Key projects at the Centre for Logistics and Sustainability include:

Developing Sustainable Transportation in National Parks

Project Background

Transportation-related issues in national parks are a widely recognised problem, especially for national parks situated in densely populated areas, like most parks in the UK. Intensive traffic creates environmental burdens for the local population and ecosystems. In the past decade, in response to the emerging and increasing problems, various programmes have been proposed and developed to address the issue. These include road closure, public transport scheduling and subsidies to bus services, electric bike schemes and dedicated traffic free walking and cycling routes, flexible permit schemes and travel cards, or number-plate recognition technology. While many of these schemes require changes in infrastructure and investment in new technology, some are easy to implement. However, fundamentally, these efforts will yield results only if visitors are willing to change their behaviour and switch to more sustainable transportation options, even if it causes them minor inconvenience. This project aims to focus on the behavioural component of the transportation problem in the national parks.

Research Questions

  • Exploring what attributes influence the choice of transportation among the visitors of the national parks
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of gamification interventions developed to facilitate behavioural change

Methods

  • Interviews and literature review for background research
  • Casual mapping for conceptualisation of the app
  • Gamification development process for the app development
  • Gamified app for capturing visitor behaviour
  • Econometric analysis for analysing visitor attitudes and behaviours
  • Casual mapping for conceptualisation of the gamification intervention
  • Gamification development process for the development of the gamification intervention

Project Leads/Supervisors

Dr Agnessa Spanellis - Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Prof. Phil Greening - Heriot-Watt University
  • Ember McMenemy - Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Ganna Borzenkova - Heriot-Watt University

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight

Improving Driver Eco-Performance using Gamification in the UK

Project Background

It’s known that the behaviour of truck drivers can have significant impacts on fuel efficiency. Driver training has been shown to influence the behaviour and lead to reduced fuel consumption. This study takes that work further by integrating telematics data with a gamification techniques to extend training beyond the classroom. The project will also evaluate the impact of such intervention on driver behaviour and subsequent fuel consumption. If proven effective, it will lead to reduced GHG emissions as a result of reduced fuel consumption.

Research Questions

  • Evaluating the impact of a gamified training app for truck drivers on fuel consumption

Methods

  • Interviews and literature review for background research
  • Casual mapping for conceptualisation of the app
  • Gamification development process for the app development

Project Leads/Supervisors

Dr Agnessa Spanellis - Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Prof. Phil Greening - Heriot-Watt University
  • Ember McMenemy - Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Ganna Borzenkova - Heriot-Watt University

Funding

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account

Fleet Optimisation Exercise for European City Logistics

Project Background

The goal of this project is to determine the most optimal mixed fleet setup which is able to deliver and pick-up packages in a given city at the lowest possible cost. The interventions proposed from this study aim at minimising the operational cost as well as the environmental impacts of the operations.

Research Questions

  • Determine the cost and efficiency impact of incorporating multiple delivery modes like bikes and walkers in inner city delivery operations.
  • Identify the ideal combination of manual bikes, e-bikes, EVs and walkers which has the minimum operating cost per package and stop without negatively impacting efficiency
  • Determine the reduction in emission and congestions by switching to EVs, bikes and walkers from the current fleet

Methods

  • The project started by analysing the parcel delivery data in Munich and London
  • Using centre gravity approach, optimal location to place consolidation hubs in the city of London was determined
  • A decision rule to select whether to use package cars or bikes when delivering a parcel was developed using economic modelling approach
  • This decision rule was then used to develop an agent-based model, describing one month operations
  • Experimentation was done to identify option that might minimise operational cost and environmental impacts

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Phil Greening - Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

Dr Dhanan Utomo - Heriot-Watt University

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight

Multi-Modal Operations and Infrastructure Modelling

Project Background

It is widely accepted that logistics will have to adopt new technologies and practices to meet the aggressive decarbonisation targets set by the UK government. The novelty of decarbonisation technology, the inherent need to manage the energy transition, and the short timescales involved will impose new demands and constraints on the organisation of the logistics system.

Different modes could settle on different energy inputs. The maritime sector could adopt hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia whilst the road sector could adopt direct electrification solutions such as battery or charge on the move solutions. The efficiency of the logistics system is inherently linked to its tight coupling, meaning that the energy choices made in the maritime space will inevitably impact the energy choices made by the road freight sector and vice versa. This fragmentation of energy strategy will develop operational and infrastructure challenges at the inter-modal interfaces. Whatever solutions end up being selected, the energy landscape will be very different and consequently there will have to be a redesign of the logistics system.

Research Questions

  • To demonstrate the application of agent-based models to establish the effects of widespread decarbonisation of the logistics system
  • To establish a range of likely future scenarios defined by energy, logistics operations and technology scenarios
  • To design a set of computer model experiments that will identify the major factors effecting the design, costs and operations for the case considered
  • To identify those factors that apply generally to the UK logistics system
  • Build net-zero capacity and capability through stakeholder engagement

Methods

Agent-based modelling

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Phil Greening - Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

Dr Dhanan Utomo - Heriot-Watt University

Funding

EPSRC - Decarbonising UK Freight

Fast-track Vaccine Cold-Chain Assessment and Design for Mass Scale COVID-19 Vaccination in Bangladesh

Project Background

Universal vaccine access is an existing major challenge in low-income countries, mainly due to the lack of robust cold chain networks, which can result in the loss of vaccine potency. Mass vaccination for COVID-19 globally will require a new fast-track approach to assess, re-engineer and build upon available cold-chain logistics assets and systems, to deliver vaccines at an unprecedented scale and speed.

Based on a data description of the geography and infrastructure of Bangladesh as a case study, we aim to evaluate the capacity and preparedness of Bangladesh’s cold-chain framework for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination, and assist policymakers in defining optimised, sustainable interventions and lasting legacy opportunities.

Research Questions

  • Evaluating the context and resilience of cold-chains and resources in Bangladesh, collecting primary data for a robust assessment of the cold chain capacity and gaps
  • Developing a bottom-up whole system approach building upon existing logistics infrastructure, and distribution systems for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination including modal shifts
  • Developing a cost-benefit analysis framework for the bottom-up (vaccine) systems model
  • Assessing different intervention scenarios for mass-scale COVID-19 vaccination preparedness, and helping shape the country's immunisation strategies and priorities
  • Informing policymakers and other key stakeholders, including Monetary Financial Institutions about the cost-effective intervention alternatives for cold-chain development for mass-scale vaccination for COVID-19, which may be useful for future emergency or disasters
  • Disseminating learnings to other countries, including methodology, to assess their requirements and to simulate best options for creating sustainable temperature-controlled supply-chains for health and medical supplies in epidemics and natural disasters

Methods

The Centre for Logistics and Sustainability team are focussed on using agent-based modelling to assess alternative intervention scenarios.

Agent based models (ABMs) allow consideration of a wide range of scenarios through the ability for entities within a simulation to take decisions based on the observed environment and current state. This approach allows researchers to simulate scenarios and trial interventions that would be too costly to deploy as demonstration pilots in the real world.

Furthermore, agent-based models uniquely develop a detailed description of the whole system and allow the researchers to explore the possibility of unforeseen consequences due to agent decisions, as well as allowing quantification of whole-system resilience.

Project Leads/Supervisors

Toby Peters, University of Birmingham

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Prof. Phil Greening - Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Bing Xu, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Christopher Green, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Ijaz Hossain, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Wireless Charging in Micro-Fulfilment Centres for Last Mile Delivery

Project Background

Government Policy aims for all new van sales to be zero emissions by 2040. This will require very rapid increases in uptake of EVs from the current base of 0.4% of van sales in 2018. EVs differ from their diesel counterparts in terms of range, fuelling infrastructure availability/flexibility and payload. We need a better understanding of the operational implications for the logistics sector. In future autonomous vehicles will need to be considered too, the removal of driver constraints is likely to change solutions to allocation and routing problems. Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) has the potential to mitigate fleet integration challenges by making charging sessions quicker to initiate and enabling them to be more easily controlled remotely, which could be helpful for opportunity charging. From a driver perspective avoiding the time required to handle plugs could provide user acceptance and timesaving benefits. The project brings together Logistics operations modelling expertise from Heriot-Watt University (HWU) and Low Carbon and Vehicle Technology, infrastructure and commercial knowledge from Flexible Power Systems. Other project partners include Edinburgh City Council, Lear Corporation and Hitachi Vehicle Capital Solutions .

Research Questions

This project aims to demonstrate the benefits (and costs) of Wireless EV Charging via:

  • A hardware demonstration (~22kW) at high power on small vehicles where costs and benefits will be measured:
  • A manufacturing study to understand future capability and costs
  • Analysis and simulation of logistics operations using data gathered from large scale operators to explore the impact of WEVC
  • Assessment of the impact on logistics networks of charging/logistic hubs (MFCs) enabled by WEVC
  • Development of a scheduling tool to solve charging session conflicts at the hub
  • Site selection, design and planning (e.g. vendor selection and finance) for a full scale demonstration of the hub concept using WEVC at conclusion of the project

Methods

Agent based models (ABMs) allow consideration of a wide range of scenarios through the ability for entities within a simulation to take decisions based on the observed environment and current state. This approach allows researchers to simulate scenarios and trial interventions that would be too costly or risky to deploy as pilot demonstrations in the real world.

Furthermore, agent-based models uniquely develop a detailed description of the whole system and allow the researchers to explore the possibility of unforeseen consequences due to agent decisions.

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Dr Adam Gripton, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Dhanan Utomo, Heriot-Watt University
  • Pratyush Dadhich, Heriot-Watt University

Funding

Innovate UK

UK Electric Road System

Project Background

Supporting the UK government’s National Infrastructure Strategy, this project develops the outline for a demonstrator project of an Electric Road System (ERS), similar to those already trialled in Germany and Sweden.

This creative study is the forerunner of a scheme which may see several major UK trunk roads serviced by overhead catenary wire as a form of electric HGV propulsion. This will then reduce the size of reserve battery required to allow 44T trucks to reach the ERS enabled network and their final destinations. In addition, the study will consider how a publicly available network of static fast chargers can be used to support commercial operations, and to what extent such locations can complement an ERS network.

The Feasibility Study will identify the component parts of the system and identify UK based businesses and identify UK based businesses likely to benefit.

The teams from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight in Heriot-Watt and Cambridge, will provide modelling capability to evaluate a range of case scenarios for testing. .

Research Questions

  • How many route miles of ERS should be built to maximise benefits while maintaining cost efficiency?
  • Given current operational logistics patterns for medium and long haul journeys, what size of reserve battery would suffice to allow the vast majority of journeys to operate without route diversion or requirement of top-up static charging?
  • Where are the best places to locate static chargers to support logistics movements away from the main ERS routes?
  • What are the effects on punctuality of medium and long haul logistics movements of relying only on public charging and/or depot charging without ERS capability, and how does introduction of ERS capability change this?
  • What are the cost implications for Government and private hauliers of building this infrastructure, and how can investment be most efficiently directed?

Methods

Agent based models (ABMs) allow consideration of a wide range of scenarios through the ability for entities within a simulation to take decisions based on the observed environment and current state. This approach allows researchers to simulate scenarios and trial interventions that would be costly and risky in the real world. Furthermore, agent-based models uniquely develop a detailed description of the whole system and allow the researchers to explore the possibility of unforeseen consequences due to agent decisions.

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Dr Adam Gripton, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Dhanan Utomo, Heriot-Watt University
  • Pratyush Dadhich, Heriot-Watt University

Funding

Innovate UK

Starfish

Project Background

This study will analyse collaborative logistics strategies to minimise empty running, maximise vehicle utilisation for road freight movements in the UK, and therefore reduce CO2 emissions. It will provide managers with quantitative estimates of the potential reductions in truck-km, energy and emissions, for the various logistics strategies and qualitative assessments of the managerial procedures required to plan and implement these options..

Research Questions

  • Create new collaborative networks at the whole system level within which groups of companies can consolidate loads and share truck capacity: Examples exist for logistics collaboration with a limited number of companies but collaboration involving large groups of companies is still only a theoretical concept. The benefits, constraints and collaborative mechanisms for industry- wide sharing of road freight transport capacity require more analysis for real-world implementation
  • Optimisation of networks outside operational boundaries by forming a coalition: The logistics operations are optimised well within the operational boundaries of a company. However, opportunities exist outside the operational boundaries of a company. It’s important to evaluate the best way of organising a coalition scenario to reduce cost and carbon emissions from a distribution network. This includes:
    • Backhaul opportunities - reducing empty running by ensuring a vehicle can collect cost efficient return loads within service level constraints
    • Consolidation of small deliveries - the combination of part loads originating from depots located near to each other and destined for the same, or nearby, customer locations: effectively co-loading
    • Use of regional consolidation centres - channeling part-loads through a consolidation centre in each region whose location would be optimised with respect to inbound and outbound part load flows and enabling full load movements between regions
    • Consideration of logistics clusters – co-locating of company depots in a cluster to enable consolidation of all flows and enabling full load movements between clusters
    • Optimisation of urban freight and use of urban consolidation centres – to receive consolidated part loads from depots or regional consolidation centres some distance from cities and to make freight movement within cities more efficient
    • Supply chain network collaboration – all the other collaborative strategies will be using current origin and destination flows but there may be better collaborative opportunities if a company changes a flow from one distribution centre to another to take advantage of a more cost effective collaboration
    • Multi modal opportunities - being able to achieve critical mass for train movements has been one of the main reasons for not using rail. With the volume from a large number of UK companies the use of modes of transport other than road will be examined
    • Port centric opportunities – with significant imports and exports, is it more cost and environmentally effective to hold stock collaboratively at ports rather than move them to an inland distribution centre
  • Optimisation of deliveries by relaxing delivery time windows: Strict delivery time windows have a significant impact on utilisation of vehicles. Example - relaxing delivery time windows by half an hour can provide cost and carbon savings. The use of tactical data from logistics operations will allow optimisation of collaborative logistics networks by relaxing delivery time windows

Methods

Primary data collection from FMCG companies that include flows between origins and destinations, quantity delivered, depot locations, delivery time windows and type of vehicles used. It will use a combination of agent-based model and heuristics to analyse various collaborative logistics strategies.

Project Leads/Supervisors

  • Prof. Phil Greening - Heriot-Watt University
  • Andrew Palmer - Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

Pratyush Dadhich

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight

SRF Optimiser

Project Background

SRF Optimiser is a web-based decision support tool that calculates GHG emissions, energy consumption and costs associated with a company’s road freight transport operation. It helps organisations in road freight transport in developing their decarbonisation strategy by modelling effects of 29 carbon-reducing measures, by assessing cost, carbon and energy implications of a range of technological measures that can be applied to a transport fleet.

Research Questions

  • Identify a range of decarbonisation measures that can reduce cost and carbon emissions from the UK road freight transport operations.
  • Evaluate economic and environmental impact of decarbonisation measures on a company’s road freight transport operations.

Methods

The model calculates carbon emissions using fuel-based approach and prioritises carbon-reducing measures based on net present value. SRF Optimiser compares a company’s current carbon footprint with the predicted future footprint after a number of measures have been applied. The model is developed in Java and data provided by user is stored in a secured database at the Heriot-Watt University. It uses complex algorithms to analyse the data and present the results in graphical, tabular and reporting forms.

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

Pratyush Dadhich, Heriot-Watt University

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight

Techno-Economic Feasibility Study of Hydrogen-Fuelled Freight Transport

Project Background

Transition to a hydrogen-based energy system to support and accelerate the widespread adoption of hydrogen-powered freight HDVs is, however, significantly hindered by the lack of the infrastructure required for producing, storing, transporting and distributing hydrogen. Designing an economically viable and competitive Hydrogen Supply Chain (HSC) to meet the end-user demand is a significant challenge and relies primarily on the optimal configuration and sizing of required facilities and infrastructure. In essence, the ultimate price of hydrogen at pump which in turn implies its economic feasibility against conventional fuel options, relies greatly on the optimal determination of production and storage facilities location, technology and capacity given their required capital investment and operational costs, and connecting them using cost-effective, sufficient and appropriate transport links.

Research Questions

The main objective of the current research is to analyse economics of HFSC development under alternative technology development and energy policy scenarios for land-based freight transport in Great Britain. The research aims to build a prototype HFSC model that can be used for the assessment of different pathway and technology-driven scenarios over short, medium and long-term horizons.

Methods

The project employs a multidisciplinary approach towards building the model, generating and assessing scenarios, which includes data analysis and mathematical models. A two-stage demand-driven supply chain design for hydrogen-fuelled road freight transport is developed that distinctively unifies centralised and on-site production decisions. The proposed model is a very useful tool for deriving important managerial and policy making insights and can be simply adapted to incorporate many different scenarios and demand settings.

Project Leads/Supervisors

Dr Ramin Raeesi, University of Kent

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Christa Searle, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Nazmiye Ozkan, Cranfield University
  • Dr Mi Tian, University of Exeter

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Analysis of a Strategic Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure (ATHENA)

Project Background

In realising the commitment of the UK towards net zero emissions by 2050, the implementation of cleaner energy sources is critical. Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) attributed to an estimated 17% of road transport greenhouse gas emissions in the UK during 2019. In working towards a net zero solution of hydrogen fuel cell HGVs, it is critical to assess the deployment of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Furthermore, it is important to gain an understanding of the investment required for the hydrogen refuelling and distribution networks. In analysing economic feasibility for hydrogen refuelling corridors, it is necessary to determine the number of hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) required to serve the road freight demand along with the capacity per station. Furthermore, various hydrogen delivery and dispensing strategies should be considered.

Research Questions

  • What are the refuelling demands for HGVs along the corridors?
  • What is the minimum number of HRS s required to serve the refuelling demand?
  • What are the geographic locations and capacities of each of the HRSs required?
  • What is the best hydrogen dispense and delivery model to follow?

Methods

Data analysis and quantitative modelling techniques, including optimisation algorithms and computer simulation modelling, are employed. Data analysis is performed in mapping the current refuelling freight demand. Additionally, an optimisation model is utilised to minimise the number of hydrogen refuelling stations required, while determining the location and capacity of each. Finally, an agent-based simulation model is developed to model the operations of the hydrogen supply chain.

Project Leads/Supervisors

Dr Christa Searle, Heriot-Watt University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Dr Nadia Taou, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Senlei Wang, Heriot-Watt University
  • Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Kit Daniel Searle, University of Edinburgh

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Sustainable Cold-Chain Systems for Food Resilience

Project Background

The environmental impact of the food and drink sector is huge, accounting for 190 million m3 of water per year, 12MT of food waste, 24% of anthropogenic carbon emission and 28% of UK road freight by tonnage. Food refrigeration is estimated to be responsible for 2-4% of the UKs total GHG emissions1.

In particular, cold-chains for the supply of fresh and frozen food have significant greenhouse gas impacts. However, the detailed data on cold-chain impacts has not been systematically collated in recent years. This is vital to inform policy to allow us to reach net-zero by 2050,

This project will provide: • A comprehensive evidence driven carbon emissions baseline for the food cold chain in the UK • Predicted emissions to 2050 assuming a business as usual scenario • Roadmap showing the pathway to deliver zero carbon by 2050 that is feasible and financially viable for the food

Research Questions

  • What and how are we to define UK (food) cold chain?
  • What is the future CO2 emission of cold chain with the current trend?
  • What interventions, in the form of financial and regulatory frameworks, are needed to meet zero carbon cold chain?

Methods

• Benchmarking the sustainable cold chains (SCC) • Forecasting energy and 2050 CO2 emission of SCC • System design and decarbonisation strategies of SCC • Assessing financial, business and social implications SCC • Roadmapping SCC pathway to net zero cold chain industry

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Judith Evans, London South Bank University

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Bing Xu, Heriot-Watt University

Funding

UK Energy Research Centre

Zero-Emission Cold-Chain-Building the Road to Sustainable Cold-Chain Systems for Food Resilience

Project Background

This consortium of academic and industrial partners will develop a coordinated strategy to accelerate the transition to a resilient, decarbonised food cold-chain in the UK.

Our aim is to develop and deliver a clear industry-led pathway to achieve the UK’s net zero 2050 target whilst maintaining food security and affordability for UK consumers and economic opportunity for the UK food industry.

Research Questions

  • What are the energy and cooling requirements and boundary conditions to meet zero emission cold chain (ZECC)?
  • What are the system design and decarbonisation technical strategies of ZECC?
  • What are the logistics and optimal systems of ZECC?
  • What are the product flow and post-harvest food management of ZECC?
  • What and how to optimise utilisation of the above newly discovered ZECC systems?
  • What are the barriers and opportunities of achieving ZECC?

Methods

• Defining whole system approach to decarbonise the UK food cold chain • Forecasting cooling and cold chain energy demand • Technical engineering analysis and system design • Logistics scenarios and system efficiency experiments • Assessing strategies and management • Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis

Project Leads/Supervisors

Prof. Toby Peters, University of Birmingham

Co-Investigators/RAs/PhDs

  • Prof. Phil Greening, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Bing Xu, Heriot-Watt University
  • Prof. Judith Evans, London South Bank University
  • Prof. Graeme Maidment, London South Bank University
  • Tim Brown , London South Bank University
  • Dr Alan Foster, London South Bank University
  • Prof. Leon Terry, Cranfield University
  • Dr Natalia Falagan, Cranfield University

Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Productive use of Pristine Ecosystems

Project Background

Bahía Solano in Colombia is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, but it is also one of the most underdeveloped regions in the country. It is home to artisan fishermen who follow traditional practices to preserve local marine biodiversity. It is also home to unique Mangroves which are one of the most effective carbon storage systems in the world. Currently, energy needs of the community are fulfilled by diesel fuel (e.g. to power fishing boats). This project takes a systemic view of the community as an example of similar communities along the tropical coastal lines and river banks, and looks at the needs as well as solution to help them create productive use of ecosystems that will help them develop economically while continuing to protect unique local ecosystems.

Research Questions

What would productive use of ecosystems in small rural communities look like?

Methods

We use a combination of road-mapping and causal mapping to develop a research strategy.

Project Leads / Supervisors

Dr Agnessa Spanellis, Heriot-Watt University

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

  • A. Johnson; C. Aravena;
  • UPB-Medellin, Colombia

Funding

Aunap (seed funding)

Games for Natural Hazard Community Resilience

Project Background

Indonesia is the most vulnerable country on Earth to natural hazards, with volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis occurring frequently. Such events cause multiple fatalities, major disruption to economic development and community wellbeing. Improving their capacity to act in response to such events is one of the most important aspects of community resilience that can help to reduce fatalities and the economic impact of such events. The aim of this project is to develop a complementary gamified training system for evacuation in the community near the volcano Merapi in Indonesia that will complement the official evacuation training and procedures, to develop the capacity to act.

Research Questions

1. What are the constraints of established training programmes for natural hazard evacuation? 2. How effective is a game in developing local decision-making capacity during the evacuation?

Methods

The exploratory part of the study is based on semi-structured interviews with different groups of stakeholders. The objectives of the game are developed using causal mapping. The effectiveness of the game is evaluated using Structural Equation Modelling.

Project Leads / Supervisors

Dr Agnessa Spanellis - Heriot-Watt University

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

  • R. McMenemy;
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Funding

SFC GCRF

Pandemic Communication in Indigenous Communities

Project Background

Choco region is located in the remote areas on the Pacific coast of Colombia and is home to indigenous people (Embera Dobida, Chami, Katío, Wounnan, Zenu, and Tule settlements) living in about 120 native territories and speaking 6 different languages. The settlements do not have access to communication technology and low levels of literacy, have poorly developed infrastructure and are partially surrounded by criminal gangs. All these factors make access to the national healthcare system problematic. This project aims to evaluate the spread of COVID-19 virus in the area and understand how local cultural traditions and beliefs influence the infection in the indigenous communities in Choco. The improved understanding will be incorporated into the communication and educational strategy for the prevention of the disease to reduce the risk of transmission.

Research Questions

a. How widespread is COVID-19 virus in Choco region? b. How do indigenous people perceive and cope with the new hazard? c. Can gamification approach help to bridge traditional believes and modern medicine, and help develop common understanding of the hazard?

Methods

Seroprevalence survey is used to evaluate the spread of COVID-19 virus in indigenous communities. Unstructured interviews are used during the exploratory phase to understand perception of indigenous people about the pandemic. Gamification approach is used to develop elements of the communicative strategy to help the communities protect themselves against the virus.

Project Leads / Supervisors

Dr Agnessa Spanellis - Heriot-Watt University

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

  • G. Borzenkova;
  • UPB-Medellin, Colombia

Funding

SFC GCRF

Resource Scarcity and Consumer Foraging: Supply Chain Practices as Survival Skills

Project Background

In 2012, Wells put forward a Foraging Ecology model of consumer behaviour based on animal foraging theory. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way in which consumers shop and the range of decisions they make. There have been, and continue to be, supply disruptions and volatility in household consumption. This changing consumer environment where consumers are demonstrating very different patterns of consumption it seems, more than ever, that a foraging model of consumer choice may help us understand consumer shopping reactions to the pandemic.

Research Questions

This project looks to gain a better understanding of the internal complexities of household consumption as survival skills, and the social and community capacity for resourcefulness during times of scarcity.

Methods

As a theoretical paper this work draws on a range of sources including academic journal publications, author observations, government reports, media publication and digital outlets as well as other grey literature to provide a comprehensive perspective on consumer foraging behaviour in a pandemic. These perspectives will be analysed alongside elements of foraging theory.

Project Lead

Prof. Victoria Wells, University of York

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

  • Prof. Marylyn Carrigan, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Navdeep Athwal, University of Leicester

Engaging the community and consumer with climate action: Keele’s low-carbon energy projects

Project Background

HyDeploy offers a significant technical transitional solution to decarbonisation of the gas grid and heating services. Such technical interventions are an important component of a broader shift in our energy system. Yet evidence suggests the public neither fully support nor understand technical solutions to carbon reduction. This can be attributed in part to the development and implementation of technical innovations in the absence of an informed understanding of the social context of sustainability adoption. Motivating households to support lower-carbon emissions technology is an essential element of achieving broader policy goals of decarbonisation.

The HyDeploy trial provides the first opportunity of its kind in the UK to understand how consumers perceive hydrogen as an energy vector in their homes, by those who know that they will be directly and imminently affected by it.

Research Questions

To examine reactions and potential for acceptance and resistance to hydrogen in domestic settings.

Methods

Stage one used a qualitative methodology to examine the pre-trial experiences of residents and key project stakeholders delivering the HyDeploy project at Keele University. Data was collected from participants using focus groups and semi-structured interviews, followed by a survey of all residents. Stage two of the project will use the same methodology to study participants experiences post-trial.

Project Leads / Supervisors

Prof. Zoe Robinson, University of Keele

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

  • Prof. Marylyn Carrigan, Heriot-Watt University
  • Prof. Victoria Wells, University of York
  • Dr Phil Catney, University of Keele
  • Adam Peacock

Funding

Keele University High Impact Funding

Economic Impact of Health Procurement in Scotland

Project Overview

National Services Scotland (NSS) are keen to understand the current economic impact of their procurement decisions in Scotland through key segments, in order to quantify and further develop assessment of economic impact. NSS has declared that current spend is around £2.5 billion – around £1.4 billion is spent through central contracting and will cover spend with international firms (pharmacy and technology), but around £800 million-£1 billion is spent at local health board level, meaning there is scope for a significant amount to be allocated to suppliers within Scotland. Currently, although money is spent with Scottish suppliers, it is unknown whether this money stays in Scotland through supplier supply chains, and what the true economic and social impact is from NSS procurement.

Research Questions

What is the economic impact of procurement in Scotland? How could this impact be improved?

Methods

A mixed methods approach is expected. This will be through LM3 evaluation where spend is assessed through how the organisation procures goods and services in the local area (here we consider Scotland). NSS data will show the amount awarded in terms of whole tender and the sub-contracts will show where spend is located. Interviews will support the secondary data insights to shed further light for where NSS and supplier spend manifests, and also to scope where there is the potential for greater spend within the region. This will enable priority areas to be identified and suppliers identified for their local impact.

Project Leads / Supervisors

Dr Claire Lindsay, Heriot-Watt University

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

Ciaran Scott, Heriot-Watt University

Funding

From NSS

The Role of Generativity in the Transference of Family Heirlooms

Project Background

This study explores the theoretical links between heirloom consumption and generativity. Given or bequeathed heirlooms are regarded as generative action as tangible (the possession) and intangible (morals, rituals and traditions) are transferred demonstrating a concern for future generations in a familial context. We argue that whether heirlooms are transformed or preserved, the significance of inherited family treasures is changing as result of dematerialisation. The data generated through multi- generational depth interviews with British families and their visual artefacts results in a re-evaluation of the meaning and value assigned to cherished family possessions through the lens of generativity.

Research Questions

What are the heirloom meanings and stories of transmission? How heirlooms are preserved and rejuvenated. Aim to explore the attitudes towards and willingness to act for the well-being of future generations in a familial setting.

Methods

To investigate the theoretical links between generativity and heirloom consumption, we used interpretive and photo-elicitation methods. During in depth multi-generational interviews, the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (see Coultre and Zaltman, 1994) was employed to elicit metaphors and stories through the use of visual artefacts relating to heirlooms and generative action.

Project Leads / Supervisors

Dr Navdeep Athwal, University of Leicester

Co-investigators/ RAs/ PHDs

  • Prof. Marylyn Carrigan, Heriot-Watt University
  • Prof. Victoria Wells, University of York

Funding

Academy of Marketing