An overview of ROLES participants based in the United Kingdom: Benjamin Sovacool, Adrian Smith, Marie Claire Brisbois, Max-Lacey Barnacle, Ed Dearnley and Gerardo Contreras.
Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom. There he serves as Director of the Sussex Energy Group. He works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to global energy policy and politics, energy security, energy justice, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, the ethics of energy, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change.
Adrian Smith is Professor of Technology and Society at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. Most of his research focuses on the politics and governance of innovation in relation to sustainable developments. In recent years he has learnt a lot from studying grassroots innovations for sustainability amongst community groups, activists, neighbours, and social entrepreneurs, including in areas like community energy, housing, manufacturing, and urbanism, which often make use of digital technologies.
Marie Claire Brisbois is a Lecturer in Energy Policy at SPRU, Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group and Director of the Energy Policy MSc (online). Her work examines questions of power, politics and influence in energy, water and climate governance contexts. She also works on broader issues of social change and public participation in low carbon transitions. She has led the Powershifts project, examining the potential of distributed renewable energy models to disrupt established political patterns, and a work package for the H2020 CINTRAN project examining the coping strategies of people experiencing direct impacts of coal phase outs, and how elite power plays out in these contexts. Her other research activities include participatory and collaborative environmental governance, the military and security implications of energy transitions, and science communications through both citizen science and open data.
Max-Lacey Barnacle’s research and policy interests lie at the intersection of climate change policy and social inequality, equity and justice. He is particularly interested in energy, climate and environmental justice, policies and mechanisms for a Just Transition and opportunities for widespread community participation in low-carbon transitions. He is passionate about work that exists at the research-policy interface, ensuring engagement with core public, private and civil society stakeholders to maximise the impact of academic research. His PhD (2019) explored the energy justice implications of community and municipal energy organisational structures, alongside the role of intermediaries and networks in facilitating local engagement in low-carbon energy transitions. He continues to be fascinated by the emergence of new models of ownership and governance that encourage a more local, decentralised low-carbon transition pathway.
Ed Dearnley is a policy and project professional with 15 years of cross-sector experience in business analysis, public policy and project management. He has excellent IT and analytical skills, and specialises in policy, analysis and project management. His experience covers climate change, air quality, energy, waste management and transport planning. Ed plays a leading role in the communication and dissemination work package of ROLES.
Gerardo Contreras is a Research Fellow in Energy Justice and Transitions at the Science Policy Research Unit. He coordinates the power cube workshop related aspects of the ROLES UK team’s research.