Bookmark and Share

Retirement of Professor Vic Hanby

December 2007

On 13th December 2007 friends, colleagues and family of Professor Vic Hanby gathered in Trinity Chapel at De Montfort University to mark his retirement. Vic has launched the careers of many researchers and the event provided an opportunity for some of these people to reflect on their fond memories.

Professor Jon Wright (Loughborough University) recalled the many PhD supervision meetings held in the Peak District while swinging from climbing ropes! Dr Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd (De Montfort University) remarked on Vic's highly regarded international standing in the research community and the personal impact he had made on his many students and colleagues. Professor Dennis Loveday (former colleague at Loughborough University) humorously recalled Vic's time as a trumpeter in a leading UK jazz band, brought to a premature end when his instrument dropped off the back of his motorbike! IESD Director Professor Kevin Lomas entertained the gathering with a poem written especially for the occasion, which was not short on references to a retirement spent between golf courses and Tesco.


Vic has worked for over 43 years in academia at Sheffield, Loughborough and De Montfort Universities during which time he has become one of the world leaders in his field. IESD are pleased that he will continue to work one day a week, helping budding young researchers with grant proposals, writing papers and supervision of PhD theses.

Everyone wishes Vic and Dorothy a long and happy retirement.

RIBA Award to IESD

November 2007

In recognition of the research work necessary to realise the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL, and the Harm A. Webber Faculty Building at Judson University in the USA, the RIBA president Sunand Prasad awarded his Gold Medal for practice-based architecture to the buildings’ design team. The award seeks to “champion high-quality research and encourage its dissemination and incorporation into the knowledge base of the [architecture] profession”.

The entry was submitted by the architects Short and Associates on behalf of the team.

Prof Lomas and Dr Cook of the IESD, who worked with Prof Short on both buildings, joined him at the ceremony on Wednesday 28th November to receive the award.

The award citation reads:

“This research is extremely significant in the worldwide body of knowledge that deals with passive and natural ventilation and cooling systems. The investigation of all kinds of simulation techniques through research integrated into the design process, combined with post-occupancy evaluation, has produced a body of knowledge that is exemplary.”

Prof Lomas said that:

“the architectural design innovation would not be possible without the robust simulation techniques that are now available. The award is a clear indication of the international significance of the body of work that the IESD is amassing and underlines the importance of the evidence base of innovative building performance that is being amassed.”

Dr Cook, who leads the IESD’s practice-based research endeavour, is pictured at the awards ceremony with Prof Short.


Neil Bowman Memorial Lecture 2007

October 2007

The seventh Neil Bowman Memorial Lecture took place in the Queens Building, De Montfort University, on Tuesday 30th October. This annual event provides a welcome opportunity to celebrate the work of the Institute’s Founding Director, Neil Bowman, who died in 1999.

The value of Neil Bowman’s contribution is reflected in the list of previous eminent guest speakers, including Mary Archer, Amory Lovins, Jonathan Poritt and David Fisk.

This year’s lecture was delivered by Roland Clift, CBE, FREng, Professor of Environmental Technology at the University of Surrey and former member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP), which in 2000 produced the influential report Energy: The Changing Climate.

Professor Clift’s talk on Energy – Past, Present and Future, explored how energy supply and consumption has evolved since the first public electricity supply in 1881 (at his home town of Guildford, powered by water mill).  He went on to give a personal insight into the direction this evolution might take over the next 50 years, to limit the effects of climate change.

Professor Clift explained that these developments will require new sources of energy supply, a large reduction of energy use in buildings, a decrease in the use of oil-based fuels and a return to the use of locally sourced biomass for space and water heating. He pointed to the value of community heating projects and the need for energy efficiency. Such changes could deliver carbon dioxide emissions reductions of 60% by 2050. Interestingly, Professor Clift commented that if the RCEP was writing its report today, he felt it would argue that still larger cuts are necessary.

The evening concluded with drinks and canapés.

University Opens Low-Energy Building

October 2007

The Harm A Webber academic centre at Judson University in Elgin, near Chicago, Illinois, officially opened its door for the first time In October. The building was opened by Dennis Hastert, a Republican and former Speaker of the House of Representatives and a symposium on sustainable cities was held in conjunction with the opening event.

The library and faculty buildings for the Division of Art, Design and Architecture utilises a hybrid combination of natural ventilation and air-conditioning to keep the building comfortable in both summer and winter with minimal use of energy. This was difficult to achieve in the Chicago region which has hot humid summers, frequently over 30 degrees centigrade, and winter temperatures down to -25 degrees centigrade. Nevertheless, the modelling work of the IESD’s practice-based research team showed that natural ventilation could be used for 50% of the year and that energy costs would be halved.

The hybrid strategy, designed by the IESD’s team in conjunction with UK architects Short and Associates, has attracted considerable interest in North America as a model that others might follow. The building has already won a number of awards including, most recently, the Award of Merit in the 2007 Midwest Construction Best of 2007 awards.

The building’s energy use and internal conditions are being closely monitored by the IESD with the assistance of staff from Judson University. This is part of the IESD’s wider programme of post-occupancy building performance evaluation.

Further information on the building’s environmental control strategy can be found in:

Lomas KJ, Cook MJ and Fiala D, Low energy architecture for a severe US climate: design and evaluation of a hybrid ventilation strategy, Energy and Buildings, (2006), ISSN 0378-7788; 

Short CA and Lomas KJ, Exploiting a hybrid environmental design strategy in a US continental climate, Building Research and Information, Vol 35, No 2, pp 119-143, (2007).

Grant Success: Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events

October 2007

Professor Li Shao at the IESD, together with his consortium partners in the Universities of Loughbrough, Cranfield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and Greenwich, has been awarded an EPSRC grant this month entitled “Community resilience to extreme weather events”.

The effect of climate change is increasingly manifested through more frequent and more intense extreme weather events (EWEs) such as heat waves, flooding and storms. The project aims to map probabilistic future extreme weather events; integrate social and physical research to develop an improved understanding of risk from EWEs at the community level; and assess the adaptive capacity of a local community to respond to the challenge of EWEs.

Professor Shao will investigate measures for coping with extreme weather events in terms of their suitability for UK climate and buildings, and assess their effectiveness for risk reduction.

Professor Shao joined the Institute in April 2007 and is a Professor in Building Energy Systems with research interests in low energy cooling, ground source heat pumps, and other sustainable building technologies including daylighting. He is a research partner in a further EPSRC consortium project “TARBASE” within the Carbon Vision Buildings Programme.

10 Year Celebration For Masters Programme

July 2007

The Institute's masters programme was set up in 1997. In the intervening decade our graduates have gone into key jobs helping to cut carbon emissions in Government, local authorities, private industry and consultancy.

To mark the 10-year anniversary a one-day conference for former and current students was held on Monday 2 July.

The anniversary conference included workshops on relevant topics including personal carbon allowances, energy and buildings and communicating the topic of climate change to the public. There was a talk from programme leader Professor Paul Fleming and presentations from former students.

The contributions of those taking part will be used to inform new areas of research and new teaching on the masters programme.

Professor Fleming said: "Ten years ago, sustainability and climate change was not a subject that was in the news or that the general public spoke about. Now rarely a day goes by without some media comment about climate change."

"Over the past 10 years we have built up a powerful network of alumni who have recommended people to come to the IESD to study, who have supported research and who have gone into jobs closely connected to what we do."

"The whole idea of the day is to say thank you to everyone who has helped make the MSc programme such a success over the past decade. Now we look forward to the MSc going from strength to strength over the next 10 years."


4M Innovative Carbon Footprint of Leicester Project

June 2007

Significant EPSRC funding has been awarded for an innovative research consortium managed by IESD Director Kevin Lomas with partners in the Biodiversity and Micro-ecology Group (BIOME), University of Sheffield, and the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds. The project is entitled Measurement, Modelling, Mapping and Management (4M): An Evidence-Based Methodology for Understanding and Shrinking the Urban Carbon Footprint.

4M will generate the carbon footprint for the entire City of Leicester and assess the likely impact of this on:

  • domestic and non-domestic building energy (IESD)

  • green space carbon sequestration management (BIOME)

  • transport systems and management (ITS)

  • individual carbon quota schemes (IESD).

4M will also produce ways of visualising these carbon sources and sinks that can be interpreted by policy makers and other stakeholders, with wide and varied dissemination of the results.

4M builds on significant work previously undertaken in these areas by the partners. In particular, IESD's 4M work will build on the work of the £3m Carbon Reduction in Buildings (CaRB) consortium led by IESD, and the experience of co-investigators Mark Rylatt (developing GIS applications with embedded energy and carbon emissions models) and Rob Wall (social psychology of environmentally significant behaviour including travel, energy use, personal carbon footprints, etc.).

IESD Consultancy Project Wins RICS Award

May 2007

image002Burnley Integrated Health and Leisure Centre (LIFT) scooped the ‘Project of the Year’ award at the RICS North West Awards in May 2007. The award recognises the innovative project that combines leisure and health care facilities and allows the provision of a more integrated approach to primary care, giving valuable links between healthcare and exercise.

The IESD provided consultancy services on the project to study the natural ventilation and thermal conditions in the large atrium that is at the centre of the health and leisure facilities. Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics methods were used to predict air movement and temperatures throughout the atrium in summer conditions. This has allowed refinement of the ventilation strategy to ensure satisfactory thermal comfort throughout the occupied spaces.

The project architects were Nightingale and Associates. The Building Services Engineers were Petit Singleton and the contractors were Eric Wright Construction. Further information is available at




Photographs of the finished Atrium and corresponding CFD airflow visualizations produced by IESD (photographs by McCoy & Wynne Associates).

email tel +44 (0)116 257 7979 or 7962 fax +44 (0)116 257 7977
Copyright © 2000-2010 IESD, De Montfort University. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer