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Personal profile

Research interests

Sukumar Natarajan is the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Decarbonisation of the Built Environment (dCarb)
. He is also Deputy Director of the Centre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn)
 with research interests that include: building energy modeling, energy behavior, smart meter interface design, impacts of climate change on buildings, occupant thermal comfort.

Sukumar graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture in India following which he read for his M.Phil. in Environmental Design at the Martin Centre in Cambridge. After a short period working for the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, Sukumar returned to academia to work on the Tyndall Centre funded "40% House" project at the University of Manchester where he obtained his Ph.D. on "Modelling energy use and carbon emissions from the UK domestic sector". Since then he has been involved in a number of projects on energy use in buildings and thermal comfort including the COPSE project (EPSRC, EP/F038135/1) as principal investigator looking at the thermal comfort implications of a warming climate.

Current projects include ENLITEN (EPSRC, EP/K002724/1) which will develop a low-cost intelligent home energy advisor to provide actionable prompts to households that they can use to save money and energy. This is a multi-disciplinary project with Computer Science, Psychology, Electrical Engineering, and the ECI at Oxford.


Sukumar’s research focuses on how to design buildings that use as little energy as possible during their lifetime. A key question of interest is how big a role the occupant of a building plays in the creation and maintenance of a building’s low energy profile and how this could be optimised. This touches on issues of thermal comfort, occupant energy feedback, and innovative building physics. He also has a strong interest in modelling large scale building energy flows at community, regional and national scales. Much of his work is of an inter-disciplinary nature and he has been instrumental in bringing together techniques from computer science and psychology to these mainly engineering problems.

Willing to supervise PhD

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Smart metering and occupant feedback
  • Occupant behaviour in buildings and how this affects energy use
  • Large scale (urban to national) bottom-up modelling of energy flows
  • Energy efficiency and use in buildings
  • Thermal comfort, overcooling and underheating 

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Research Output

An Analytical Heat Wave Definition Based on the Impact on Buildings and Occupants

Ramallo-González, A., Eames, M., Natarajan, S., Fosas, D. & Coley, D., 9 Mar 2020, In : Energy and Buildings. 216, 109923.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Out with the power outages: Peak load reduction in the developing world.

Khattak, S. H., Natarajan, S. & Chung, W., 2020, (Accepted/In press) p. 904-922. 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access

“Mind reading” building operation behaviour

Neves, L. O., Hopes, A. P., Chung, W. J. & Natarajan, S., 10 Mar 2020, In : Energy for Sustainable Development. 56, p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A comparison of indoor air quality and employee absenteeism in ‘local’ and ‘imported’ green building standards

Elnaklah, R. & Natarajan, S., 23 Oct 2019, Materials Science and Engineering: 4. IAQ and Indoor Environmental Quality. 4 ed. IOP Publishing, Vol. 609. p. 1-7 7 p. 042089. (IOP Conference Series).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
3 Downloads (Pure)


Dataset for "The importance of thermal modelling and prototyping in transitional shelter design"

Fosas, D. (Creator), Moran, F. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Orr, J. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 22 Nov 2019


Dataset for "Mitigation versus adaptation: Does insulating buildings increase overheating risk?"

Fosas, D. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Herrera, M. (Creator), Fosas de Pando, M. (Creator), Ramallo Gonzalez, A. (Creator), University of Bath, 26 Jul 2018


Dataset for "Summer thermal comfort and overheating in the elderly"

Hughes, C. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), University of Bath, 24 Apr 2019


Dataset for 'How smart do smart meters need to be?'

Mogles, N. (Creator), Walker, I. (Creator), Ramallo Gonzalez, A. (Creator), Lee, J. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Padget, J. (Creator), Gabe-Thomas, E. (Creator), Hyniewska, S. (Creator), Lovett, T. (Creator), Ren, G. (Creator), O'Neill, E. (Creator), Hourizi, R. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 1 Oct 2016


ENLITEN - A dataset and its associated analysis code for the paper entitled "Designing sensor sets for capturing energy events in buildings"

Lee, J. (Creator), Thomas, E. (Creator), Lovett, T. (Creator), Padget, J. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 26 Jul 2016



An Investigation of the Effect of a Building's Characteristics on the Thermal Environment of Naturally Ventilated Educational Offices

Author: Lakeridou, M., 1 Jul 2010

Supervisor: Nikolopoulou, M. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisMPhil


Benchmarking the energy use of historic dwellings in Bath and the role for retrofit and LZC technologies to reduce CO2 emissions

Author: Moran, F., 1 Aug 2013

Supervisor: Natarajan, S. (Supervisor), Nikolopoulou, M. (Supervisor) & D'Ayala, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Creation of Hot Summer Years and Evaluation of Overheating Risk at a High Spatial Resolution under a Changing Climate

Author: Liu, C., 3 Nov 2017

Supervisor: Coley, D. (Supervisor), Kershaw, T. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Does improving the building fabric increase the risk of overheating in mid-terrace dwellings in the UK?

Author: Fosas De Pando, D., 8 Dec 2015

Supervisor: Natarajan, S. (Supervisor) & Ramallo Gonzalez, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMSc


Domestic Demand Response to Increase the Value of Wind Power

Author: Hamidi, V., 1 Nov 2009

Supervisor: Li, F. (Supervisor), Robinson, F. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD