Dr Rebecca Ford

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow


Personal statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2019 as a Chancellor's Fellow working jointly between the Departments of Government & Public Policy and Electronic & Electrical Engineering. I am also the Research Director of the UK’s Energy Revolution Research Consortium (EnergyREV). Prior to this I held positions at the University of Oxford, the University of Otago in New Zealand (where I served as Deputy Director of their Centre for Sustainability) and at Victoria University of Wellington.

My research explores how people interact with energy systems, and how social, environmental, and technological insights can be co-developed to better inform policy for sustainable development. I take a multidisciplinary approach to my work, and believe in the importance of research for impact, and in bridging the gap between different forms of knowledge to advance solutions tackling climate change.


Easy or arduous? Practices, perceptions and networks driving lighting transitions from kerosene to solar in Vanuatu
Walton Sara, Ford Rebecca
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 65 (2020)
Detailed comparison of energy-related time-use diaries and monitored residential electricity demand
Suomalainen Kiti, Eyers David, Ford Rebecca, Stephenson Janet, Anderson Ben, Jack Michael
Energy and Buildings Vol 183, pp. 418-427 (2019)
Understanding the path to smart home adoption : segmenting and describing consumers across the innovation-decision process
Sanguinetti Angela, Karlin Beth, Ford Rebecca
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 46, pp. 274-283 (2018)
What's energy management got to do with it? Exploring the role of energy management in the smart home adoption process
Sanguinetti Angela, Karlin Beth, Ford Rebecca, Salmon Kiernan, Dombrovski Kelsea
Energy Efficiency Vol 11, pp. 1897–1911 (2018)
Reaching a 1.5°C target : socio-technical challenges for a rapid transition to low carbon electricity systems
Eyre Nick, Darby Sarah J, Grünewald Philipp, McKenna Eoghan, Ford Rebecca
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences Vol 376 (2018)
Smart grid research in New Zealand - a review from the GREEN Grid research programme
Stephenson Janet, Ford Rebecca, Nair Nirmal-Kumar, Watson Neville, Wood Alan, Miller Allan
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Vol 82, pp. 1636-1645 (2018)

More publications

Research interests

I'm interested in impactful and applied resesach that enhances our understanding of how to deliver a sustainable, net-zero energy future, and which informs and engages decision makers in policy and industry. I enjoy working with a variety of theoretical frameworks that explore different elements of energy system transition, and my research frequently crosses disciplinary boundaries. I enjoy exploring ideas at the intersection of epistemologies, and looking at combining different forms of knowledge to develop richer insights into key challenges for energy system decarbonisation. 

Professional activities

Supergen Energy Networks Hub Flex Fund (External organisation)
End Use Energy Demand Tech Call 2 Panel (External organisation)
UKERC Research Committee (External organisation)
EnergyREV Executive Committee (External organisation)
An energy revolution? Exploring smart local energy systems through the climate emergency lens
Beyond technologies and markets: An agile approach to innovation

More professional activities


Aberdeenshire Smart Solar & Storage – Independent Evaluation
Ford, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Fraser (Researcher)
Through the collaboration developed between the University of Strathclyde and iPower, this ETP Knowledge Exchange project aims to support the growth of Scotland’s low carbon economy in a socially equitable and sustainable manner, by testing and validating iPower’s smart solar and storage proposition, being tested in the Smart Solar & Storage project with Aberdeenshire Council.
09-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
Energy Revolution Research Consortium - Core - EnergyREV (ISCF)
McArthur, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Ford, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Hannon, Matthew (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
New Smart Grid Technologies
Ford, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
A scoping study, funded by the New Zealand Smart Grid Forum, to explore the uptake and use of new smart grid technologies by households, businesses, and within communities.
01-Jan-2015 - 29-Jan-2016
2050 Pathways New Zealand
Ford, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
Seed funding from the New Zealand National Energy Research Institute, coupled with 10 summer studentships provided by Victoria University of Wellington, funded the creation of a pop-up lab, where students worked in 4 teams supported by 15 academics across a range of departments and expertise areas. Additional support was provided by input from Gareth Wilson from the NZ Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and the work was guided by the NZ 2050 Pathways Committee, comprising members from the National Energy Research Institute, MBIE, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, the Ministry for the Environment, and Generation Zero. As a result of this project, data were collected to support the development of a 2050 pathways carbon calculator for New Zealand, and further funding was obtained by a subset of the team to develop a regional calculator for Wellington (https://porirua.2050calculator.nz/)
01-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2015
Household Energy End Use Study
Ford, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
This project is an extension of the GREEN Grid research programme, funded by two distribution network operators (PowerCo and Unison), to explore the electricity demand profiles and associated activities undertaken by households within two regions of New Zealand.
01-Jan-2014 - 31-Jan-2016
Lighting Vanuatu Independent Completion Review
Ford, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Walton, Sara (Principal Investigator)
This research evaluated the efficacy, efficiency and sustainability of the Lighting Vanuatu project, which ran from 1 May 2010 for just over two years. The project sought to address Vanuatu’s “energy poverty” by increasing access by rural householders to handheld solar lanterns, thereby reducing household dependency on the use of kerosene for lighting.
01-Jan-2013 - 31-Jan-2014

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