Dr Catherine (Frin) Bale

Dr Catherine (Frin) Bale


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. 


Research interests

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.

Current projects:

  • From 2019 Principal Investigator, EPSRC Early Career Fellowship 'Co-creating visions and pathways for integrated urban heat systems' EP/R024197/1

Recent projects:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • DPhil, Atmospheric Chemisty, University of Oxford
  • MChem, University of Oxford

Professional memberships

  • 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

Student education

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
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>