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Dr Lai Fong Chiu
Central House 14-16 Upper Woburn Place
Tel: +44 (0)7588 398998
  • Principal Research Associate
  • Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Lai Fong is currently a Principal Research Fellow at the UCL Energy Institute. She joined UCL Energy Institute  after a long and productive research/practice career in both the National Health Service, and Leeds University, UK. Her aim in joining the UCL Energy Institute was to use her experience and expertise to contribute to the establishment of a socio-technical perspective on energy demand through active participation in empirical research, teaching, and PhD supervision. 

Lai Fong’s ambition in applying social research methods to energy use in buildings began with her involvement in two Action Research projects - the St. Nicholas Court and Stamford Brook projects (1999-2008), and as advisor to the high profile UrbanBuzz project - Lowcarb4real (2008-9) - a knowledge exchange initiative that took a multi-sectorial and participatory approach.  Lai Fong’s role in this project was to support the engagement process and evaluation.

In 2010, Lai Fong led the qualitative component of a Post Occupancy Evaluation project - FLASH (Facilitation, Learning, And sHaring) - funded by the Energy Saving Trust and Institute of Sustainability, and has been involved in Post-occupancy Evaluation projects in both residential and commercial sectors. She was co-investigator on the Institute’s first large project, PEB-D3 (EP/H051112/1), and on the £6 million EUED Centre for Energy Epidemiology (EP/K011839/1). 

Lai Fong completed a major case study project commissioned by BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, previously known as DECC). The report for the socio-technical analysis of 21 case studies data from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Field Trial is available on Case Studies report from the RHPP Monitoring Campaign

Lai Fong's previous funding portfolio awarded to her as a PI is near £1 million. She was a CO-I of one of the largest cluster-randomised controlled field trials (£1.4 million). Her research experience and expertise in research methodology has enables her to address complex subjects that demand multi-disciplinary inputs – such as The unintended consequences of decarbonising the built environment (EP/I02929X/1). She has also advised on many other projects within BSEER.

Research Summary

Since October, 2015 Lai Fong has been involved in the design, execution and analysis of an adjunct study i.e. a statistical analysis of data of performance of heat pumps installed by the RHPP - Renewable Heat Premium Payment Field Trial. This study is commissioned by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Her contribution to research does not confined to UCL Energy Institute but across department in BSEER. She is currently an advisor on the TOP project- The Total Performance of Low Carbon Buildings in China and the UK hosted by The Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE). 

Along side with colleagues in BSEER and external collaborator, namely Cambridge Architectural Research, Lai Fong is currently involving in two research projects commissioned by BEIS. 

BEIS LOT1 & LOT2: Understanding best practice in deploying external solid-wall insulation in UK  and the potential technological & process innovations to increase the uptake of internal and external solid wall insulation

Teaching Summary

Lai Fong contributes to the Research Methods module and Theories, Measurement and Interpretation Module of the Centre for Doctoral Training Programme of the Institute. She also gives occasional seminars and talks on the subject of socio-technical methods in Energy and Build Environment Research. Lai Fong has successfully supported PhD students to the completion of their studies. Her enthusiasm has led her to be nominated and elected as one of the 24 women to be presented in the UCL Presence and Absence Exhibition in March 2016.  


02-JAN-2013 Principal Research Associate UCL Energy Institute BSEER, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2000 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Health and Social Science University of Leeds
1989 MSc Master of Science – Health Education and Health Promotion University of Manchester
1984 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Communication Studies Sheffield Polytechnic
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