Professor Richard Bull

Job: Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Professor in Energy and Behaviour Change

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Engineering and Sustainable Development

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

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH UK

T: +44 (0)116 207 8063




Personal profile

Having completed a BA (Hons) and Masters in Theology at the London School of Theology (affiliated with Middlesex University), Richard moved to Nottingham and worked for six years at a large family owned aerospace engineering company in North Nottinghamshire. During this time he studied part-time for an MBA at Nottingham Business School, focusing on corporate social responsibility and environmental management. Richard went on to study for a PhD at the University of Birmingham under Professor Judith Petts. An ESRC Case award with Veolia, it looked at the role of business in society through an examination of whether public engagement and deliberative processes can generate ‘social learning’ and environmental citizenship.

Now a Professor in Energy and Behaviour Change and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Technology Richard splits his time between supporting the PVC Dean in helping to lead the Faculty and leading two EU H2020 projects. He has been a Principal Investigator and Co-investigator on a range of EPSRC, EU and JISC projects totalling over £4.5 million exploring the use of energy in non-domestic buildings and organisations. A recurring theme of his research is the need to move beyond feedback to explore innovative participatory methods of engagement in order to enhance environmental citizenship.

He is currently PI on two H2020 EU projects looking at ICT, energy and buildings. The first, SAVES2 ( is a follow up project to SAVES with the National Union of Students, looking at the role of energy dashboards in reducing energy consumption on Universities across Europe. The second, eTeacher (  is also researching the role of ICT enabled behaviour change to reduce energy consumption in buildings across Europe. He is an expert advisor on the H2020 Smart Cities project Remourban ( and an Associate Editor of Energy Research and Social Science. 

Research group affiliations

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)

Key research outputs

  • Bull, R.J, Chang, N., & Fleming, P. (2012) The use of building energy certificates to reduce energy consumption in European public buildings, Energy and Buildings 50, p103-110.
  • Bull, R. J & J. Petts et al (2010) – The importance of context for effective public engagement: Learning from the governance of waste. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 53 (8): 991-1009
  • Bull, R., J. Petts, et al. (2008). "Social Learning from Public Engagement: Dreaming the impossible?" Journal of Environmental Management and Planning 51(5): 703-718.

Research interests/expertise

  • Sustainability
  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Public Engagement
  • Behaviour Change
  • Energy visualisation
  • Green ICT
  • Digital Economy
  • Green Business

Areas of teaching

  • Module Leader: Green Business (MSc EIS).
  • Deputy Module Leader: People society and Climate Change (MSc Climate Change and Sustainable Development).



Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham (ESRC funded CASE Award between University of Birmingham and Veolia Environmental Services)



Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University


MA Theology

London School of Theology, Brunel University


BA (Hons) Theology (2:1)

London School of Theology, Brunel University



Honours and awards

  • Awarded RCUK Research Fellowship May 2009 - Sept 2010

Conference attendance

  • Presented at the ‘The 3rd All Hands Meeting of the Digital Economy Community’ (RCUK funded Digital Economy Group) in Aberdeen in Oct 2012.
  • Invited expert to ‘West Midlands Regional Sustainability Advisor’ event “Sustainability: a different approach” 18th April 2012. Talk entitled: Greenview – understanding consumption of buildings across campus using a smartphone.
  • Presented at the EAUC annual conference in York (April 2011): Scope 3 – moving beyond the estates office.
  • Greenview – Seeing Energy Differently – Led a Workshop at ‘The 2nd All Hands Meeting of the Digital Economy Community’ (RCUK funded Digital Economy Group) Nov.
  • Invited expert to the Institute of Building Efficiency Workshop (Brussels): Scenarios for Nearly/Net Zero Energy Buildings (14th Sept 2011).
  • Invited participant at the UACES 3rd Collaborative Research Network (Angers, France) – presented on the Governance of Sustainability (21st-22nd July).
  • Invited expert to the JISC Sustainable Procurement Conference in May 2011.
  • Consultant to a JISC funded project with the University of Oxford (May-Oct 2011).
  • Invited expert to the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (Brussels - April 13th 2011) on behaviour change and building energy certificates.
  • Chair of the Sustainable ICT Group – advisors to the Expert Reference Group on Climate Change for the Leicester Strategic Partnership.
  • Wrote and developed new Masters module ‘Green Business’ for new IESD MSc Energy and Industrial Sustainability (Sept 2010).
  • Awarded RCUK Research Fellowship May 2009-Sept 2010.
  • Invited expert at the British Science Association’s ‘Science Communication Conference 2010: ‘Imagining a low carbon society’ with Prof. Martin Rieser and Neil Bailey.
  • Peer Reviewer for Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.
  • External Examiner for MSc Risk Management - School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University.
  • Invited expert on communication and public engagement to the third ECO-BUILD workshop on “Increasing Energy performance of Buildings” on 10 November 2009 in Brussels.  
  • Invited expert on ‘governance, participation and learning’ at the APSE Policy Seminar Series at Leicester Business School, 9th Feb 2010.

Current research students

Phd enquiries welcome around energy and behaviour change, engagement, sustainability with regards to organisations and universities. 

Successful Phd Completions

Monica Pianosi – Enhancing environmental citizenship and reducing energy consumption of building users using social media: a DMU case study. (1st supervisor). 2017.

Muhammad Mazhar – How higher education sector institutions can strategically manage their carbon emissions from all of their organisational activities? (1st supervisor) 2016.

Maurizio Sajeva - Governance For Sustainable Systems: The Development Of A Participatory Framework. (2nd supervisor). 2016

Jill Fisher - Promoting low carbon lifestyles: addressing informational needs through small group participation (2nd Supervisor) 2013

Carl Holland - Greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies: attitudinal and social network influences on employee acceptability (2nd Supervisor). 2013

Externally funded research grants information

• Principle Investigator for GoodDee2ds – an EPSRC ‘Digital Economy’ project awarded in September 2012. Value: £225,000 – a ‘Research In the Wild’ digital economy research project with Leicester City Council:

• Principle Investigator for ‘PROCO2’ – a JISC funded ‘Greening ICT’ project awarded Jan 2011 (end date April 2012). Value: £124,405. – collaborations with the Estates Department and external partners – Arup.

• Principle Investigator for ‘Greenview’ - a JISC funded ‘Greening ICT’ project awarded Jan 2011. Value: £39,840 – collaborating with Martin Rieser in the IOCT.

• Principle Investigator for ‘DUALL - a JISC funded ‘Greening ICT’ project awarded Jan 2010, completed March 2011. Value: £69,991collaborated internally with Martin Rieser in the IOCT.


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