Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Research Associate







The Alan Turing Institute, British Library, Kings' CrossDyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Kate is a Research Associate, studying user-experiences of energy and digital technology adaptations in the home.


Kate holds a PhD on housing retrofit, with a focus on householder experiences, comfort and carbon impacts and an MRes on indoor air quality in schools, both from the LoLo Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Demand, while based between the Design School and the Architecture, Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University. This followed a BSc in Building Surveying at Leeds Beckett University where she studied energy-efficiency in traditional dwellings.

Kate has interests in co-design, data ethics, decision-making and transitions to a sustainable and healthy built environment. Her previous research included the builder perspectives and training requirements for retrofit; social, environmental and technology innovation in offsite housing and fuel poverty alleviation.


In addition to academic research experience, Kate has worked for the Centre for Sustainable Energy on projects relating to energy efficiency, comfort, equality and smart city development; as a trainee building surveyor at Gascoyne-Cecil Estates in Hatfield and as a CAD technician at Making Plans in Leeds.

To better understand housing retrofit, Kate has volunteered on a deep retrofit dwelling project, undertaken DIY retrofit training and provided tours of deep retrofit projects. She has experimented with creative public engagement through short film creation, science festivals and in academic comedy. Most recently co-hosting an immersive workshop on the '2050 Home', at Museum of the Home.


Kate holds Associate Fellowship for the Higher Education Academy. She provides guest lectures on sustainable housing within the MSc Environmental Technology Urban Sustainable Environments option and the MSc Sustainable Cities courses. She previously taught on construction and engineering HND modules (2016-2018) at the University Centre, Scunthorpe.

Kate enjoys working with students on research projects and has gained funding to supervise two projects: one with the Association of Colleges Scholarship Project, and one with the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation Small Call. Kate has been both a mentee and mentor on the Open Life Science programme.



Murtagh N, Owen A, Simpson K, 2021, Engaging UK repair-maintain-improve practitioners in improved building performance, International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, ISSN:2398-4708

Simpson K, Murtagh N, Owen A, 2021, Domestic retrofit: understanding capabilities of micro enterprise building practitioners, Buildings & Cities, Vol:2, ISSN:2632-6655, Pages:449-466

Murtagh N, Owen A, Simpson K, 2021, What motivates building repair-maintenance practitioners to include or avoid energy efficiency measures? Evidence from three studies in the United Kingdom, Energy Research and Social Science

Simpson K, Whyte J, Childs P, 2020, Data-centric innovation in retrofit: A bibliometric review of dwelling retrofit across North Western Europe, Energy and Buildings, Vol:229, ISSN:0378-7788, Pages:1-9

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