Dr Jennifer Roberts

Senior Lecturer

Civil and Environmental Engineering


Personal statement

I am a Chancellor’s Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, and Deputy Director of the Strathclyde Institutude for Sustainable Communities (SISC).

My research is interdisciplinary and applied, and addresses socio-technical transitions - often relating to geological resources, energy, water or integrated systems. Ultimately my work aims to inform a fair and sustainable transition to net zero carbon future. 

In addition to growing and developing my field through research and knowledge exchange, I am the MRes Director for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering MRes programmes, and I teach on sustainable development for several undergraduate and masters courses. I have delivered CPD and consultancy on citizens juries, decarbonisation, life cycle environmental and social impact assessment and design, ethnography, mixed methods, and facilitation. 

I am engaged with Strathclyde's Energy, and Society and Policy strategic themes, and am a co-founder of Strathclyde's new Global Environmental Monitoring and Policy (GEMaP) Centre for Doctoral Training. 

Beyond Strathclyde, I am the Deputy Editor in Chief of the journal Earth Science, Systems and Society, I am Deputy Director and ECR lead for the UKCCSRC, and sit on the UKERC Research Commitee and the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage Directorate, alongside other advisory roles. It is important to me to showcase geoscience and engineering for sustainable transition, and am co-director of Geoscience for the Future.

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Professional Activities

Fault architecture in the Port Campbell Embayment, Otway Basin (Vic, Australia)
Strathclyde students runners-up in international competition on sustainable engineering solutions
IEAGHG Risk Management Network
Making a buzz: Five ways that geoscience links to bees
Moving from ‘Doing to’ to ‘Doing with’: Community participation in minewater geothermal project
Earth Science, Systems and Society (ES3) (Journal)

More professional activities


Investigating novel fluid injection approaches for CO2 storage optimisation (IDRIC Flex Proposal)
Minto, James (Principal Investigator) Roberts, Jen (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2023 - 29-Jan-2024
Effects of climate change on minewater geothermal prospects: An assessment of minewater resource climate resilience and implications for decarbonising heating and cooling
Burnside, Neil (Principal Investigator) McGrane, Scott (Co-investigator) Roberts, Jen (Co-investigator) Gillen, Clodagh (Post Grad Student)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2026
The Role of Hydrogen in the Decarbonisation of the Steel Industry
Steward, Elise (Principal Investigator) Quigley, John (Principal Investigator) Roberts, Jen (Principal Investigator) Sherlock, Andrew (Principal Investigator)
This is an interdisciplinary and international research project in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, Canada, which aims to identify the key gaps, barriers and priorities for further research regarding the role of hydrogen in the decarbonising the steel industry, upstream and downstream in the UK and Ontario. The National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland (NMIS) has formed a conglomerate of industrial partners from the UK forging industry and furnace companies to develop hydrogen powered furnace technology for the forging process. This project will supplement their study by evaluating the decision problem from the perspective of the industrialist. Interviews will be conducted with key businesses and stakeholders across the steel industries of the UK and Ontario, to acquire a deep understanding of the barriers, enablers, consequences and uncertainties of industrial processes and hydrogen adoption, thus ultimately informing the development of a novel decision-making framework to assist the sustainable transition of the industry. 

This project will add substantial value to the existing knowledge of hydrogen implementation since barriers will be recognised and potential solutions provided. A report will also be produced which will comprise a review of existing processes, potential opportunities for decarbonisation across both production and processing, discussion of the issue from an industry-wide perspective (including consideration of carbon emissions and ‘net-zero’ objectives, carbon taxes, government policy, and hydrogen colour classification), modelling (hydrogen production and storage, transportation and utilisation), prospective risks and rewards (hydrogen embrittlement, costs, technology replacement), and a decision analysis.

Supervisors include: Prof John Quigley, Management Science; Dr Jen Roberts, Civil & Environmental Engineering; and Dr Andrew Sherlock, NMIS.
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2023
Carbon Offsetting and Communities: co-developing alternative place-based voluntary offsets in Scotland (£19,860)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator) Combe, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Roberts, Jen (Co-investigator) Davidson, Magnus (Co-investigator) Anderson, Roxanne (Co-investigator) Haggett, Claire (Co-investigator)
Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) offer a means of offsetting carbon emissions, by funding projects that deliver equivalent carbon emissions reductions elsewhere. These are commonly natural capital “removal” offsets that sequester carbon, such as afforestation or peatland restoration project.

The sector is growing very quickly and the recent adoption of Article 6 at COP26 delivered a rulebook for carbon offsetting, which is likely to further accelerate this marketplace. Scotland has already seen major natural capital investments led by institutional investors, corporations and charitable trust, who are often referred to – albeit controversially - as “Green Lairds”. High profile examples include investments from BrewDog, Shell and Aviva. Despite its growing popularity, it is unclear whether VCM projects have provided Scottish communities with much direct benefit or control.

To address this, this Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded project will deliver a series of events between researchers and practitioners that explore how VCMs are impacting Scottish communities and how they could be re-designed to maximize place-based, community benefits. The project will improve our understanding of the:

1. Distribution, scale and nature of current natural capital VCMs in Scotland;
2. Impact natural capital VCMs are having on communities;
3. Alternative VCM designs to deliver place-based community benefit and social justice;
4. Routes to co-develop and implement new VCMs in partnership with communities; and
5. Policy, legal and market conditions necessary for their adoption.

The project aims to initiate an informed, evidence-based national discussion about how best to design and implement carbon offsets, in a way that supports a net-zero, Just Transition.
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2023
The Skills Ecosystem for Subsurface Net Zero Technologies and Principles for a Just Tansition (RSE SAPHIRE 2021
Roberts, Jen (Principal Investigator) Anderson, Pauline (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2023
UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Community Network+ (UKCCSRC 2022)
Roberts, Jen (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025

More projects

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Dr Jennifer Roberts
Senior Lecturer
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Email: jen.roberts@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 3180