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Dr Emily Nix
  • Research Associate
  • Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Dr Emily Nix joined the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering as a Research Associate in 2015. Emily trained as a mechanical engineer, completing a MEng at the University of Sheffield, UK and an exchange year at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada – where she benefited from courses on the Engineering & Society Programme. Before completing her PhD at the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering from 2012-2017, she worked for the Graz University of Technology, Austria developing European partnerships on sustainable energy and cities. She has extensive experience in international development through roles at Engineers Without Borders UK and Canada and as a Trustee for WindEmpowerment.  She has an inherent interest in bottom-up approaches that use engineering and scientific knowledge to solve problems for people.

Research Summary
Emily is a transdisciplinary researcher focused on housing quality as a determinant of health and sustainable development in the context of low-income countries. She brings together expertise and methods from building physics, engineering and health (building surveying, modelling and monitoring and health impact assessments) with participatory and qualitative methods from development studies. She has extensive fieldwork experience in low-income urban settings in the Global South, particularly in Delhi’s informal settlements.

Her PhD was funded by an EPRSC Doctoral Training Grant (2012 – 2016) and the UCL Chadwick Travel Fellowship, where she assessed the quality of Delhi’s housing stock and evaluated interventions that improved health and reduced household energy use. Her PhD work spearheaded the Optihouse Project (2015 – 2019), funded by the Wellcome Trust, where she now leads the Delhi based work. This work aims to model, design and test housing for low-income populations that optimize the fulfilment of health protection needs and environmental sustainability under local desires and constraints. Working in close collaboration with the Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) in Delhi, she gained additional funding from the SELAVIP foundation to implement and test newly designed dwellings in an informal settlement in Delhi. She also holds an International Collaboration grant with the Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile, developing indicators for household energy poverty. She is supporting the Childhood Infections and Pollution (CHIP) Study: Using citizen science to better manage and prevent infections in under-fives in Indian urban slums led by the UCL Institute of Child Health.
Teaching Summary

Emily was the Post-Graduate Teaching Assistant between 2014-2016 for the Environmental Design and Engineering MSc Course. She developed a laboratory on experimental and monitoring methods and held lectures and tutorials on sensitivity and uncertainty analysis as part of the Advanced Building Simulation and Methods of Environmental Analysis modules. Emily also developed and taught the introductory short-course on Building Physics Fundamentals (heat and mass transfer).

She continues to supervise MSc dissertations.

Academic Background
2018 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Environmental Design and Engineering University College London
2011 MEng (Hons) Master of Engineering (Honours) – Mechanical Engineering University of Sheffield
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