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 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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Maryam Shadman-Pajouh

Dr Maryam Shadman-Pajouh

Dr Shadman-Pajouh joined Teesside University in September 2008 as a part-time Lecturer in International Management whilst pursuing her PhD in Management. In 2013 she was appointed to the full-time position of Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management (HRM). She completed her PhD at Teesside University on The Challenges of Importing Knowledge from Other Cultures: A Case Study of an Iranian Hotel Chain. Her project studied one of the largest corporations in the tourism sector in Iran, which examined the challenges the corporation faced in the areas of absorptive capacity and knowledge transfer in relation to training and innovation advancement. She studied the corporate from 2005 until 2012, using ethnography and held over 200 in depth interviews with staff and senior management. Her work is considered pioneering in the area of the impact of culture on HRM.  

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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.