Students Staff

22 March 2016

Naseem showcases research at House of Commons

Filed under: People pages, Research impact, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 2:58 pm
PhD student Naseem Ramli discusses her research with Bernard Jenkin MP.

PhD student Naseem Ramli discusses her research with Bernard Jenkin MP at the House of Commons.

PhD student Naseem Ramli was shortlisted to showcase her research at a special event at the House of Commons.

At the SET for BRITAIN event, Naseem presented a poster demonstrating her research into renewable energy to several MPs, including Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin.

Naseem, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, said: “It was a prestigious event, with my session being quite competitive. I’m working on renewable energy, but it was a great opportunity to meet those from other engineering disciplines.”

SET for BRITAIN aims to connect researchers with MPs and highlight Parliament’s role in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Naseem, who was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants, added: “Not only did the event highlight new technologies, but also it was a great way to showcase renewable energy and how it benefits the planet.”

Naseem’s research focuses on using lithium-ion batteries for low power applications and she would like to be able to gain funding to develop her research further.

With renewable energy being a key interest for Naseem, she praised the University’s Green Impact programme, which helps departments be more sustainable. “It’s a good scheme,” added Naseem, “I can see that the university has made large investments in solar technology.”


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20 November 2014

Getting smart with our energy

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 4:15 pm
Kathryn Buchanan

Kathryn Buchanan

Smart energy meters might only have a very small impact on reducing energy use in homes, according to early findings from a major study at Essex.

As part of research to design technologies to reduce energy use, the feedback from people who had bought energy monitors was analysed to see if it had changed their behaviour.

Kathryn Buchanan, from the Department of Psychology, who carried out the study, said most people had bought the energy monitors to save money as opposed to having environmental concerns. However, while people reported that the energy monitors had helped them save money it is unlikely they resulted in big savings as the changes they reported in their daily behaviour, such as avoiding standby mode, would have only a very small impact on their bills.

“We found that initially many households enjoyed the novelty factor of the meters, comparing how much electricity different appliances used,” explained Kathryn, “but the interest in the meters wore off after a time.”

Whilst the meters were a good way of raising awareness of energy use and linking consumption with cost, previous research has suggested that customers only saved about 2% – which on an average home energy bill of £1,284 would mean only £2-3 savings per month.

“The problem is some behaviour won’t change, such as putting on the kettle when you get home from work,” added Kathryn, “People do not use energy for the sake of it – it is a by-product of people’s everyday lives.”

The study is part of a major project called DANCER which is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to design and develop a home energy management system which can reduce energy use without compromising on comfort. The next phase of the project will be to design a home energy management system and trial them next winter in similar flats.


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