Dr Katy Roelich


I am jointly appointed beween the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Civil Engineering. My research is centred around adaptive and participatory decision making. I currently hold an EPSRC Challenge Fellowship examining how we can make better decisios to transform infrastructure systems, taking into account deep physical and social uncertainties and crucially, the fact that multiple actors must make decisions and interact to deliver system transformation. 

I joined Leeds from the Stockholm Environment Insitute (SEI), where I worked in the field of sustainable consumption and production and led the Rethinking Development Theme. Prior to joining academia in 2010 I had nine years' experience in environmental and engineering consulting in the UK and overseas. I provided environmental and sustainability advice on issues ranging from waste management to climate change mitigation for the private sector, government agencies and utilty companies. 

Current research projects include:

Adaptive decision making for urban energy transformations: my EPSRC fellowship began in 2017 and will explore how we can make better decisions to transform infrastructure systems, taking into account deep physical and social uncertainties and crucially the fact that multiple actors must make decisions and interact to deliver system transformation.

Previous research projects include:

CIE-MAP, EPSRC-ESRC: an End-Use Energy Demand centre for reducing industrial energy and material use in supplying UK needs. Work package convener investigating governance of transitions in consumption and production and development of methods to enable more adaptive, dynamic governance pathways.

Infrastructure Business Models, Valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery (iBuild), EPSRC-ESRC: centre funded to develop new approaches to infrastructure business models with a specific focus on delivery at a local level. Leading a work package investigating the potential contribution of business models at local scale and the role of governance in enabling local business models.

Alternative Financing for Infrastructure, EPSRC ARCC: PI investigating alternative sources of financing for resilient infrastructure, in partnership with ClimateXchange and Adaptation Scotland, to inform Scottish Government policy.

Land of the MUSCos: EPSRC funded project developing a new business model of multi-utility service provision to integrate end users and reduce resource consumption.

Undermining Infrastructure: EPSRC funded project using an enhanced method of stocks and flows analysis to understand the reliance of future technologies and infrastructure renewal on critical materials and how we can develop infratructure that is more resilient to this scarcity.

One Planet Economy Network: EU-funded project investingating transitions in sustainable consumption and production across Europe. Work package leader developing modellign tool to support creation of scenarios of consumption and production and measure inpact on carbon, ecological and water footprint.


  • Co-Director of Sustainability Research Institute
  • Member of Management Committe of the Priestley International Centre for Climate

Research interests

  • Decision making under deep uncertainty, particularly adaptive and dynamic decision making where multiple actors are involved in transforming systems.
  • Delivering sustainable infrastructure services with lower resource input
  • Public perceptions of sustainable transitions
  • Democracy and social justice in sustainable transitions
<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>


  • PhD Sustainability Research, University of Leeds
  • MSc, Environmental Engineering, Newcastle University
  • BSc (Hons), Chemistry, University of Durham

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

Student education

I teach in the School of Earth and Environment on energy transitions and participatory methods and in the School of Civil Engineering on sustainable engineering

Research groups and institutes

  • Energy and Climate Change Mitigation
  • Sustainability Research Institute

Current postgraduate researchers

<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>