Kate is a mixed-methods researcher currently focused on user-experiences of digital, and energy, technology in the home.
Kate has interests in co-design, data ethics, decision-making and transitions to a sustainable and healthy built environment. Her previous research includes the 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, academic comedy and more. Most recently co-hosting an immersive future workshop at the Museum of the Home. She has taken part in two BBC Radio 5Live panels on retrofit and informed shows for BBC Radio 4. Kate has been quoted in the Guardian, Forbes and other media channels.
Kate has volunteered on home energy retrofit projects, undertaken DIY retrofit training, co-designed an ethical energy data co-operative, co-developed retrofit guides with LETI and provided tours of low energy homes.
Teaching and inclusion
Kate holds Associate Fellowship for the Higher Education Academy. She provides sessions on sustainable housing within the MEng Design Engineering, MSc Environmental Technology Urban Sustainable Environments option and the MSc Sustainable Cities courses. She previously taught on construction and engineering units at the University Centre in North Lincolnshire.
Kate is a collaborative researcher, enjoys working with students on research projects and is always open to discussing ideas. She is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion representative for post-graduate groups across the School of Design Engineering. Kate has been both mentee and 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
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