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Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency research at the University of Cambridge cuts across all other energy research themes.  Examples of key initiatives that focus on energy efficiency include:

  • Integrated consideration of buildings, transport and urban planning, including the Energy Efficient Cities Initiative, which addresses energy demand reduction in the urban environment by integrating design and development of novel technologies for energy efficient cities, with links to economic, policy and regulatory considerations.
  • Energy efficient buildings, using novel design and new technologies to reduce the energy consumed in business and domestic buildings, including the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment project and work at the BP Institute on energy efficiency for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning).
  • Investigations into energy use, emissions, environmental impact, capital and operating costs of current and future transport technology and the system wide impact of technological innovations through the use of global transport demand modelling and transport system technology assessment.
  • Energy efficient chemical, refining and materials production processes, as well as energy efficient recycling processes.  This research is focussed in the Departments of Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology and Materials Science and Metallurgy.
  • Investigations into global and regional energy demand scenarios and energy policy interventions to increase energy efficiency and reduce demand.  Two of the largest research groups in Cambridge addressing these issues are the Energy Policy Research Group and the Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research.
  • Optimising the design of the next generation radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, for low power consumption and utilisation of novel renewable energy technologies in a desert environment in the Cavendish Laboratory.

Please visit individual faculty profiles to learn more about their research in the Energy Efficiency theme.  The Energy Lead for Energy Efficiency can be to discuss university-wide initiatives and opportunities.

People specializing in this area

Principal Investigators

Professor Abir Al-Tabbaa
  • Energy efficiency of cement production
  • Energy efficient production of materials for environmental applications
  • Synthesis of energy efficient infrastructure


Professor Ross Anderson

Demand response

Professor Jeremy Baumberg
  • Semiconductor and Polymer Microcavities
  • Ultrafast spectroscopy and NanoPhotonics
  • Photonic Crystals and Polymer Opals
  • Plasmonics and MetaMaterials
  • Self-Assembly and directed assembly of NanoMaterials
Dr Alan Blackwell

User interfaces of energy monitoring systems, energy controls, and feedback for behaviour change.

Dr. Adam Boies

Our energy efficiency research focuses on macro-level analysis of transportation to advancing low-carbon and low-emission transportation solutions. 

Professor David Cardwell
  • High temperature superconductivity
  • Processing of bulk superconductors
  • Magnetic properties of bulk superconductors
  • Engineering applications of high temperature superconductors
Professor Tony Cheetham

Functional Inorganic and Hybrid Materials

Professor Daping Chu

Responsive and high performance functional control structures and panels (both glazing and other) which can be integrated into the built environment

Dr Jacqui Cole

The design and functionalisation of new materials for optoelectronic  applications, with particular interests in:

  • dye-sensitised solar cells
  • optical data storage
  • non-linear optics.
Professor Harry Coles

Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics

Dr. Tim Coombs

Low loss transmission and generation

Lightweight and efficient electrical machines

Dr Jonathan Cullen

Jonathan's research interests include whole energy systems, energy and material demand reduction and low-carbon energy technologies.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling

Energy efficient cities and transport

Professor Andrea Ferrari

Nanomaterials and Spectroscopy

Dr. Andrew Flewitt

Semi-transparent solar cells for glazing

Professor Keith Glover

Control Group within the Information Engineering Division

Professor Bartlomiej Andrzej Glowacki

Application of superconductivity in everyday life

Professor Andy Hopper

Computer Technology

Professor Sir Colin Humphreys

Gallium Nitride, Electron Microscopy and Aerospace

Dr Hannah Joyce

Semiconductor nanowires (diameter 10 - 100 nm and lengths well over 1 micron

Professor Frank Kelly

His main research interests are in random processes, networks and optimization. He is especially interested in applications to the design and control of networks and to the understanding of self-regulation in large-scale systems.

Professor Ian Leslie

The use of information systems to reduce energy demand.

Professor Steven Victor Ley

The development of new synthesis methods and their application in the construction of  biologically important molecules.

Professor Paul Linden

Energy efficiency in buildings

Dr Teng Long

Electric drives and switch-mode power supplies in industrial and domestic applications. 

Professor Jan Maciejowski

Model Predictive Control (MPC): Use of online optimisation in real time  to control systems. Current applications include paper-making, spacecraft,  air-traffic management, surface mining, fault-tolerant control. Also building  and maintaining models of dynamic systems, both data-based and  physics-based.

Professor Duncan McFarlane
  • industrial control & automation,
  • reconfigurable industrial systems design,
  • analysis and synthesis of intelligent control systems,
  • automated identification systems,
  • value of industrial information & sensing,
  • track & trace systems,
  • information systems in complex industrial environments.
Professor Campbell Middleton

Campbell Middleton leads the Bridge Research Group which aims to improve our understanding of the behaviour of concrete bridges under load and to develop new analysis techniques for assessing the strength and reliability of these structures.

Professor Bill Milne

Advanced Photonics and Electronics

Dr. Mauro Overend
  • Facade / Building Envelope Engineering
  • Structural Glass
  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Building Physics
  • Novel construction materials
Professor Richard Penty

Green (low energy per bit) communications

Dr Michael H. Ramage

Structural and material efficiency, low-energy materials, novel engineered timber

Dr Andrew Rice

Computing for the Future of the Planet is a research framework which we have been developing in the Computer Laboratory since 2006.  The intention is to identify and motivate computer science research questions

Professor Peter Robinson

The boundary between people and computers; this involves investigating new technologies to enhance communication  between computers and their users, and new applications to exploit these  technologies.

Professor Malcolm Smith
  • Control System Design
  • Frequency Response Methods
  • H-infinity Optimization
  • Nonlinear Systems
  • Adaptive Control
  • Active Suspension
Professor Kenichi Soga

Geothermal energy

Underground structures (building foundations, tunnels and openings) combined with ground source heat pump

Dr Phillip Stanley-Marbell

My research group develops techniques to reduce energy usage in sensor-driven computing systems. 

Professor Tim Wilkinson

Applications of holographic technology including adaptive optical interconnects, optical pattern recognition and display applications for novel liquid crystal electro-optic devices

Professor Ian Wilson
  • Process heat transfer, particularly with fluids subject to fouling
  • Fouling and cleaning of heat transfer and related systems
  • Thermal processing of complex fluids including food
  • Optimisation of heat transfer system design and operation