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Dr Marcella Ucci
Appointment
  • Associate Professor
  • Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
  • Faculty of the Built Environment
Biography

Dr Marcella Ucci is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Environmental and Healthy Buildings at the Bartlett's UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, University College London (UK). 

She graduated in architecture from the University of Naples (Italy), and then obtained an MSc in Environmental Design and Engineering, and a PhD in indoor air quality and modelling – both from the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL. 

Her research focuses on the interactions and tensions between sustainable building design/operation and the needs of occupants in terms of comfort, health and wellbeing. Her expertise includes building performance monitoring and modelling, evaluation of indoor air quality (especially biological such as dust mites), active design, and operational aspect of buildings - especially occupant behaviour.

She has led the development and launch of the new MSc Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings, of which she was Course Director between 2017 and 2019. 

Dr Ucci is Secretary (Chair between 2012-2017) of the UK Indoor Environments Group (UKIEG) - a multidisciplinary network of academics, policy-makers and industry - set up to co-ordinate and provide a focus for UK activity concerned with indoor environments, health and well-being. She was also a Committee member of the Sustainability Special Interest Group at the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) between 2010 and 2016. Dr Ucci is on the Editorial Board of 'Architectural Science Review', and of 'Indoor and Built Environment' (previously Deputy Editor). She is also member of the Executive Committee of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change. She has been invited to give oral evidence at All Party Parliamentary Groups enquiries (APPG Healthy Homes and Buildings; APPG Design and Innovation), and is currently a member of the RCPCH Working Group on Indoor Air Quality and Children’s Health.

Research Summary

Dr Ucci’s research focuses on the interactions and tensions between sustainable building design/operation and occupant comfort, health and wellbeing. Her expertise includes building performance monitoring and modelling, evaluation of indoor air quality (especially biological such as dust mites), active design, and operational aspect of buildings - especially occupant behaviour. She has successfully supervised several Master’s and PhD students. 
She is one of the Housing theme leads for the ActEarly project, awarded £6.6 million by UKPRP and led by Prof John Wright, which will provide research-ready, people-powered and data-linked test beds to co-produce, implement and evaluate novel early life interventions to prevent disease and reduce inequalities. The ActEarly City Collaboratory approach aims to provide a whole system environment where the public, scientists, policy leaders and practitioners work with each other to develop and upstream prevention solutions to promote a healthier, fairer future for children living in deprived areas. The project focuses specifically on two test beds: Bradford in Yorkshire and London’s Tower Hamlets.
Dr Ucci was Co-Investigator in the ‘Active Buildings’ research project, funded by the School for Public Health Research, through the NIHR, National Institute for Health Research. Uniquely the project brought together health behaviour specialists in the UCL’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Heath, with built environment specialists in the UCL’s Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment. The project evaluates the impact of office building’s layout on office workers’ physical activity and sedentary behaviour levels in the workplace. Dr Ucci was also Co-Investigator of the network project Welline (Wellbeing and the Indoor Environment), funded by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme managed by the Medical Research Council. Wellline addresses how the indoor environment influences chronic disorders affecting the musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary and nervous systems, amongst the most prevalent conditions found in the older population. She was also the UCL investigator for the Building Banter project, a unique collaboration between industry and academics, funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It aims to achieve greater energy efficiency in non-domestic buildings through user-centered design. Dr Ucci also co-investigated the Heating and Obesity Trends project (HOT), in collaboration with the UCL’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and funded by the UCL Crucible Centre. The HOT study carried out a multidisciplinary literature review on obesity and temperatures, and a preliminary database search, to establish if there might be any links between obesity and higher indoor winter temperature in Westernised countries. The results are published in ‘Obesity Reviews’, which resulted in considerable media interest.
Previously, Dr Ucci worked on a two-year EPSRC funded research on the environmental control of house dust mites, and on a research project for the ODPM Building Regulations Division (under the Buildings Operational Performance Framework). The project contributed to the development of the Building Regulations (England and Wales), in particular Part F and L which deal with ventilation and energy.

Teaching Summary

With broad, long-running expertise in postgraduate teaching in the fields of environment design and engineering, facility management and health/wellbeing in buildings, Dr Ucci has led the development and launch of the new MSc Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings, of which she was Course Director between 2017 and 2019. Within this programme, she leads the module ‘Indoor Air Quality in Buildings’ and previously also the module ‘Health, Comfort and Wellbeing in the Built Environment’, which is also part of the MSc in ‘Environmental Design and Engineering’. Previously, she was Lecturer in Facility and Environment Management in the same Department, for the 'Environment Management and Sustainability' module of the MSc in Facility and Environment Management.

Academic Background
2009 AFHEA ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow – Education  
2007 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Built Environment University College London
2003 BA Bachelor of Arts – Architecture Universita degli Studi di Napoli - Federico II
2003 MSc Master of Science – Environmental Design and Engineering University College London
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