Doctoral Program
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) / Engineering Doctorate (EngD)
For information on how to apply, please visit:

For questions about your doctoral study or application, please contact:
The Leeds Sustainability Institute (LSI) is the University’s flagship research group specialising in investigating the impact of the built environment on society. Over the past 20 years the LSI has built a reputation for undertaking excellent field work based research projects that have shaped building regulations, and energy efficiency policy, not least via the discovery of the party wall bypass mechanism.

The foundations of our success have been in pioneering building performance evaluation field test methods culminating in the world-renowned Electric Coheating Test and the discovery of the building energy performance gap, which are now an internationally recognised standard and a keystone principles of building research and policy across the globe respectively. Our success has seen the LSI expand its reach into broader cutting edge built environment related issues encompassing health and wellbeing, dynamic and thermal modelling, and building data analytics.
Research Proposal
Students are required to submit a 1000-word research proposal on the specific problem they will be investigating as complimentary evidence to the university application forms. Please contact us to discuss your applications prior to their submission. For research expertise held within the LSI and the School please visit:
Support and Feedback
You will be allocated at least two supervisors from our research team who will meet with you monthly (full time) or every other month (part time) to support your research. The University provide you with a range of training courses to support your wider researcher skills and experience. Students on the EngD program will also attend two bespoke doctoral workshops designed specifically to introduce students to the research process. Students will need to pass a confirmation of registration panel in their first year and annual progression panel meetings in each additional year of their study.
Doctoral Thesis
Students will be expected to produce a 60,000 plus word thesis which will be subject to external review and which they will need to defend at a viva voce. For PhD program the thesis is submitted after 4 years (full time) or 6 years (part time). The EngD program is only available part time and is submitted after 5 years.
Benefits of studying for a doctorate
• Conceptualise current research literature to identify gaps in knowledge.
• Develop key skills in constructing research instruments.
• Develop ability in judgement, foresight and problem analysis when assessing original research material derived from empirical research.
PhD or EngD?
• The PhD program is tailored for people with research experience. A supervisory team will support you through your studies, and your thesis will have a more theoretical focus.

• The EngD program is aimed at those with little research experience and so also includes 2 bespoke training workshops in the first year, and thesis will have a more practical application.
For PhD program:
• Hold a recent 2:2 first degree or an MSc in a relevant subject

For EngD program:
• Substantial professional experience
PhD students

Matthew Brooke-Peat, BSc (Hons) MSc CEnv MCIOB MCIAT LCGI

Working Thesis Title: Assessing the Impact of Thermal Bridging on Building Fabric Performance. Matthew’s PhD research is set within the context of the growing body of evidence for the existence of a thermal performance gap between designed and as-built building fabric. His thesis focuses on the thermal performance of junctions in the building fabric of dwelling houses. The work questions the assumption that the thermal bridging parameters entered into energy use and Carbon Dioxide emissions calculations for the design of a dwelling is achieved by the actual construction. Using case studies, the doctoral project applies a forensic assessment method to inform a comparative analysis between the designed and as-built thermal bridging.

David Farmer

David's research is primarily involved with assessing the energy performance of buildings; combining in situ fabric and services test methodologies, building forensics and data analysis techniques. His work has included building performance evaluation on new and existing dwellings, as well as in-use monitoring projects. David is currently developing a methodology to characterise whole house heat loss using a dwelling’s heating system as part of his doctoral research. He has undertaken experimental work of houses in the field and at the University of Salford Energy House test facility.

Martin Fletcher

Martin is researching the thermal comfort conditions within multi-purpose sports facilities. These facilities can be typically defined as a ‘one size fits all’ construction, with a wide range of users and usage, ranging from intense physical activity to functioning as an exam hall to stationary students. Each user group has certain requirements with regards to temperature, ventilation, lighting and a host of other activity-specific variables. Failure to adequately control the internal environment can have serious implications, affecting comfort levels, inhibiting sports activity and potentially compromising safety.

Melanie Smith, FRICS

Melanie is a Chartered Building Surveyor. She has worked in local authority and private practice, with specialisms of regulation, fire safety, and accessibility, and is now lecturer and researcher at Leeds Beckett University. Areas of interest are building surveying professional practice, thermal performance, and existing construction. She is progressing towards a PhD, studying surveying practice.

D.Eng students

Mark Burrows, BSc(Hons) MSc CEnv CEng CMVP FEI FLSI

Mark is currently undertaking a D.Eng research degree in the field of industrial energy data analytics. His research centres on analysing and understanding the barriers to the uptake of energy data analytics, as a tool for energy reduction within industrial manufacturing businesses within the UK.

Ben Mosley

Ben is currently undertaking research for a DEng in the area of sustainable and green practice in the professional audio industries’ focussing on the use of sustainable and recycled materials for acoustic absorption and sound insulation in recording and broadcast studios.

Emeka Efe Osaji

Emeka is currently studying part-time for a D.Eng degree at Leeds Sustainability Institute, which involves the Assessment of UK Display Energy Certificate (DEC) Ratings and Advisory Report (AR) Recommendations. Emeka’s D.Eng study investigates an important Energy Performance Certification research question: “Are DECs and ARs living up to expectations, and to what extent have AR recommendations helped improve DEC ratings?”

Karl Redmond, MSc

Karl is engaged is various initiatives surrounding social infrastructure; BIM; IT; procurement; project management; specialist product design and manufacture licence; Off-site / modular build; facilities & estate management; commercial asset assessment & improvement programs; MMC; cloud based technologies strategic integrated business and estate planning.

Josie Rothera

Josie’s research will gather desktop and field-based case-studies to structure a framework of understanding as to what constitutes ‘value’ of products introduced in low socio-economic communities. Josie’s products of focus will be off grid solar products and her field-based trials will be carried out in The Gambia. Her area is linked with other current research in LSI around water, sanitation and social development.

Stephen Wise

Stephen works for Knauf Insulation as Technical Development Manager, he has worked for the business for 13 years and held his current post for 6 years. His responsibilities include managing the Knauf's research portfolio in the UK and working on CEN and British Standards Committees on subjects including product standards and in-situ testing. He also has been heavily involved in the government's industry engagement process for the last 4 revisions of Part L. He was the chair of the Construction Products Association Technical Committee for several years standing down in 2014 and is currently chair of The Thermal Insulation Manufacturers and Suppliers Association. He has worked closely with Leeds Beckett University since 2009 notably on the development of solutions to Party Wall Bypass.