Francesco Pomponi

francesco pomponi

Dr Francesco Pomponi PhD FRSA FHEA MIET MSc BEng

Associate Professor


I am an experienced sustainability academic with a passion for research-informed teaching. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities” and this is why my research focuses on the built environment.

An interdisciplinary engineer by training, with a PhD in Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Sustainability I have over 10 years' professional experience with buildings and construction. Since the completion of my doctorate in 2015, I have authored over 60 peer-reviewed international publications, and secured grants from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the EU.

I created and lead the Resource Efficient Built Environment Lab (REBEL), which includes nine further people. My approach is grounded in academic rigour as well as societal relevance. I have done fieldwork in Central and South America, and South Africa while researching the transition to sustainable built environments in the Global South. My research expertise sits with life cycle and environmental impact assessment, circular economy, resource efficiency, embodied and whole-life carbon, and measurement, management and mitigation of the impacts of the built environment on the natural environment.

Before joining Edinburgh Napier, I worked from 2015-2017 at the University of Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Development as postdoctoral research associate on projects funded by the EPSRC, Innovate UK, and the Newton Trust. I also worked as Visiting Researcher at Cranfield University on the EU FP7 CO3 project. I am a Fellow of the RSA of the HEA, and a member of the IET and the International Society for Industrial Ecology. I am keenly interested in linking life cycle thinking, the circular economy, and sustainable development, with a fervent enthusiasm in the harmonised combination of physical, social, and management sciences.


Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Royal Academy of Engineering - Frontiers of Engineering for Development symposium: The Circular Economy - Invited Participant
  • Scientific Committee Member - CIBSE 2019 (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) Symposium
  • Adviser and Reviewer for the International Energy Agency report on "Material Efficiency in Clean Energy Transitions"
  • Invited expert for International Energy Agency Policy Forum - Materials trends in Building Construction
  • Expert Meeting of the International Energy Agency - Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • UK Representative and Expert Member - Annex 72 of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • Scientific Committee Member for IALCCE (International Association for Life Cycle Civil Engineering) 2018
  • Co-author of the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) Building Performance Evaluation
  • RICS Professional Statement - Whole life carbon measurement: implementation in the built environment
  • SEEDS (Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society) 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
  • Member of the scientific committee of the 34th International PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture) Conference
  • Member of the organising committee of the 33rd International Passive and Low Energy Architecture 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


Editorial Activity

  • Editor - Special Issue Energies (MDPI): Carbon footprinting and Life Cycle Assessment
  • Editor of Sustainable Production and Consumption (Elsevier)
  • Lead Editor - Special Issue Structures (Elsevier): Sustainable structures: whole-life analysis, environmental impacts, and material efficiency
  • Lead Editor - Special Issue Sustainability (MDPI): Low Energy Architecture and Low Carbon Cities: Exploring Links, Scales, and Environmental Impacts
  • 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 (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)
  • Highly Commended CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) 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 (Higher Education Academy)
  • Highly Commended CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) Best Technical Paper Award


Grant Reviewer

  • European Science Foundation - Reviewer for Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • UKRC Peer Reviewer (Transforming Construction Network Plus - TCN+)
  • Invited Reviewer FWO Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 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
  • Invited speaker: 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
  • Invited Keynote: Life Cycle Assessment in the Built Environment, Leeds Sustainability Institute
  • Invited speaker: 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 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 20 internationally leading journals - full details at:


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