Bookmark and Share

IESD to launch postgraduate research conference

IESD banner15 December 2009

The Institute is hosting its first postgraduate research student conference on the 20th and 21st May, 2010.  It is intended to:

  • Provide research students an opportunity to talk about their research either by presentation or poster
  • Provide an opportunity to practice presentation skills in a friendly environment, with constructive feedback
  • Allow them to meet research students from other departments who are doing related research
  • Provide an opportunity to publish papers in the conference proceedings

The theme of the 2010 conference will be ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. It is open to all DMU postgraduate students undertaking research in related fields. Suitable topics include the built environment; energy use; thermal comfort; climate change and sustainable development.

To submit an abstract before 26 February 2010, please use this form (on-campus access only).  For further inquiries, please contact: Mr Stephen Porritt or Mr Carl Holland.


Research is everyone’s business

02 December 2009

Research committee meeting

At IESD research is everyone’s business. The Institute encourages an open and collaborative research culture between all researchers, irrespective of which stage of their career, they are at. This culture has resulted in an increased success rate in obtaining research grants, where most of the successful applications have been as a result of joint effort.

A string of well-respected experts from diverse research areas visited and spoke to IESD in the past 6 months (see list below). Our lunchtime seminar series has restarted after the summer break. A list of speakers/topics can be found here. These have enriched the vision of the Institute and assist us to become increasingly externally facing.


Dr Mark Gaterell, Directory of Research for Sustainable Engineering, Birmingham University


Prof Chimay Anumba, Head of Architectural Engineering, Penn State University


Dean Kerwick-Chrisp, Head of Sustainable Development & Climate Change, Highways Agency


Prof Andreas Hornung, Director of European Bioenergy Research Institute – EBRI, Aston University


Tony Wray, Managing Director, Severn Trent Water Ltd


Myfanwy Price-Jones, Director, CarbonAided


“Divine Intervention” – PhD student hosts popular radio show

27 November 2009Divine in studio

‘Divine Intervention’ with Divine, a relaxing end to the week” is the slogan of Mr Novieto’s Sunday night radio show on DemonFM 107.5 ( On-air from 10pm to 12am in the form of a Disk Jockey led presentation, this programme is designed to educate and at the same time entertain the listener. The DJ takes the listener on a musical journey to relaxation and refreshment, with interspaced food-for-thoughts and witty insights. From time to time, listeners are invited from all walks of life and musical backgrounds to share their music and thoughts with the listening public. They talk about themselves, reasons for their choice of music, sweet memories it brings and lessons learnt. Divine is presently doing a PhD at IESD, looking into thermal comfort requirements of the aging population with a computer modeling approach. His "side job" as a radio DJ is an example of the lively culture and diverse talents in the Institute.


ADOPT LESSONS – IESD’s double answer to the Technology Strategy Board call for “Design and Decision Tools for Low Impact Buildings”

16 November 2009

IESD are involved in two research and development consortiums in the recent TSB call. The two projects, entitled “Low Energy and Sustainable Solutions Online kNowledge System (LESSONS)” and “Advanced DesignBuilder + OPTimisation (ADOPT)”, respectively, have both received grant offers from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

One of the major impediments to the design of successful low-carbon buildings is the lack of feedback and insights gained from past projects in the design of new and refurbished buildings. The LESSONS project aims to help resolve this problem by integrating the knowledge from relevant research and databases of design case studies into the building design process. A high-level design tool will be developed to allow rapid formulation and evaluation of appropriate schematic and detailed designs. The consortium is lead by Pick Everard (an architectural and engineering partnership), with Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), who will be developing the software tools, and academic input from the IESD, lead by Dr Andy Wright. A PhD student will be recruited to work on LESSONS at the Institute.

The ADOPT project is led by DesignBuilder Software Ltd, the IESD, and Zero Energy Design Ltd. The aim is to develop the capability to implement multi-objective optimisation in mainstream building performance simulation software. With the new tool, designers will be able to optimise building design for energy performance, life-cycle cost, environmental impact and comfort. IESD will provide building optimisation technologies as well as super-computing facilities to support the project’s development. The total value to the Institute of the project is around £120K. A PhD student will be recruited to work on the project under supervision of Dr Yi Zhang and Dr Simon Rees.


Opening Ceremony of the CECIC Hangzhou Green Building Museum

6 November 2009CECIC Hangzhou Green Building Museum

The Opening Ceremony of the CECIC Hangzhou Green Building Museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China was held on 01 November 2009. The Institute was one of the main low energy and sustainability consultants on the project launched in May 2007. Dr Yingchun Ji, Professor Kevin Lomas (ex-director) and Dr Malcolm Cook (ex- assistant director for business) have been involved in the development of concepts and detailed energy performance simulations.

The building, located in the southeast province of China, incorporated 10 key technologies, including:

  • Self-shading building form and intelligent solar shading
  • Passive ventilation strategy with custom-designed ventilation louvers
  • Low impact fabrics
  • Natural lighting design
  • Solatube® lighting system,
  • Independent temperature and humidity control air-conditioning system
  • Solar, wind, and hydrogen fuel cell energy systems
  • Regenerative elevators
  • Rain water collection and grey water recycling
  • Intelligent building management and metering system

The design was aimed at LEED Platinum standard and 76.4% energy savings in annual consumption according to Chinese standards. Further information can be found in the following links:

Ventilation design concept of the Green Building Museum (693KB, PDF)
Zhejiang Energy Industry Development Co. Ltd. - Corporate news (in Chinese)
Article on (in Chinese)

Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Raising community awareness and supporting action on climate change

1 November 2009

There is a challenge in understanding community needs and translating the wider climate change message to one that can be contextualised at a local community level. The project will support the generation of enhanced understanding about how community engagement with climate change might be differentiated by geographical location (rural, peri-urban and urban), current level of community activity and ethnic and faith characteristics.  This Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project will be undertaken with partners from the Leicestershire and Rutland Rural Community Council (RCC) and will work towards:

  • Increased awareness within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland on climate change issues at a community level.
  • Construction of a common framework of delivery to communities in both rural and urban settings.
  • Enhanced ability to offer services to communities that are associated with the impacts of climate change.
  • Strategic positioning to deliver services to local authorities in meeting National Indicators 185, 186 and 188.
  • Alignment of internal RCC services to meet the requirements of climate change.
A KTP associate will be recruited shortly to work on the project under the supervision of Dr Mark Lemon.


IESD wins EMDA support for biomass research

8 October 2009

Biomass boilers are a key renewable energy technology for integration with buildings, but their use is often made problematic due to the potentially harmful emissions of particulates and other pollutants in their exhaust gases. IESD is undertaking a project titled “Enhancing uptake of biomass boilers in buildings by dramatically reducing emission of particulate pollutants” lead by Prof. Li Shao and project manager Dr. Ashish Shukla. The DMU project team will work in collaboration with Nottingham University and Ashwell Engineering Services Ltd, a leading biomass boiler manufacturer based in Leicester. The research will investigate a new efficient way of removing pollutants from the exhaust gases of biomass boilers. The project is funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) under the Construction iNET Programme.


"Back to school" day

30 September 2009Pic of the training day

On Wednesday 30th September 12 members of IESD participated in a Training day as part of the EPSRC sponsored project – “Engaging pupils, teachers and governors in the sustainable development of their school buildings”. The day intended to provide volunteers with an insight into what a modern school is like by visiting Castle Rock School (secondary 11-14) and Forest Way School (SEN 3 - 19), both in Coalville. Both schools demonstrated sensitivity towards the environment through the presence of natural ventilation, demonstration solar panels and wind turbines and extensive use of natural daylight amongst others. Bob Athroll, the Education Sector Manager for Willmot Dixon Group, give the tours, and an informative presentation on the complexities of school design and construction. The afternoon involved a training session, during which volunteers were provided with examples of teaching methods used for communicating issues of climate change and sustainable development to pupils. This part of the day was intended to provide volunteers with skills and techniques they would require whilst helping to facilitate workshops with 11 - 14 year old pupils.


Arup Prize for IBPSA Student Paper on Simulation and Design

19 August 2009Candy's prize

At the 11th International Building Performance Simulation Association Conference, Miaomiao (Candy) He* received the award for Best Student Paper for her work on numerical modelling of domestic ground source heat pump systems.

Co-authored with Dr Simon Rees and Prof Li Shao, Candy’s paper describes a new three-dimensional numerical model for simulating transient heat transfer in and around borehole heat exchangers and the dynamic response of the circulating fluid.

The conference paper received excellent feedback from the reviewers, and in the opinion of the chairs of the session, Candy produced one of the best presentations of the conference. Moreover, Candy has been invited to expand the conference paper for publication in the Journal of Building Performance Simulation.

* pronounced “her”


Cooling the Hot Desert

9 July 2009Poster of "cooling the hot desert"

"Cooling the Hot Desert … with least Energy Consumption" is the title of Sherif Ezzeldin's prize winning research poster. After securing third place in De Montfort University’s poster competition for research students on the 22nd of April 2009, the poster was entered into the Vitae Midlands Hub Regional Poster Competition on the 7th of July, where it was awarded the "Researcher Choice Prize". Well done, Sherif!

The overall aim of Sherif’s research is to identify ways to cool buildings in the arid climate of hot deserts with the lowest possible energy usage. The design of the poster (below) was based upon many considerations that are relevant for Sherif’s work.

  • The colour scheme of orange, blue and maroon was chosen to represent (respectively) hot,arid conditions, cooling and the DMU logo.
  • The semi-circular design symbolises part of the globe, emphasing that hot arid climates make up a significant fraction of the Earth’s surface.
  • The main body of the poster was divided into 3 sections that reflect both the 3-story building modelled in Sherif’s study, and the 3 stages of the research methodology that Sherif will carry out to complete his PhD.
  • The strip of desert scenery (waving sand under the scorching sun) gives viewers a vivid impression of the harsh climatic conditions that are the focus of Sherif’s research.

Perhaps the most notable feature is the Arabic text (reading “Sahara”, meaning desert) as a mark of Sherif's passion about the part the world where he comes from.


Mark Rylatt was awarded a personal chair

8 July 2009Mark and his personal chair

Prof Mark Rylatt was awarded a personal chair on 8 July, 2009, which many colleague thougt was "a little overdue".

Since joining the Institute in 1998, Mark has led a succession of EPSRC funded projects involving urban energy modelling and geographical information systems applications development. He is currently an investigator on three major EPSRC consortium projects, including “4M”, “Carbon, Control and Comfort” and “CASCADE”, which he leads. His research now focuses on intelligent adaptive control and optimisation of home energy systems, domestic and nondomestic energy modelling, and complex adaptive systems.






New Directions for the Institute

1 July 2009Professor Sarshar

Prof Marjan Sarshar joined the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development on the 19th of June 2009 as our new Director. Under her leadership and vision, the Institute aims to transform into an international academic institution that sets the agenda for achieving a sustainable built environment. Building on its existing strengths as a multidisciplinary research group, the Institute will achieve its goals through collaboration and exchange of knowledge between the energy, climate change, ICT and built environment research communities.

With a strong background in construction IT and construction industry process management, Professor Sarshar has already secured a portfolio of research grants in excess of £6.5m. Her extensive experience in industrial engagement and collaborative research and development will further broaden the scope of the Institute. In 2000 she was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for her role as the Director of Construct IT, a knowledge exchange network that promotes innovation and best practice in the construction industry.

Professor Sarshar was Associate Dean at the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of West of England and later the Director of the BEST Research Centre (Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies) at Liverpool John Moores University. Her areas of research interest include zero carbon and positive energy buildings, and the use of novel and emerging technologies and management techniques for achieving positive energy status in new and existing buildings.


Pupils Help School to Save Energy - Leicester Mercury

30 March 2009Pupils using thermal imaging camera

IESD research was featured in the local press recently as Dr Fiona Charnley, Dr Emad Farrag, Dr Beverly Allen and Dr Yingchun Ji and visited Beaumont Leys School in Leicester along with Steve Goodhew from Nottingham Trent University. The Leicester Mercury reported on how researchers engaged with pupils to demonstrate the use of thermal imaging to measure the heat loss from their current school buildings, prior to moving into their new school later this year.

The pupils quickly got to grips with the concept of thermal imaging and soon became experts at working with the institutes £35,000 thermal imaging cameras! The activity was part of two projects being carried out within the institute: The EPSRC funded project ‘Engaging Pupils, Teachers and Governors in the Science, Engineering and Technology of ‘Carbon Neutral’ Schools’ and the ‘I-net’ project which aims to measure the thermal performance of local schools and SME’s in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University.



Social housing carbon reduction refurbishment is ‘a daunting challenge’ – national media coverage of IESD research

25 March 2009

IESD research was featured in the national press in March 2009 in a supplement in the Guardian newspaper looking at the greening of housing. In an article based in part upon the research of PhD student Andrew Reeves, the chief executive of the Peabody housing association, Stephen Howlett, argued that "London's social landlords face a bill running to billions of pounds" if they are to meet the Greater London Authority's target of achieving 60% carbon emission reductions by 2025.

For Peabody itself, the research found that "even if the national grid reduces its reliance on carbon energy by 50% and energy demand from residents declines slightly, the estimated costs to Peabody of meeting the 2025 target could be at least £100m to £150m."

The article went on to argue that improved financial support from Government is vital if deep carbon emission cuts are to be achieved in social housing.

The story can be read online here:


Dr John Mardaljevic chairs new Technical Committee at CIE

15 March 2009

A new Technical Committee (TC 3-47) has been approved by the Board of Administration of the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) to work on Climate-Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM). Dr John Mardaljevic from the Institute will chair the committee during the next four years. The committee’s aims are:

  • To describe the state-of-the-art in CBDM and determine levels of research activity.
  • To identify themes in ongoing areas of CBDM research and forecast future developments in the field.
  • To identify key areas of core or supporting research which are either lacking or have insufficient activity.
  • To determine key application areas for CBDM and the necessary data requirements.
  • To codify an authoritative workflow for CBDM that is compliant with agreed quality assurance criteria.
  • To provide guidance on the application of CBDM to predict emerging daylight metrics.

John has been leading research in daylight modelling for some years. An example of his work has been included in the "Green Architecture for the Future" Exhibition (29th May until 18th December 2009) at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.



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