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Dr Andrew Reeves

Job: Senior Lecturer in Energy and Sustainable Development

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Engineering and Sustainable Development

Research group(s): Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)

Address: IESD, Queens Building,De Montfort University,Leicester,LE1 9BH, UK

T: +44 (0)116 250 6569

E: areeves@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/iesd

Social Media: https://andrewreeves.our.dmu.ac.uk/

 

Personal profile

Andrew is a social scientist, educator and community organiser with interests in education for sustainable development, action research and the behavioural dynamics of engagement with climate change and sustainability.

His current role focusses on embedding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within taught courses, co-curricular activities and the wider student/staff experience.

Andrew is module leader for "Leading Change for Sustainability", a module within DMU's Energy and Sustainable Development Masters programme, which focuses on behaviour change and the practice of designing for change within social and organisational systems.

Current research activity includes the eTeacher project, which is exploring energy-saving behaviour change in buildings across Europe, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to engage building users. Prior research has focussed on evaluation of locally delivered sustainable development initiatives.

Andrew currently co-supervises four PhD students, each looking at local sustainability initiatives in an international context (in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Ecuador) via cross-disciplinary approaches. Previous supervised PhD research has addressed climate change adaptation in small island developing states, community-based sustainability, nature-connection and wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour change.

Previously at DMU, Andrew worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS), specialising in support for doctoral students and innovating in online and participatory approaches to teaching and learning. From 2010 to 2012, Andrew ran a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project to provide support to area-based climate change initiatives in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Andrew's PhD thesis explored the viability of achieving deep carbon emission cuts in existing social housing stock from an economic, social and technical perspective.

Outside of his role at DMU, Andrew has co-founded a number of Leicester-based grassroots sustainability initiatives and is currently a trustee of Leicester Masaya Link Group, a twinning and sustainability education charity. Andrew is also a qualified Social Enterprise Support worker, a mentor for the European Union’s Climate Change Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate KIC), and teaches and tutors students studying ecological design with the Permaculture Association.

Research group affiliations

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)

Publications and outputs 

  • Low-Carbon Social Housing Retrofit and Overheating Risk: A Review
    Low-Carbon Social Housing Retrofit and Overheating Risk: A Review Kerr, Daniel William; Reeves, Andrew This report provides a review of the current state of knowledge on low-carbon retrofit of social housing, and how these retrofits may affect the risk of overheating in social housing properties post-retrofit. Overheating risk assessment is a growing area of concern in built environment research, and the drive for warmer homes in winter, and more energy efficient homes, has led to increasing levels of energy efficiency retrofits in the domestic sector. However, a lesser amount of work has been done to date on how these energy efficiency retrofits could increase the risk of properties overheating in warmer periods. This is particularly relevant considering the potential for warmer summers going forward in a future warming climate. A number of definitions are available at present for what constitutes overheating in a property. Accepted definitions from human thermal comfort research put the comfortable range of temperatures for human domestic occupation at between 19°C and 26°C, but surveys have shown that a number of different property construction types in different locations around the country exceed these temperatures on a semi-regular basis during warm periods. This is due to a wide array of factors, broadly categorised in this report as location-based risks, property-based risks, and occupancy-based risks. Location risks are associated with the physical environment of the property: factors such as local albedo, urban heat island effect and prevalent wind patterns are all location-based risks. Property-based risks involve the built form of the property and its design: the number of fabric elements, overall glazed area and orientation of the property are examples of property-based risks. Finally, occupancy-based risks are associated with how residents use the property: factors such as appliance use, window-opening regimes, the use of blinds and occupancy profiles are all occupancy-based risks. There are a range of technical and non-technical measures available to mitigate the risk of overheating in social housing. Technical measures should follow a hierarchy of passive through active, with focus being placed on zero- or low-energy measures first, then moving to more active solutions if passive solutions are not having sufficient effect. Passive measures include increasing passive heat rejection through window-opening, window tinting to prevent solar gains, and installation of external or internal shading. Active solutions include mechanical heat rejection (such as ventilation systems) or mechanical cooling (such as air conditioning systems). Behavioural measures should focus on how the user operates the home system, and put emphasis on proper methods for through-ventilation for heat rejection, window opening and closing regimes and time-shifting of heat-rejecting appliance use. This report recommends implementing a communications procedure through the Council website where social housing tenants can find advice on overheating and feed back about overheating they experience, and an assessment procedure for use in tenancy gaps and post-retrofit to assess properties for overheating risk.
  • Digging deeper: Gardening as a way to develop non-human relationships through connection with Nature
    Digging deeper: Gardening as a way to develop non-human relationships through connection with Nature Bell-Williams, Rebecca; Irvine, Katherine; Reeves, Andrew; Warber, Sara Gardening as a leisure activity provides an often overlooked opportunity to examine the relationship between individuals and nature. Gardening offers a unique insight into the role that interaction with nature may play in wellbeing and in particular in instances of isolation and loneliness. The global lockdown created by the Covid-19 pandemic saw those households with private gardens being largely restricted to those spaces for both physical activity and mental respite, with many discovering this multifaceted role of gardens for perhaps the first time. This study reports on data collected prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and explores how gardeners experience much more from garden spaces than is often thought. As such it seems timely to examine how wellbeing may be enhanced and developed through interaction with nature in the context of urban gardens. The study reported here included semi-structured interviews with 25 gardeners to explore their gardening experiences. Thematic analysis of the data revealed that in the context of gardening, a meaningful relationship between gardener and garden was supported and developed through key themes of: Contribution, Connection, Awareness, and Being Self, with An-Other (that being the garden). This study thus suggests that gardening could be seen to provide a place and activity in which meaningful connections could be made outside of relationships with other humans. This has important wellbeing implications for those who may find it difficult to interact with others, are at risk of isolation and loneliness or may be in an unprecedented situation in which enforced isolation occurs. open access journal
  • Empowering and Engaging European building users for energy efficiency
    Empowering and Engaging European building users for energy efficiency Morton, Ashley; Reeves, Andrew; Bull, Richard; Preston, Sam Amidst the challenge of improving energy efficiency in the built environment, increasing attention is being put on how to engage and empower building users. Research shows that improving and widening user engagement, such as involving users in co-designing interventions, has potential to foster greater acceptance and impact. In this context, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has a major role to play, through feedback tools, smartphone or web-based apps, interactive dashboards and gamification. However, there are few empirical accounts exploring how user engagement can effectively shape development of an ICT-based energy efficiency intervention. This paper presents findings from the eTEACHER project which aims to empower building energy end-users to reduce energy consumption through a set of related ICT-based interventions. These interventions, including a web-based app and building-specific ‘what-if’ analysis have been developed by drawing upon feedback from pilot users in 12 buildings, including both residential and non-domestic, across three EU countries. A structured evidence-based approach to user engagement was followed, which included site visits, a series of building user workshops and a questionnaire. The paper reflects on the challenges and benefits of empowering and engaging building users across a wide range of building types, residential, offices, schools and health care centres using a single app. Our findings show common challenges across building types in tackling existing inefficient energy behaviours. However significant hurdles were encountered in implementing the ICT-based interventions, which are building specific. Based upon this, recommendations on how engagement processes can support the development of ICT-based interventions are put forward. open access article
  • Classroom collaborations: enabling sustainability education via student-community co-learning
    Classroom collaborations: enabling sustainability education via student-community co-learning Reeves, Andrew Purpose: This case study explores co-learning classes, a novel approach to leveraging universities’ capacity to contribute to the local sustainable development agenda whilst enhancing students’ learning. These participatory classes were piloted on a UK university Masters module focussed on action for sustainability. The classes sought to combine knowledge exchange, reflection and social network development, by bringing together students and community stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: The classes were run as a series of five free events, each focussed on sustainability issues relevant for local practitioners. These were either regular timetabled sessions opened up to the public or additional on-campus public events. Attendance was either face-to-face or online. Evaluation was based upon participation data, written feedback and module leader’s post-event reflections. Findings: The classes successfully secured participation from diverse community members, including local government staff, voluntary sector workers, and interested individuals. Both students and community stakeholders valued the participatory format, linkages of theoretical and practical knowledge and diversity of attendees. Research limits/implications: Findings are based upon a small-scale pilot study. Further research using a wider range of contexts is required to enhance understanding of the co-learning approach. Practical implications: This paper highlights some key practical issues to consider if employing co-learning approaches in other contexts, including using inclusive language, aligning with students’ motivations and choosing appropriate focal event topics. Originality/value: Opening up participatory university classes for the public to attend as co-learners is a rarely used approach and has little coverage in academic literature. This small-scale study therefore has value by highlighting some of the potential impacts, strengths and limitations of this approach. open access article
  • ICT for sustainability: reflecting on the role of ICT to enhance communication and empowerment of building users
    ICT for sustainability: reflecting on the role of ICT to enhance communication and empowerment of building users Morton, Ashley; Bull, Richard; Reeves, Andrew; Preston, Sam ICT solutions within a Smart City environment are often hailed as the low carbon, efficient and low-cost solution – but is this sufficient? These solutions often neglect user behaviour and treat users as passive consumers or even obstacles. Energy related ICT behaviour change is also starting to appear more frequently at the forefront of policy agendas and research funding calls as a prime focus for reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency across all energy intensive sectors. Research shows that improving and widening user engagement has the potential to foster greater acceptance and impact. Recent research has focused on behaviour change towards more sustainable energy use, often involving users co-designing interventions. As such, ICT is a prominent tool, with its application including feedback tools, apps, interactive dashboards and gamification. Frequent barriers are user engagement with ICT tools, both initially and over the long term, with research consistently showing that users are hard to engage, face a complex array of competing demands and easily become disengaged with energy programs and interventions. This paper presents a summary of some of the common problems relating to user engagement with energy interventions faced by many research projects, as well as presenting findings from eTEACHER, an EU H2020 project, aimed at empowering energy end-users by enabling behaviour change via a set of ICT solutions. eTEACHER, aims to employ principles of user-involvement and engagement to enhance the design of an ICT-based tool promoting energy conservation in buildings. eTEACHER has applied the ‘Enabling Change’ framework as a novel approach to ensure user engagement and stakeholder involvement. Results and reflections are offered from eTEACHER’s implementation of the Enabling Change framework and the engagement of building users within the eTEACHER pilot buildings, surrounding the design and implementation of an ICT-based tool. Reflections are given throughout on rethinking how we engage with citizens and our success in identifying, engaging and eliciting feedback from building users. The real world issues and constraints are explored alongside, and opportunities are identified for improving energy efficiency using an evidence-based intervention design in practice and discusses how ICT can aid the empowerment of building users towards their own energy use.
  • Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study
    Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study Charlton, Mark; Frank, Regina; Reeves, Andrew Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the globe are increasingly engaging with the United Nations’ 2030 agenda expressed through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed in September 2015. During the 2017/18 academic year, it became apparent to senior leaders of De Montfort University (DMU), United Kingdom, that the institution had much to offer towards the progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and also much to gain from focusing on these. This paper offers an account of how this university has been strengthening its commitment to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in particular over the past year, culminating in the UN SDGs having become the focus of the university’s new strategic plan for 2018-2023, announced in July 2018. The paper presents areas of existing good ESD practice at DMU drawing upon the university’s diverse student and staff body and its inclusive and collaborative ethos; this is formalized in the university’s vision and current strategic framework, revealing particular strengths in learning and civic contribution via real-world experiences. The paper adds to the literature on the assessment of sustainability activities of HEIs and factors affecting the take-up of sustainability as a priority in HEIs. It reveals the impact of visionary leadership by the university’s Vice-Chancellor and top down management, when merging with existing bottom-up activities of staff engaged at grassroots level, and documents areas of successful practice that may have value in similar institutions.
  • Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study. Submitted to the Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat in response to a call for evidence on Education and the Sustainable Development Goals. Vancouver: University of British Columbia.
    Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study. Submitted to the Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat in response to a call for evidence on Education and the Sustainable Development Goals. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. Charlton, Mark; Frank, Regina; Reeves, Andrew Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the globe are increasingly engaging with the United Nations’ 2030 agenda expressed through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed in September 2015. During the 2017/18 academic year, it became apparent to senior leaders of De Montfort University (DMU), United Kingdom, that the institution had much to offer towards the progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and also much to gain from focusing on these. This paper offers an account of how this university has been strengthening its commitment to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in particular over the past year, culminating in the UN SDGs having become the focus of the university’s new strategic plan for 2018-2023, announced in July 2018. The paper presents areas of existing good ESD practice at DMU drawing upon the university’s diverse student and staff body and its inclusive and collaborative ethos; this is formalized in the university’s vision and current strategic framework, revealing particular strengths in learning and civic contribution via real-world experiences. The paper adds to the literature on the assessment of sustainability activities of HEIs and factors affecting the take-up of sustainability as a priority in HEIs. It reveals the impact of visionary leadership by the university’s Vice-Chancellor and top down management, when merging with existing bottom-up activities of staff engaged at grassroots level, and documents areas of successful practice that may have value in similar institutions. Submitted as evidence for a review of action by Education Institutions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals coordinated by the Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat at the University of British Columbia.
  • Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK
    Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK Reeves, Andrew; Mitchell, Andrew Policymakers, practitioners and researchers increasingly understand sustainability transitions as requiring change within complex socio-technical systems. In parallel in recent years, many community-led initiatives sharing this systemic view of change, have sought to enhance sustainability on a local scale. Despite this alignment of understandings, many evaluations of local sustainability initiatives focus on measuring short term impacts, such as energy savings, rather than longer term shifts towards sustainable social practices. This paper uses the case study of a sustainable food, energy, and water project delivered by a team of staff and other partners in a UK market town to explore the impacts that such projects can achieve and how they can be effectively evaluated. We draw upon in-depth participant observation over four years, project documentation and the reflections of project stakeholders. We analyse the project impacts through three lenses: the process of project delivery; progress towards project-defined outcomes and indicators; and the concept of capacity building for sustainable living. Our findings point to building social capital to enable action for sustainable living as being the project’s key impact. As a result, the capacity building lens was the most appropriate framework to evaluate this initiative. Our findings suggest that a professionally delivered approach to enable sustainable living has value when it aligns well with qualities of the local community. We suggest that future evaluation work of such initiatives could focus on issues of process, indirect impacts and capacities for sustainable living. Future research could seek to put these ideas into practice, enabling evaluation to better reflect processes of community engagement and social change.
  • Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK
    Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK Reeves, Andrew Local delivery of support to householders to reduce the exposure to, and impacts of, fuel poverty is attracting increasing policymaker interest, but there is a dearth of empirical research that describes and evaluates local support schemes. Community organisations are viewed as having great potential to aid this delivery, but research on how this could be achieved is scarce. The research presented in this paper responds to these needs through an exploratory study of the delivery of home energy advice visits in the UK. Data were collected through interviews and supporting documents from twelve projects and analysis examined the inter-relationships between the process, delivered outputs and impacts of each project. The research findings suggest that long-term local professional initiatives appear to be most effective at reaching and providing support to fuel poor households across a local area. Community organisations appear to have some potential to fill gaps in local provision and can assist professional initiatives, particularly through signposting, but a lack of volunteer capacity ultimately constrains their impact. Issues identified for further study include: how local support services can be resourced and delivered nationwide; trade-offs between pursuing climate change and fuel poverty agendas; a need for more robust evidence of impacts. Open Access journal
  • Community Organisations and Household Energy: Final Project Report
    Community Organisations and Household Energy: Final Project Report Reeves, Andrew Policy makers and practitioners are increasingly looking to the community and voluntary sector to support delivery of social and environmental initiatives The Community Organisations and Household Energy project responds to this context by exploring the process, practice and impacts of household home energy visits delivered by or in partnership with community organisations in the UK. This was undertaken through semi-structured interviews and collection of supporting data for twelve projects across the UK, representing a diverse range of scales, contexts and delivery models. Four types of actor that lead projects were interviewed: Local authorities; Independent Specialist charities; Semi-professional charities; Voluntary groups. This research focuses on two issues: How community organisations can effectively engage fuel poor householders in undertaking energy efficiency measures through home visits; how these projects are organised and how this relates to their delivery mechanisms and impacts. A key finding that emerged from the study is that community organisations, in the sense of grassroots volunteer-run local bodies, may not be the best entities to effectively engage the fuel poor. Rather, larger funded projects either run by or commissioned by local authorities appear to be effective at playing that role, where the political will and financial support is made available to make this possible. In this context, the role of community organisations would be to facilitate access to vulnerable community members, refer contacts for support and engage in partnership working where this enhances the reach of the energy advice project. However community organisations pursuing carbon reduction goals may still be excellent leaders in supporting local householders to pursue a low-carbon agenda, an activity that may be unlikely to be funded through fuel poverty focussed initiatives.

Click here to view a full listing of Andrew Reeves' publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK
Reeves, A. and Mitchell, A. (2016) Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK. Paper presented to International Energy Policy and Programme Evaluation Conference (IEPPEC), Amsterdam, 7-9 June 2016.

Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK
Reeves, A. (2016) Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK. Energies, 9 (4), pp 27

Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change

Reeves, A., Lemon, M. and Cook, D. (2014) Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change. Energy Efficiency, 7 (1), pp. 115-132

Making it viable: exploring the influence of organisational context on efforts to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing.
Reeves, A. (2010) Making it viable: exploring the influence of organisational context on efforts to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing. Energy Efficiency, 4 (1), pp. 75-92

Modelling the potential to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing: The case of Peabody.
Reeves, A., Taylor, S. and Fleming, P. (2010) Modelling the potential to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing: The case of Peabody. Energy Policy, 38 (8), pp. 4241-4251.

Research interests/expertise

Education for Sustainable Development

Sustainable Communities

Energy Efficiency

Conservation Psychology

Permaculture

Social Enterprise

Learning Development

Action Research

Areas of teaching

Module Leader: Leading Change for Sustainability (MSc Energy and Sustainable Development).

Deputy Module Leader: Dissertation (MSc Energy and Sustainable Development)

Qualifications

PhD         Energy and Sustainable Development (De Montfort University)         2006-2009

MMath     Mathematics (four-year masters degree, 1st class, hons)                  1996-2000

Membership of professional associations and societies

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)

Conference attendance

Recent Academic Conferences:

  • "Co-curricular Learning and Sustainable Development Competencies: Towards Research Collaboration" (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference, Pittsburgh, 2018)
  • "Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals: An Insiders' Account of change in a UK University" (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference, Pittsburgh, 2018 - with Mark Charlton and Regina Frank)
  • "Four modes of sense-making for sustainability development: environmentalists and the dilemma of taking long haul flights." (Behaviour Energy and Climate Change Conference, Washington DC, 2018)

  • "Bridging building user engagement through social science and engineering to enable behaviour change". (Behaviour Energy and Climate Change Conference, Washington DC, 2018  - with Richard Bull and Ashley Morton)
  • “Classroom collaborations: exploring multi-sector co-learning at universities for local sustainability”. (EAUC Conference, University of Keele, 2018)
  • “Valuing the Future: Linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to Business and Business Education." (1st International Conference on Creating Value, De Montfort University, 2018).
  • "Barriers to implementing an ICT-based behaviour change programme in commercial buildings." (IEECB Conference, Frankfurt, 2018  - with Richard Bull and Ashley Morton)

Recent Other Presentations:

  • “Global Goals in Action” ('Global Goals, Local Action' student conference, Leicester University, 2018)
  • “How do people become sustainability activists? Exploring transformative collective experiences in early adulthood and at university.” (Regional Centre of Excellence East Midlands Conference, 2018)
  • "Not on the Label: The hidden story of how the everyday products we consume are made, and the coming circular economy revolution." (Cultural Exchanges Festival, De Montfort University, 2018)
  • “Where are the male students? Exploring gender-based differences in help-seeking behaviour linked to Learning Development provision”. (ALDinHE Conference, Leicester, 2018)
  • “Learning gain or logistical pain? Integrating synchronous e-learning into taught learning development provision for postgraduate research students in the UK." (ALDinHE Conference, Leicester, 2018)

Previous Conference Presentations At:

Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Conference, London (August 2017); International Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE), Leicester (June 2017); Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Conference, Hull (April 2017); International Energy Policy and Programme Evaluation Conference (IEPPEC), Amsterdam (June 2016); Chesshire Lehmann Fund Conference: "In Sickness and in Health: Evidence of the impact of fuel poverty on health and wellbeing, and the solutions", London (November 2015); "International Permaculture Conference", London (September 2015); "WholeSEM: What do we know about influencing household energy use?", Winchester (March 2015); "Inspiring Sustainability through Community Learning", Derbyshire Eco Centre, Wirksworth (March 2014); ECEEE (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) Summer Study, France (June 2009).

Consultancy work

Provided consultancy for the Energy Saving Trust on renewable energy supply chains in the East Midlands in 2009.

Current research students

  • Abimbola Okoya - 1st Supervisor (innovation in education and sustainable development in Nigeria)
  • Molla Alemu - 2nd Supervisor (sustainable land management and livelihoods in an Ethiopian national park)
  • Huraira Umar Baba - 2nd Supervisor (compressed earth blocks as a sustainable building material in Nigeria)
  • Lisette Phelan - 2nd Supervisor (soil and water management practices in cocoa production in Ghana and Ecuador)

Professional esteem indicators

  • Peer Reviewer for Energy Research and Social Science Journal (2017-)
  • Member of the East Midlands Regional Centre of Excellence (RCE) for Education for Sustainable Development (2017-)
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