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 on the Design for Retrofit project under the Data-Driven Design under Uncertainty Grand Challenge, funded by the Lloyds Register Foundation at The Alan Turing Institute.


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, School of Architecture, Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University. This followed a BSc in Building Surveying at Leeds Beckett University where she studied issues relating to energy-efficiency in traditional dwellings.

Kate has an interest in finding novel ways to use data to inform retrofit, to both protect and enhance the existing built environment. She is currently exploring the use of open access tools to address uncertainty through co-design with householders. 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 retrofit practice, Kate has volunteered on a deep retrofit dwelling project, undertaken DIY retrofit training and provided tours of deep retrofit projects. She has also experimented with creative public engagement through short film creation, science festivals and in academic comedy.


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, both relating to housing retrofit. 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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