Dr Catherine (Frin) Bale
- Position: Associate Professor
- Areas of expertise: urban energy systems; complexity science; energy transitions; local energy; heat systems; heat networks; participatory modelling
- Email: C.S.E.Bale@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 8250
- Location: 10.28 Priestley Building
- Website: Urban heat systems | Twitter | Googlescholar
I am an Associate Professor jointly appointed between the School of Chemical and Process Engineering and the School of Earth and Environment, which reflects my interdisciplinary approach to research in energy across the disciplines of engineering, economics and social science.
I am a physical scientist by training. I have studied complex systems at the prestigious Santa Fe Institute, and completed Masters-level courses at SOAS in environmental economics and policy. Before joining the university in 2010, I worked in the public sector, developing strategic programmes to support the energy and environmental sectors.
I work extensively with local, national and international partners including Leeds City Council, the Climate Change Committee, and the International Energy Agency.
My research interests are centred on:
- The application of complexity science modelling methods to energy challenges at the technology-policy interface.
- The delivery of national energy policy at the local level and the role of local authorities in city-level energy decision-making.
- Participatory modelling approaches to support energy decision-making.
- Heat decarbonisation in cities.
- From 2019 Principal Investigator, EPSRC Early Career Fellowship 'Co-creating visions and pathways for integrated urban heat systems' EP/R024197/1
- 2021–22 Principal Investigator, Reserach England Policy Support Funding, policy project on shared ground heat exchange.
- 2015–18 Co-Investigator, EPSRC Consortium for Modelling and Analysis of Decentralised Energy Storage (C-MADEnS; EP/N001745/1), led a work-package (WP) on public perceptions of decentralised storage technologies and co-led an integrative WP that applied findings from across the project in case-study cities.
- 2017–18 Co-Investigator, EPSRC Across Scales in Energy Decision-Making (ASCEND EP/R002231/1), a project on the use of whole energy system analysis in decision-making across scales in which I contributed on heat systems and local actors in energy decision-making.
- 2013–16 Principal Investigator, EPSRC Post-doctoral Fellowship 'Reducing heat demand in UK cities: Using complexity science to enable effective decision-making' (EP/K022288/1).
- 2013–14 Principal Investigator, Chesshire-Lehmann Fund entitled 'Spatial mapping tools for district heating: helping local authorities tackle fuel poverty' resulting in the Leeds Heat Planning Tool.
- 2013–18 Researcher, EPSRC & ESRC iBUILD consortium (EP/K012398/1)
- 2010–013 Research fellow, EPSRC City Energy Futures
- DPhil, Atmospheric Chemisty, University of Oxford
- MChem, University of Oxford
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Associate Member of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy
- Alumni of 2014 Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School
I teach energy topics both in the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, and supervise a number of undergraduate and masters projects.
I co-supervise several PhD students across interdisciplinary topics in energy transitions, including those related to bioenergy, urban energy, and heating and cooling.
Research groups and institutes
- Energy and Climate Change Mitigation
- Sustainable Cities
- Sustainability Research Institute