Joanne Leach

Joanne Leach

UKCRIC Executive Manager (University of Birmingham)

Joanne joined the University of Birmingham's School of Engineering (Department of Civil Engineering) in May 2008 to work on the EPSRC-funded research project: Sustainable Regeneration – from Evidence-based Urban Futures to Implementation. She is a highly experienced Programme Manager and researcher on cross-disciplinary research in sustainable urban environments (SUE) and has been involved in the high profile, EPSRC-funded SUE programme including SUE1: VivaCity2020, £2.9M; SUE2: Sustainable Regeneration, £3.1M; and the recently-completed programme grant: Liveable Cities, £6.3M. In and around these larger projects she has been involved in numerous other urban sustainability-related projects and initiatives, covering issues from crime to soundscapes.

She has a keen interest in developing research outcomes that impact professional practice and policymaking. Joanne was involved in the UK Policy Commission on Future Urban Living (Chaired by Lord Shipley) and co-authored consultation responses on UK infrastructure (commissioned by Lord Armitt), the UK’s Sustainable Development Indicators (commissioned by defra) and the UK Lane Rental Scheme (commission by the Department for Transport).

She is also interested in exchanging knowledge across countries, and is currently exploring collaborations with cities in India, Africa and Brazil.

Her current research focuses upon two interlinked areas. First, upon city measurement and diagnostics, incorporating the broad range of sustainability issues and future resilience. Second, upon interdisciplinary practices and ways of learning within the engineering disciplines, but reaching across all disciplines, particularly those associated with urban development and redevelopment.

Joanne is adept at working across disciplines (having done it for so long!) and working within multi-disciplinary research teams (from civil engineers to social psychologists) to address wicked problems such as sustainability, resilience and climate change mitigation.

From January 2018 she is focusing upon working within engineering to engender research integration and collaboration, embed interdisciplinary practices, and advance learning frameworks –  work which forms part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) – through her work with the UKCRIC Coordination Node and the UKCRIC laboratories pump-priming project 'Priming Laboratory EXperiments on infrastructure and Urban Systems' (PLEXUS).