Dr Alice Owen

Dr Alice Owen

Profile

My career has spanned private, public and voluntary sector organisations before undertaking PhD research and joining the University of Leeds in 2013.  I have a track record of achievement in developing and delivering projects to support more sustainable development.

I was the lead commissioner for local and regional issues with the UK Sustainable Development Commission from 2005-11, working with the politicians and executives of the UK and its devolved governments. I originally trained as an engineer and I've been working in the field of sustainable development since 1991. I have first hand experience of the chemical industry and of waste management operations. From 1996-8,I was an NGO project manager on a wide range of environmental education projects internationally. I first worked in the public sector as Head of Conservation and Policy at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, from 1998-2001. In 2001, I established the sustainable development team in Yorkshire Forward, one of nine English regional development agencies. I also established and ran my own freelancing consultancy business working in the UK and Canada, and I worked for the Environment Agency in regional policy development.

I led consultancy firm Arup’s sustainability consulting work from Leeds for five years before joining the University of Leeds.

I've been a Member of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Green Economy panel from 2016.

I was appointed to the NERC Innovation Advisory Board in February 2017.

Research interests

The diffusion and impact of domestic green technology. This has developed into an investigation of the role of technology and data in changing domestic behaviours. The potential impact of smart meters on energy consumption is an area we are exploring in Leeds.

The role of 'place' in sustainability. Most recently, this has been in developing a framework for the circular economy at city scale, working from the starting point of a city's assets rather than the problem of a city's waste arisings.

Achieving domestic low carbon retrofit - particularly the role of advisers and installers; NGOs and micro-enterprises. I am working on a research collaboration exploring these issues with ECI, Oxford, funded by the UK Energy Research Centre, the GLIDER project.

Effective knowledge exchange - I am keen to develop further capacity to bridge between academic research and public sector practitioners. A knowlege transfer project with Leeds City Council led to generating new lines of reserach, but also found ways to use existing city assets and knowledge to drive positive research impacts.I have delivered a number of "impact acceleration" projects translating University research into action in the city of Leeds, particularly working with organisations on the built environment.

In 2017, I became a Fellow of the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity. The fellowship focuses on the role of micro-enterprises in sustainable prosperity. In addition to developing my research on construction firms, I'm investigating the role of craft and textile enterprises in sustainability.

<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>

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Leeds.
  • MBA, University of Manchester
  • BEng, Special Engineering Programme, Brunel University London

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)

Student education

I have led two MSc modules looking at different aspects of project management in practice and have developed new teaching looking at how to delvier sustainability through projects and in organisations.

I also teach the topics of environmental policy and regulation, and case studies in corporate sustainability.

I lead the  delivery of the 'Sustainability Consultancy Project' which is a unique feature of the MSc Sustainability & Consultancy programme. Teaching to support this project module involves a wide range of skill development and professional practice sessions.

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Business Organisations for Sustainable Societies
  • Energy and Climate Change Mitigation
<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://environment.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>