Francesco Pomponi

francesco pomponi

Dr Francesco Pomponi PhD FRSA FHEA MIET MEng MSc

Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow


Dr Francesco Pomponi is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow within the School of Engineering and the Built Environment.

In addition to being a passionate academic, Francesco is a professional engineer with over ten years of experience in the construction sector. Over his professional career, he has planned, managed, and secured funds for internationalisation projects for the foreign markets of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ukraine.

Francesco’s expertise lies in life cycle assessment, embodied carbon, and circular economy. Within the built environment his work revolves around low-carbon buildings, measurement, management and mitigation of environmental impacts, and passive design. Francesco has been invited to and presented at many major international conferences, where his research has been highly commended and won awards. He has widely published in peer-reviewed leading journals, for which he also regularly acts as a reviewer. He sits on the Editorial Board of Sustainable Production and Consumption (Elsevier) and has recently chaired the ‘Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Accounting’ Forum of the International Passive and Low Energy Architecture conference and the ‘Design for Sustainability’ Track of the International Sustainable Development Research Society conference.

Francesco holds a MEng in Industrial Engineering, an MSc in Engineering Management, and a PhD in Civil Engineering. He is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the IET, and a Fellow of the HEA. An associate member of St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge and of Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR), Francesco regularly collaborates with practitioners and researchers from South and Central America, South Africa, Europe, and of course the UK. He has worked on projects funded by the EPSRC, Innovate UK, and the Newton Trust at the University of Cambridge and the EU FP7 at Cranfield University. His research is currently funded by both the EPSRC and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

His research focuses on circular economy in the built environment, life cycle environmental impact assessment methodology and application, embodied carbon in buildings, and measurement, management and mitigation of the impacts of the built environment on the natural environment. Francesco is keenly interested in research on life cycle thinking and sustainable development, with a fervent enthusiasm in the harmonised combination of physical, social, and management sciences.

After moving to Edinburgh, he created the Resource Efficient Built Environment Lab (REBEL), which he heads. REBEL aims to address sustainability issues in the built environment holistically and it currently includes one postdoctoral researcher and three PhD students.

Dr Pomponi is available to take on motivated PhD students in any of the above areas. Prospective doctoral students with an interest in the wider area of sustainable built environments are also encouraged to get in touch.


Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Invited expert for International Energy Agency Policy Forum - Materials trends in Building Construction
  • Royal Academy of Engineering - Frontiers of Engineering for Development symposium: The Circular Economy - Invited Participant
  • Scientific Committee Member - CIBSE 2019 Symposium
  • Adviser and Reviewer for the International Energy Agency report on "Material Efficiency in Clean Energy Transitions"
  • Expert Meeting of the International Energy Agency - Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Scientific Committee Member for IALCCE 2018
  • Co-author of the CIOB Building Performance Evaluation
  • RICS Professional Statement - Whole life carbon measurement: implementation in the built environment
  • SEEDS 2018 Scientific Committee Member


Conference Activity

  • Organiser of the RAEng funded Seminar on 'Post-disaster and Post-conflict Sheltering in Africa' (University of Cape Town)
  • Scientific Committee Member - CIBSE Technical Symposium 2018
  • Presentation at the 34th International Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conference
  • Presentation at the 34th International PLEA Conference
  • Chair of the Design for Sustainability Track - International Sustainable Development Research Society
  • Chair of the Carbon Accounting and Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings Forum - Passive and Low Energy Architecture
  • Organiser of the 1st National Symposium on Embodied Carbon
  • Member of the Scientific Committee - Sustainable and Ecological Engineering Design for Society


Editorial Activity

  • Editor of Sustainable Production and Consumption (Elsevier)
  • Lead Editor - Special Issue on Sustainable Structures
  • Lead Editor - Special Issue 'Sustainability'
  • Lead Editor for the Springer Nature book on 'Embodied Carbon in Buildings: Measurement, Management, and Mitigation'


External Examining/Validations

  • Construction Engineering Masters - Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology, University of Cambridge (External Examiner)
  • Master's Degree IDBE (Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment), University of Cambridge


Fellowships and Awards

  • Fellow of the RSA
  • Highly Commended CIOB Best Academic Paper Award
  • Winner of the Leeds Sustainability Institute for Contribution to the Field (Circular Economy in the Built Environment)
  • Fellow of the HEA
  • Highly Commended CIOB Best Technical Paper Award


Grant Reviewer

  • European Science Foundation - Reviewer for Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Invited reviewer for funding applications for Industrial Doctorates - Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • Reviewer for funding applications (Industry Fellowships) to the Royal Society


Invited Speaker

  • Intensive postgraduate course on LCA and Uncertainty Analysis - Universidade de Campinas (Brazil)
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor (RICS) CPD Day - Sustainable Construction and Building Materials
  • Invited keynote - Opening Ceremony of the Sudanese Sustainable Building Council
  • UK Green Building Council Event "Advancing Net Zero: next steps in holistic carbon reduction"
  • Festival of Research - Brighton Doctoral College, Early Career Researchers discussion panel
  • Guest Lecture on Embodied Carbon - Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca, Bogota' (Colombia)
  • Embodied carbon in the built environment, Cambridge Architectural Research
  • Life Cycle Assessment in the Built Environment, Leeds Sustainability Institute
  • Sustainable Construction - University of Brighton


Research Degree External Examining

  • PhD External Examiner - Aalto University [Finland]
  • PhD External Examiner (Cardiff University)
  • PhD [External Examiner] - Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge



  • Invited Reviewer FWO Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Invited Reviewer Elsevier book on "Sustainable Construction Technologies"
  • Invited Reviewer by the Italian Ministry of Education for the Scientific Quality of its Research
  • Reviewer for more than 50 internationally leading journals


Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Experimental validation and in-situ monitoring of the operational performance of ventilated facades in Colombia
  • Quantifying embodied carbon reduction in buildings, University of Cambridge
  • Implementing Whole Life Carbon in Buildings (IWLCiB), University of Cambridge
  • Symposium on Computational Fluid Dynamics, UFV - Santander Universities
  • Life Cycle Assessment of double skin facade technologies for non-domestic refurbishments in the UK

Current Post Grad projects