This complex and multifaceted challenge involves balancing increasing and different demands from the developed and developing world for energy, improved living standards, health, longevity and wellbeing, with the need to manage the threats of climate change and the depletion or degradation of natural resources and global ecosystems and communities.

Our work is focussed on developing the technologies, policies and strategies, and on providing the evidence to drive the individual and societal behaviour changes needed to make the world more sustainable and engages a diverse range of specialisms at the university including environmental and life sciences, engineering, design, health, social policy, ethics, business and law.

Our research includes work at the global and local level. We work with some of the world’s largest companies and leading international research partners, including IBM, Siemens, ABB, VTT (Finland) and CSTB, The French Scientific and Technical Centre for Building on projects such as the development of measurement and control systems to improve the efficiency and reduce emissions from power stations; the development of planning and management tools to reduce waste and improve efficiency in the Construction Industry; Energy Demand Response for Buildings (DRBOB) and the development of integrated smart grids (inteGRIDy). We also work in the local community, helping people live more sustainably via a Big Lottery funded project, One Planet Middlesbrough.


Diverse research questions explored

Examples of some of the diverse research questions explored within this Grand Challenge theme are:

  • How can we mitigate the harmful effects of industrialisation, development and population growth?
  • How can we develop a new generation of technologies that deliver our expectations of heath, wealth and quality of life without damaging or depleting our planet?
  • How do we manage the politics of sustainability, and ensure that the actions needed to deliver it have positive outcomes for all?
  • What will we do when we have exhausted or can no longer exploit our reserves and resources of energy and raw materials?
  • How can we influence the behaviour of individuals, businesses and governments to promote sustainability?


Our work in this challenge theme draws on and is informed by work and expertise across all parts of the University, which includes amongst others:

Smart buildings and energy infrastructures, clean alternatives to fossils fuel, renewable and sustainable chemicals and material, transport, sustainable manufacturing, food production, waste management, construction, CO2 and pollution reduction, societal attitudes, socio-economic impacts of pollution, climate change and energy poverty, impacts on health and wellbeing, and product design for sustainable consumption.


Research leads

Dr Tracey Crosbie

Dr Tracey Crosbie

Dr Tracey Crosbie is a Senior Research Lecturer in Energy Reduction in the School of Science, Engineering & Design. Tracey is a trans-disciplinary academic with degrees in the social and technical sciences and has been researching issues related to energy consumption in the built environment and methods of energy reduction for almost twenty years, with current research including the relationship between energy consumption, people, buildings and cities; fuel poverty and energy efficiency; and carbon reduction in the built environment. She has wide experience of research with industry and third sector organisations in the UK, Europe and beyond

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Paul Denison

Paul Denison

Paul Denison is a Principal Lecturer in Product Design in the School of Science, Engineering & Design. Paul has long-standing interests and research in issues of sustainability and sustainable design pedagogies. His work has included the prestigious British Council Environment Future Upcycling project in Guangzhou, China. At Teesside, he has led a cross-University interest group on sustainability (SUSTEES) and has co-developed new programmes in sustainable technology and design

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Sustainable environments news

A BIM model.. Link to A BIM model..

New technology is changing the construction industry

Teesside University has an international reputation for its expertise in Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Link to .

One Planet Middlesbrough

Dr Tracey Crosbie from Teesside University leads the evaluation of the outcomes of the One Planet Middlesbrough project - a Big Lottery funded project which aims to create a sustainable, ‘One Planet Town’, improving quality of life and addressing social, economic and environmental challenges by engaging people in actions that promote sustainable living and behaviours.

The DR-BoB project team. From left - Ethan Lumb, Huda Dawood, Vladimir Vukovic, Nash Dawood, John Broderick , Tracey Crosbie and Muneeb Dawood.. Link to The DR-BoB project team. From left - Ethan Lumb, Huda Dawood, Vladimir Vukovic, Nash Dawood, John Broderick , Tracey Crosbie and Muneeb Dawood..

University research could herald new energy management solutions

Teesside University is to lead a pioneering multi-million pound EU research project into how blocks of buildings can use intelligent electricity systems to maximise energy efficiency.