had a keen interest in sustainability, nuclear energy, and renewable energy.

Areas of expertise: physics, data science

Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

Ana PueyoAna Pueyo

Dr Ana Pueyo is a Research Fellow at IDS, where she leads research on energy and development. Her key research areas are renewable energy investment in Africa and the social and economic impacts of sustainable energy. She holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering by Madrid´s Technical University, an MSc in Management of Information Systems by the London School of Economics, and a BSc in Business and Economics.

Areas of expertise: Renewable energy investment, economic and social impacts of electricity, energy policy, climate policy.

Projects: Unlocking the benefits or productive uses of energy for women, Green Growth Diagnostics for Africa, ESCO Box: Smart monitoring, billing and control for pro-poor access to energy services, Pro-Poor Access to Electricity, The Political Economy of Climate-Compatible Development. 

Wei Shenphoto of Wei Shen

Dr Wei Shen is a political economist who worked for development finance agencies in China for over ten years. His research interests include: the political economy of China’s low-carbon transformation and climate change policies; China’s role in global climate finance and climate governance; and South-South cooperation on climate change issues. 

Associate fellows

Adnan Z. Aminpicture of Adnan Amin

Adnan Z. Amin is the first Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and was granted the honorary title of Director-General Emeritus by the 2019 IRENA Assembly, at the conclusion of his tenure in recognition of his leadership and outstanding service to the Agency. Appointed for an initial four-year term in 2011, Mr. Amin was re-appointed unanimously by the Assembly for a second term in 2015. During his tenure, IRENA became the authoritative voice of renewable energy and a leading player in the global energy transition. Mr. Amin oversaw the development of IRENA’s operations and programmatic work, directing the growth of the Agency’s knowledge framework, country support and regional engagement. During his tenure, IRENA actively engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including parliamentarians, the private sector and civil society to create an inclusive global platform for cooperation. Before his tenure at IRENA, Mr. Amin enjoyed a distinguished career serving the United Nations. He served as Head of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) Secretariat, the UN Secretary-General’s policy coordination body comprising the Executive Heads of the UN System. Mr. Amin also led the Secretariat for the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence, which resulted in an ambitious reform programme implemented under the framework of “One UN” and “Delivering as One”. Mr. Amin was also the Director of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) New York Office and Special Representative of the UNEP Executive Director.

Paul Dorfman Profile Photo of Paul Dorfman

Dr Paul Dorfman is Member of the Irish Govt. Environment Protection Agency Radiation Protection Advisory Committee; Founder of the Nuclear Consulting Group; Member of the International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group; Consultant to Greenpeace Environmental Trust. Paul served as Secretary to the UK Govt. scientific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters; led the European Environment Agency response to Fukushima; appointed Expert to the European Economic and Social Committee in the formation and construction of the European Energy Dialogue; served as Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence Nuclear Submarine Dismantling Project; and Adviser to the French Govt. Assemblee Nationale relative à la 'Faisabilité Technique et Financière du Démantèlement des Installations Nucléaire'. Paul has drafted sets of UK Department of Health National Health Service (NHS) Guidance.

Areas of Expertise: Nuclear policy, environmental risk, pollution control, and participatory democracy.

Lance Noel

picture of Lance Noel

Lance Noel is an Associate Faculty member at SPRU. His research areas include climate change mitigation policy, particularly large-scale renewable energy implementation, electric vehicles, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G). He previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University, exploring the sociotechnical benefits and barriers of electric vehicles and V2G in the Nordic region, resulting in 25 published articles as well as a book on the sociotechnical status of V2G. Lance graduated with a PhD from University of Delaware, focusing on the economic, legal and environmental implications of large-scale renewable energy integration.

Areas of expertise: Climate change policy, renewable energy integration, electric vehicles, vehicle-to-grid, sustainable transitions

Jan Rosenowphoto Jan Rosenow

Jan Rosenow is a Principal and Director of European Programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), a global team of highly-skilled energy experts. Jan has several board appointments including the IEA’s demand-side management programme, eceee, and EVO. Jan also has a passion for energy research. He is an Honorary Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and an Associate Fellow at SPRU. In recognition of his work within the field, Jan was named one of the world’s Top 25 energy influencers..