Speaker Hammond - EnergyDays - 2 October 2014

Information on speakers

Professor Geoffrey P. Hammond


Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (I.SEE), University of Bath, Bath, UK

Urban and rural living in the context of the sustainability challenge

Sustainability assessment requires the evaluation of economic and social development, alongside environmental impacts. But these facets involve both quantitative and qualitative elements that are not easily integrated. Environmental or 'ecological' footprints have been widely used in recent years as partial indicators of sustainability; specifically of resource consumption and waste absorption transformed on the basis of the biologically productive land area required by a defined population. Environmental footprinting has great "visual and common sense appeal", and can be employed to communicate the fact that environmental impacts extend beyond the urban domain into its bioregion or rural hinterland. In reality, the environmental burdens caused by urban and rural living in developed countries feedback onto each other.

Cities and towns require resources from beyond their geographic boundaries, but rural communities also take advantage of the economic, educational, employment, health care, and leisure facilities typically provided in an urban setting. This will be illustrated via examples drawn from the United Kingdom context. Nevertheless, the use of environmental footprinting has not gone without challenge. The uncertainties and deficiencies of using footprints include problems associated with boundary definitions, data gathering, and the basis for weighing the various consumption and associated impacts. Its adoption as a tool for decision-making in a policy or planning context depends on an understanding of these assumptions and uncertainties.

Geoffrey Hammond is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, and was founder Director of its Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment (I•SEE). He is a mechanical engineer with a multidisciplinary background, including environmental engineering and management. During the 1960s and early 1970s he worked as a design and development engineer in the UK refrigeration industry, before commencing an academic career at Uganda Technical College (under the auspices of Voluntary Services Overseas) teaching mainly in the field of applied thermodynamics. He held various academic appointments within the Applied Energy Group at Cranfield University (1976-1989) before moving to the University of Bath, where he took up a new Professorship partially supported by British Gas plc. In 2010, Geoffrey Hammond was also appointed as an Honorary Professor in Sustainable Bioenergy at the University of Nottingham.

Professor Hammond’s research interests are mainly concerned with the technology assessment of energy (including bioenergy and biofuel) systems and transition pathways to a low carbon future, using a toolkit of methods derived from the engineering and environmental sciences (such as carbon and environmental footprinting, environmental life-cycle assessment, risk assessment, and thermodynamic analysis). This research has recently been funded in the UK by the Carbon Trust, EdF Energy and EdF R&D, the Environment Agency,

the Great Western Research (GWR) Alliance, the UK Energy Research Centre, and various Research Councils (the BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC and NERC). Currently the Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Leader of the EPSRC ‘Realising Transition Pathways’ Consortium [<http://www.realisingtransitionpathways.org.uk/>] and PI of the UKERC Consortium studying ‘Industrial Energy Use from a Bottom-up Perspective’. He was co-originator of the ‘Inventory of Carbon and Energy’ (ICE), funded jointly by the Carbon Trust and the EPSRC, now widely used by practitioners for the calculation of ‘carbon footprints’ for products and in construction. In 2013 he became a Co-Director and Co-Investigator of the EPSRC UK INDEMAND Centre [<http://www.ukindemand.ac.uk/>], which seeks to deliver significant reductions in the use of energy, materials and carbon emissions from UK industry.

Geoffrey Hammond is the author or co-author of many research papers, and is the joint recipient of the Dufton Silver Medal and the George Stephenson Prize for two of these publications. He has given keynote and invited lectures on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Willem van Gool Memorial Lecture at the 3rd European Congress on Economics and Management of Energy in Industry (ECEMEI) in Estoril/Lisbon, Portugal in April 2004. Professor Hammond sits on the editorial boards of several archival journals that publish material in the area of energy and the environment, and was appointed as an Output Assessor on ‘Energy and Sustainability’ for the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). In recent years he has also advised the UK Government’s the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Government Office of Science, and their independent Committee on Climate Change on issues concerned with energy and the environment – environmental footprinting, life-cycle emissions from key low carbon technologies, renewable energy systems, sustainable production, and industrial energy demand reduction. In addition, he has undertaken international consultancy assignments for Government Ministries and Industrial R&D Organisations in Sri Lanka and Taiwan.

Outside the University, Professor Hammond was a member of the Environment Agency's North Wessex Area Environment Group in 1998, which advises the Agency on the range of its regulatory activities. Subsequently he became Vice Chairman (2000) and Chairman (2004) until such groups were disbanded by the Agency in 2006. He was also the independent Chairman (2000-2002) of the Combe Down Stone Mines Community Association [a company limited by guarantee], which has the task of building a partnership with the Bath & North East Somerset Council aimed at stabilising hazardous 18th and 19th Century mine workings on the outskirts of UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath. In late 2004 he was co-opted as a Trustee and Council member of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (2004-2011), with a remit particularly to support their activities in the areas of climate change and sustainable energy. 

Geoffrey Hammond was appointed to Chair the Steering Group developing the Swindon Climate Change Action Plan in 2005, and is also a member of the Swindon Strategic Partnership’s Environmental Sustainability Block as part of their Local Area Agreement. He was appointed Chair of the new British Standards Institution (BSi) Climate Change Strategy Committee in 2014.

Contact details:
Professor G P Hammond, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath. BA2 7AY. United Kingdom. Tel No: 01225 386168, Fax No: 01225 386928, Email address: ensgph@bath.ac.uk
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