Tom Hargreaves

Hargreaves, T

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environmental Sciences. My research focuses on how innovations to promote sustainability impact upon people’s everyday lives. Within this broad focus I am particularly interested in the inter-relationships between: the dynamics and evolution of social practices, how technologies are adopted and used in everyday life, and the effects of attempts to govern everyday life to try and steer it in more sustainable directions. In pursuing these interests, my work is situated at the interface between human geography, environmental sociology and science and technology studies.

My research is of direct relevance to a wide range of audiences beyond academia and I am always seeking to develop new partnerships beyond the academy. For example, in the last few years I have presented my work on domestic electricity use and smart homes to the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and at major industry conferences such as Smart Energy UK 2019; and I have worked with housing associations to help them address energy vulnerability among their tenants.

I’ve been a faculty member in the School of Environmental Sciences since September 2012 and in this role I convene a third year module on ‘Energy and People’ and I also teach on a range of other modules on topics such as Sustainable Consumption; Science, Society and Sustainability and Constructing Human Geographies and Social Science Research Skills. I’m also on the Editorial Board of the journal Energy Research and Social Science.

3S Strands:
Transitions to Sustainability
Sustainable Consumption
Knowledges and Expertise
Policy and Governance


Systemic participation and decision making in UK energy transitions

REFIT – exploring the domestication and use of smart home technologies in everyday life (funded by EPSRC, 2012-2015)

Realising Transition Pathways – exploring ways of integrating qualitative and quantitative data on domestic electricity use and demand response (funded by EPSRC, 2012-2016)

TRANSIT – Transformative Social Innovation Theory (2014-2017)

Community Innovation for Sustainable Energy (CISE) – exploring community energy initiatives as forms of sociotechnical ‘grassroots innovation’ (funded by EPSRC/EdF ECLEER, 2010-2013)

Transition Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy (funded by EPSRC and E-ON, 2008-2012)

The Visible Energy Trial 

PhD Students:
Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin (2009-2013)
Jeppe Graugaard (2010-2014)
Phedeas Stephanides (2012-2016): Crisis as opportunity? An ethnographic case-study of the post-capitalist possibilities of Crisis Community Currency Movements
Rachel Macrorie (2011-2015)
James Graham (2014-2018): Governing social practice for sustainability
Sara Skarp (2017-): Sustainable waste systems and practices

Tel: +44 (0)1603 593116

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