Dr Joel Chaney

Research Associate, School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University

Joel2Beltane Fellow: 1 Jan 2014-30 June 2014

Joel is currently working on two research projects that cut across the two themes of Energy and Sustainability and Human Health.

The first project is a FP7 European project entitled ORIGIN Concept.  The aim is to develop and demonstrate an intelligent ICT system for the management of local renewable energy. The purpose is trying to make better use energy locally, where it is generated. It includes developing some algorithms that forecast what the demand and supply will be and trying to shift this demand to different times in order to match supply. In addition to the technology side it involves working with people in different communities trying to understand how you can influence and encourage changes in attitudes and behaviour in relation to how and when energy is used.

Joel's previous research looked at using banana peels as a Biofuel.

Joel’s previous research looked at using banana peels as a Biofuel.

The second project is the EPSRC funded APAtSCHE project, which is looking into the aging populations attitude to sensor controlled home energy. We work with tenants in social housing in Dumfries and Galloway investigating how low cost sensing systems can be used to save money and reduce energy poverty for older people. The work involves the development of intelligent algorithms and novel sensing technology that can remotely monitor occupancy and activity in the home. This could eventually be used to discreetly monitor people’s health in a dignified way.

The public engagement project the Joel will be working on as part of his fellowship is:

Energy Stories: The energy listening project

Changes in energy policy around the world directly impact on people’s lives. However, we are not always aware of the consequences that this can have on an individual level. In this fellowship Joel intends to kindle a project that uses creative media and sensing technology to explore and tell personal stories of the importance of energy and how energy policy affects people lives. It will explore how sometimes changes in the government energy frameworks can lead people into energy poverty.