Sally Blackwell

Sally BlackwellPhD student with Centre for Sustainability

Sally works part time in senior policy and programmes advisor roles. She has ten years experience implementing programmes to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand homes. Sally has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Victoria University of Wellington and is currently completing her PhD part time

Sally is interested in how as a society New Zealand can improve the performance of its existing houses. Assumptions used by policy makers about how change will and does occur do not result in change at the speed required to address New Zealand health, social and environmental problems associated with housing. Sally is exploring the role and influence of the ‘middle’ in enabling and disabling (Janda & Parag, 2013) positive change to the way New Zealand homes perform.

Work stream contributing to: Energy Cultures

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Abbe Hyde


Masters student with the Management Department in the School of Business

Abbe has a BCom(Hons) through the University of Otago- she completed her undergraduate degree while on exchange in Minnesota. Outside of research Abbe is the Otago Regional Manager of 100Percent, a social enterprise which provides a platform for people to use their time and talents to fundraise for charities (

NZ is in a state of transition where we have to find new sources of energy in order to decrease our reliance on carbon. In no sector is this problem more prominent than transport. Abbe’s research considers what the future of transport will look like. From a business perspective she is examining what new innovations and technologies have the ability to overtake the mainstream way of doing things and what barriers may stand in the way of this happening.

Work stream contributing to: Energy Cultures Entrepreneurial Transport Opportunities

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Fatima McKague


PhD student with the Centre for Sustainability and the Department of Marketing

Fatima comes from the Maldives and is here on a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship. She has previously worked in New Zealand with Presbyterian Support Otago on the quality of rental housing in Dunedin, and has also worked as a Policy Advisor at the Dunedin City Council, reviewing the ‘Warm Dunedin’ insulation and heating scheme. She has previously worked in Canada, Singapore and the Maldives in community development and poverty reduction programmes.

Fatima’s research interests include fuel poverty and energy efficient behaviour, within the framework of inequality and poverty. She will be focusing on policy issues and behavioural interventions to tackle fuel poverty in New Zealand.

Work stream contributing to: Energy Cultures

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Angela Howell

Angela Howell photo

Masters with Department of Management

Angela is from Dunedin and has a BA (Hons) 1st class in French from Otago. She spent 23 years away from academic life, mostly travelling and living overseas. From 2002-2010 she set up and grew a multi-lingual IT marketing agency based in the UK, sold it, and returned to Dunedin.

The research she is undertaking is looking at what interventions may trigger businesses owners in New Zealand to adopt more energy efficient operating practices; what mix of policy or legislative mechanisms combined with market based mechanisms may encourage businesses to change.

Work stream contributing to:Energy Cultures  Energy Use and Efficiency Potential in SMEs

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Vashini Purusram

Masters Student with the University of Waikato, HamiltonVishini Purusram Photo

Vashini has been awarded the CEREL Energy Cultures II Masters Scholarship to pursue the LLM. She is a Barrister, with five years of legal practice in Mauritius. She was called to  the Honourable Society of the MiddleTemple in 2008. Following a grant of post secondary scholarship, she graduated with a B.A in Social Sciences at Bangalore University, and holds an LLB with a second class upper Division from the University of London. Vashini taught Sociology and Social Sciences for eight years at Secondary School level in Mauritius, and also taught Constitutional, Administrative Law and the Law of European Union to undergraduate students on a part time basis, whilst in private practice.

Vashini’s research interests lie in identifying the potential barriers to promoting the practice of cycling in New Zealand. She will particularly analyse the court judgments, through which she will draw on the courts’ practices and approach and determine, how this is instrumental in impacting on the social norms and the general societal trend to cycling.

Work stream contributing to: Energy Cultures Future Transport Policy

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Salma Bakr

PhD Candidate with ITC and Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago.salma (160)

Salma Bakr is a PhD Candidate at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She holds an M.Sc. in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency from Kassel University, Germany, and an M.Sc. in Micro and Nano Electronics from Joseph Fourier University, France. Her research interests include Smart Grid, Demand Side Management, and Renewable Energy Sources.

Salma comes from Alexandria, Egypt and is here on a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship. While at the Centre, she will be working in alignment with the Green Grid Project, focusing on residential energy management approaches.

Salma’s research project is Smart Community-level Energy Management for the Residential Sector

Work stream contributing to: Green Grid, Shifting Demand

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Diana Ocampo

Masters Student, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago.Diana Ocampo(160)

Diana’s background is in Statistics, Ecology and Public Health. Her goals are to combine these fields and become an expert (to some degree) in areas related to the impact of humans on the environment. She believes that through interdisciplinary and applied research she can explore and get some findings that can aid in understanding electricity behaviour in New Zealand. These findings could then mitigate and improve such patterns/behaviour.

Diana’s research at the Centre is aligned with the GREEN Grid project. She is part of the 100 home trial which will assess the use of household appliances. Diana is developing the methodology of Time Use Diaries to get reliable data to address what activities people actually do under temporal and spatial dimension in individual households to understand how the energy-electricity is used by New Zealand householders.

Work stream contributing to: Green Grid, How people use energy

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Imran Khan

PhD Candidate, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago.Imran Khan


Imran Khan is in receipt of a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh. He completed his M.Sc. Engineering degree (combined) from University of Ottawa, Canada and Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh. Before starting his PhD at University of Otago, he was involved in different research projects and teaching in Bangladesh.

His research interests include multi-disciplinary approaches toward residential electrical energy management through consumer behaviour change and sustainable renewable energy solution. He will be looking for the correlations among different intervening factors between residential household’s peak demand and base demand.

Work stream contributing to: Green Grid

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