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Structures Research Group



I joined the Open University in April 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in Engineering. I am a civil and structural engineer, and before returning to academia I worked in industry for ten years designing infrastructure and buildings as part of multi-disciplinary teams; this has given me an invaluable understanding of how things get built in practice, and remains a strong influence on my research. I remain a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where I was previously Lecturer and Director of the IDBE masters course, and a Director of Studies in Engineering and Fellow of Newnham College.

Research Interests:

My research focuses primarily on environmental sustainability, in particular the rapid reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment.  This includes life cycle analysis of buildings, integration of renewable energy technologies, low carbon building materials, applying the principles of circular economy in construction, and extending the life of buildings.  Two additional interests are governance and stakeholder participation in flood risk management, and gender equality.  

I am currently principal supervisor for three PhD students, all at Cambridge: Hannah Baker (EPSRC, 2015-18) who is looking at multi-criteria decision-making in brownfield development, comparing the UK with the Netherlands and Australia, Wei Zhou (Cambridge Trusts/China, 2016-19), who is modelling energy consumption in the built environment and the impact of policy instruments in China, and Juan Canavera-Herrera (Cambridge Trusts/Colombia, 2016-19), who is researching adaptation to climate-change induced flooding for road infrastructure in Bogotá, Colombia. I am the co-supervisor for a number of other PhDs.

Senior Lecturer in General Engineering, The Open University
Fellow, Newnham College
Dr Alice  Moncaster
Not available for consultancy