PhD Student


Read more at: Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

Sarah’s research bridges the disciplines of economics and engineering to assess barriers to urgent climate policy. The aim of Sarah’s work is to investigate the technological and social viability of proposed pathways to net zero using political economy theory, economic modelling and quantitative and qualitative policy analysis.

Sarah holds a Masters in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Bachelors degrees in economics and physics from the University of Auckland.   



Read more at: Lukas Gast

Lukas Gast

Lukas is interested in the the utilisation of industrial by-products and the concept of an industrial symbiosis. The aim of the project is to analyse current global waste streams and identify ways for using waste more effectively to mitigate GHG emissions.

Outside of his research, he enjoys travelling, music, and organising field trips to industrial production sites.


Read more at: Catherine Richards

Catherine Richards



Catherine's research seeks to reduce the ambiguity and abstractions surrounding sustainability by examining the relationship between resource degradation and societal collapse. Her work will utilise system dynamics techniques to reconcile the non-linear feedbacks between social, cultural, economic, geopolitical and environmental variables and produce a new lens to explore the most critical implications of decisions regarding natural resources.


Read more at: Iacopo M. Russo

Iacopo M. Russo

Iacopo joined the Use Less Group as a PhD student in October 2016. He works as part of the Novel Materials Processing Technologies team and his research focuses on the development of a tactile interface for the design of tool-paths in metal spinning and other metal forming techniques. He hopes to capture the skill and intuition of craftsmen in order to design failure-free tool-paths in flexible asymmetric metal spinning.  


Read more at: Simon Davies

Simon Davies

Simon is working with Siemens Corporate Technology to develop a city-scale analysis of the energy, material and natural resource flows activated by cities, including their impact on greenhouse gases. The project aims to develop an evidence base for exploring alternative development paths for cities and will allow for strategic exploration of possible technology and business model innovations.

Simon completed an MEng at the University of Cambridge and spent several years in industry before returning to study for a PhD. 


Read more at: Dr Simone Cooper-Searle

Dr Simone Cooper-Searle

Simone graduated with a BSc in Economics from the University of Birmingham in 2007 and an MPhil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge in 2008. Since then she has worked as an economist and policy advisor at DECC and BIS, a research associate at Climate Strategies and, more recently, for the International Council on Mining and Metals in its climate change program. Her work has focused primarily on the response of industry to climate change policies.


Read more at: Katie Daehn

Katie Daehn

Katie's PhD addresses copper contamination in steel recycling. The volume of steel scrap is set to expand dramatically in the coming decades. Copper is pervasive in this scrap, but a process does not exist to extract it. Copper causes metallurgical problems, so end-of-life steel scrap is recycled to low-quality products. Katie has characterized copper contamination in the global steel system, showing new strategies to manage copper are increasingly necessary.


Read more at: Iain Flint

Iain Flint

Iain started his PhD in October of 2014, developing a detailed material flow map of flat steel in Europe.  His goal is to identify the scope of supply-side material efficiency strategies that are not only environmentally beneficial but practical and economically viable for all stakeholders.