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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Stephen Allen is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) working in the fields of energy-systems engineering and life cycle assessment.  He works in interdisciplinary teams to develop sustainable construction materials and to significantly improve in the way we use energy in our buildings.  This is essential to tackle climate change and meet the needs of a growing population.  Stephen is a Co-Investigator on the £36m Active Buildings Centre, which is designing and constructing buildings that produce more energy than they use.  Specific research interests include: 

  • Energy and environmental analysis to inform design and policy (e.g. life cycle assessment, embodied energy and carbon, thermodynamic analysis, science-based carbon targets)
  • Distributed energy technologies, including for thermal energy storage
  • Energy management and resource efficiency in buildings and industry
  • Innovative construction materials

Dr. Allen joined the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering in 2018, having previously worked as the Energy Adviser at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and as an energy and environmental consultant in industry.  He holds a First-Class MEng (Hons, 2005) and PhD (2009) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath.  Stephen’s doctoral and post-doctoral research analysed the thermodynamic and life cycle carbon performance of microgeneration for buildings.  He won the prestigious George Stephenson Medal from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2008, and a place on the USA’s International Visitor Leadership Programme on climate change and renewable energy in 2012.

Stephen’s publications have been used by government ministers, MPs, select committees and the Committee on Climate Change, supporting the development and scrutiny of public policy.  They have also been used by professional magazines (such as Professional Engineering and Architectural Technology) to inform debate and practice in industry.  Over six years as a senior consultant and then director at companies in Bristol, Stephen helped businesses to measure and improve the environmental profile of buildings, rail transport and consumer products.  He has also worked as an engineer in remote locations in Canada and Mexico, designing and building equipment and accommodation to support ecological field research.  He is conversationally fluent in Spanish.

Willing to supervise PhD

I am currently adverising for a PhD position on "Is building-integrated energy storage a good idea?".  See here  for details.

I am interested in supervising students studying:

  • Sustainable energy technologies
  • Sustainable building materials
  • Low energy and low carbon design of buildings
  • Thermodynamics and heat transfer
  • Carbon footprinting
  • Life cycle assessment

External positions

Member of Engineering Early Career Forum, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Director, Circular Ecology Ltd.


Senior Associate, Sustain Ltd


Scientific Adviser - Energy, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology


Research Officer, SUPERGEN Highly Distributed Power Systems, University of Bath


Mechanical Engineer (Canada and Mexico), Coastal Ecosystems Research Foundation



  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Sustainable energy
  • Renewable energy
  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat transfer
  • Carbon footprinting
  • Energy analysis
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Embodied energy and carbon
  • Building performance analysis

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2019 2022

Research Output 2007 2018

Open Access
environmental policy
environmental management
2 Citations
Open Access
Industrial heating
Hot Temperature

Life Cycle Assessment of Four Microgenerators: Carbon Footprints and Payback Times

Allen, S., McManus, M. & Staffell, I., 24 Jun 2015, Domestic Microgeneration: Renewable and Distributed Energy Technologies, Policies and Economics. Staffell, I., Brett, D. J. L., Brandon, N. P. & Hawkes, A. D. (eds.). Abingdon, U. K.: Routledge, p. 299-318

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

carbon footprint
life cycle
carbon dioxide
fuel cell

An initial assessment of the environmental impact of grocery products

Fisher, K., James, K., Sheane, R., Nippress, J., Allen, S. R., Cherruault, J., Fishwick, M., Lillywhite, R. & Sarrouy, C., Mar 2013, Banbury: Waste and Resources Action Programme. 135 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access
environmental impact
greenhouse gas

Residential Heat Pumps: POSTnote 426

Allen, S. R. & Wentworth, J., 16 Jan 2013, POST-PN-426 ed. London: Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology . 4 p. (POSTnotes)

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access
Hot Temperature


Micro-generation for UK Households: Thermodynamic and Related Analysis

Author: Allen, S., 1 Jun 2009

Supervisor: Hammond, G. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD