Suffolk Sustainability Institute — Themes

The Suffolk Sustainability Institute has three core research themes, each with their own sub-themes:

  • Green Infrastructure
  • Energy and Resource Management
  • Sustainable Healthy Communities

Suffolk Susitainability Institute Research Theme Diagram

This research theme will focus on how nature-based solutions can be optimally incorporated into cities and rural communities to alleviate climate and environmental problems, as well as how they can actively contribute to the provision of ecosystem services.

Key focus areas include research on the design, planning and monitoring of GI in challenging urban and rural environments, and developing and implementing biodiversity-led enhancement strategies.

GI can directly address several pressing urban and rural environmental and social challenges: heat island effect, flash flood, air quality, biodiversity habitat loss, water quality, and particularly in deprived areas, a reduced level of interaction with nature.


Theme Lead: Dr Hannah Steventon

The material science and engineering research undertaken at the Institute includes work on renewable and sustainable energy, materials efficiency, sustainable construction, and climate change.

The focus is on seeking improvements to the performance of existing materials and investigating how materials can be developed for new applications by understanding their intrinsic properties and atomic level behaviours.

The Institute continues to research the re-use of waste resources within industrial symbiosis and circular-economy initiatives, with particular emphasis on where reconstituted waste materials can replace finite virgin materials.


Theme Lead: Prof Darryl Newport

The research focus of this theme is on the processes and means to enhance community capacity to develop and manage place-based assets. Co-development and collaborative planning are core tenets, with researchers deploying participatory methodologies to work with community groups, local authorities and place-based institutions and development agencies. Wider work includes evaluation of community events and community asset development opportunities, including how to lever funds to support delivery.


Theme Lead: Dr Alison Pooley