I am Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Engineering at the School of Engineering, Cardiff University, UK.
As an interdisciplinary academic, I work in the broader field of smart, resilient and sustainable buildings and cities, with a focus on the cross-cutting areas linking climate (anthropogenic change mitigation, and adaptation), energy (demand vs. supply, building and district energy systems, smart grids, renewable energy, and decarbonisation), and environment (sustainable building and urban design, and urban thermal island)—underpinned by methods from building physics (modelling and simulation), information technology (building information modelling–BIM, computational intelligence, and remote sensing) and environmental psychology—with the end goal being the development of new methods, processes and tools to enhance the policy and practice of sustainable development.
After graduating in Architecture in 1999 and a short spell as a Lecturer, I started PhD in 2001 at University College Cork (UCC) to investigate the role of building simulation and mathematical optimisation in sustainable architectural design. I developed ArDOT, a BIM-based software framework for multi-domain, multicriteria optimisation of buildings to minimise energy consumption at optimum indoor environmental conditions. The PhD research was recognised with an International Building Performance Simulation Association award and laid the foundation for subsequent research in optimisation, and design of high performance buildings.
Post PhD, I moved to Loughborough University in 2007, after being at the University of Central Lancashire lecturing architectural design and technology for 2003–07. At Loughborough, I worked in the interstitial areas of building simulation, design optimisation and environmental psychology as part of the £11M EPSRC funded Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre, HaCIRIC—exploring the relationship between physical environments, projected increases in temperature, and occupant health and wellbeing. I was a Co-I in the EPSRC project that developed a simulation-based optimisation tool for minimising building carbon emissions and water use. I also secured two grants as PI from the British Council and Department of Energy and Climate Change, DECC on adaptable cities and 2050 energy pathways for Bangladesh respectively—marking a shift in the scope of my work—from individual buildings to cities and regions.
After moving to Cardiff University in 2013, I led the DECC-funded development of 2050 national energy, emissions and food pathways for Bangladesh, in association with industry, academia and the governments of UK and Bangladesh. The research focused on the socio-economic evolution of energy demand and how the increasing demand can be met in a without affecting energy security and carbon intensity. Key innovations include the open-source release of the entire underlying model and dataset for an energy-informed debate on policies. I secured four grants from the European commission (Horizon 2020 and FP7), primarily focussing on resource efficiency (energy and water) in the built environment. In MAS2TERING, I lead the development of a multi-agent systems platform for optimal management of the electricity generated by prosumers in a district, enabling new business model for house as a power plant, in association with European utilities. THERMOSS takes the concept further to include district heating systems. In the PERFORMER project, the focus is on improving the understanding of the interactions between users, buildings and energy systems, as well as on the development of resource-efficient and resilient built environment. In addition to my research, I am actively invovled in the development of standards and processes through the committee memberships in IEEE and ASHRAE on smart cities and climate change respectively.