Solving wicked problems

Professor Susan Krumdieck beside a hologram of the globe overlaid with icons representing recycling, wind farms, solar energy etc
Professor Susan Krumdieck

Our research into the complex supply and demand dynamics of energy transition is at the forefront of the race to net zero. We are pioneering new transition engineering processes that drive strategic innovation, catalysing opportunities in smart energy systems, green logistics and sustainable, efficient use of energy. All of these technologies have a role to play in solving the complex ‘wicked problems' of energy transition.

Professor Susan Krumdieck MNZM (New Zealand Order of Merit) is a founding trustee of the Global Association for Transition Engineering, and an international leader in energy transition research. Before joining Heriot-Watt, she was the first woman appointed to full professor in engineering at the University of Canterbury. She is now leading the action research and innovation team in her role as Chair of Energy Transition Engineering and is the academic director of the Islands Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ). 

What we learn and innovate in our Transition Labs with Island communities and companies in the Scottish Isles over the next 5 years will fundamentally shift the business as usual, and create the opportunity space for energy transition.

Professor Susan Krumdieck, Chair of Energy Transition Engineering

Real-world impact

The Islands Growth Deal is capitalising on the unique assets of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, with an investment of £100 million from the Scottish and UK Governments and an anticipated £235 million from project partners. The Scottish Islands come together for the first time to undertake an integrated cross-sectoral energy transition programme to address the need for fundamental change in how we approach energy transition 

The ICNZ Transition Labs are engaging in action research with island councils, enterprises, and communities. The main hub is at the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus, the new home of Heriot-Watt's well-established International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT). The key partners in the ICNZ are the project lead European Marine Energy Centre, Aquatera, Community Energy Scotland and the Island Councils. The ICNZ partnership is a growing distinctive, cross-disciplinary collective which encompasses cutting-edge expertise from public sector, global business and community groups. 

The action research programme addresses the need for fundamental changes in how we approach energy transition, working from the ground up, to empower the islands to navigate pathways to decarbonisation.

Find out more on the ICNZ website.

Key information

Susan Krumdieck

Job title