Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Visiting Researcher







Sir Michael Uren HubWhite City Campus





Kate is a mixed-methods researcher currently focused on user-experiences of digital, and energy, technology in the home.


Kate's interests are centered in transitions to a sustainable and healthy built environment. Her previous research includes use of digital wellbeing technologies in shelter housing; use of data in housing energy upgrades (retrofit) design; builder perspectives and training requirements for retrofit; innovation in offsite housing; smart prepayment meters and fuel poverty alleviation.

Kate holds a PhD in housing retrofit, with a focus on householder experiences, comfort and carbon, from the LoLo CDT in Energy Demand, Architecture, Civil and Building Engineering and the Design School, Loughborough University. This followed an an MRes with a focus on indoor air quality in schools and a BSc in Building Surveying from Leeds Beckett University. Kate has completed short research projects at UCL Energy Institute and the University of Leeds.

Experience and engagement

Kate previously 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. She continues to engage the construction sector, practitioners and policy teams through her research.

Kate has experimented (and won awards!) with creative public engagement through short film creation, science festivals, immersive workshops, academic comedy and more. She has taken part in two BBC Radio 5Live panels on retrofit and been quoted in the Guardian, Forbes and other media channels. Kate has been cited in the National Retrofit Strategy, sits on the National Retrofit Hub's Workforce Finishing Group, Connected Places Catapult's Home and Housing Advisory Group, People Powered Retrofit's board and is a trustee for Care and Repair.

Kate has volunteered on energy retrofit projects, undertaken DIY retrofit training, co-designed an ethical energy data co-operative, co-developed the Climate Emergency Retrofit guide with LETI and given tours of low energy homes.

Teaching and inclusion

Kate holds Associate Fellowship for the Higher Education Academy. She provides sessions on retrofit, post-occupancy evaluation and sustainable housing within the Mancester School of Architecture, MSc Environmental Technology Urban Sustainable Environments option and the MSc Sustainable Cities courses. She previously taught on the MEng Design Engineering course, and in construction and engineering, University Centre in North Lincolnshire.

Kate is a collaborative researcher, enjoys working with students from all backgrounds on research projects and is always open to discussing ideas. Kate has been a mentor on the Open Life Science programme.



Simpson K, Cockbill S, Childs P, 2022, Home energy renovation: UK owner-occupied householder uncertainties, information and data needs, Iop Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol:1085, ISSN:1755-1307, Pages:1-8

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

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