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Professor of Sustainable Architecture, University of Huddersfield

Professor Adrian Pitts is Professor of Sustainable Architecture and leads the Sustainable Environments and Practice group within the CUDAS (Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability) Research Centre in the Department of Architecture and 3D Design. He is also Course Leader for the revised and updated MSc Sustainable Architecture. He joined the University of Huddersfield in 2012 and his role combines teaching and administration with research activities. He has taught environmental and energy efficient design, supervised numerous research projects and research students, and published widely over a period exceeding 25 years in three different Universities. Cross-disciplinary initiatives have characterised his academic career and he has been involved with many teaching and research activities spanning the fields of: architecture, engineering, planning, environment and landscape, policy and urban development.

His undergraduate studies were engineering focused and led to the award of a BSc Tech in Energy Studies from the University of Sheffield. He followed this with a PhD in the area of building environmental physics involving an industrial collaborator and sponsor. This doctoral level research concerned air movement and energy flows in a complex industrial building with a view to optimisation of air conditioning systems and efficient environmental design. The knowledge and skills gained in the manipulation of environmental monitoring software and hardware led to subsequent employment with a computer systems company where his work dealt with electricity grid control and analysis of power production thermodynamics.

He returned to the University of Sheffield to take up a lectureship in Building Science and later moved to the School of Architecture where his lecturing and teaching duties focused on energy efficiency, environmental design, and building services. He was Course Director for a group of masters’ level degrees attracting students from around the world. His research and teaching interests grew over this period from being initially focused on buildings and building components to encompass the much larger scale of urban issues and planning. During this period he led and coordinated a number of multi-institutional projects funded by the European Union (EU) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

In 2007 he transferred to Sheffield Hallam University where he was awarded the title of Professor of Sustainable Architecture and played a leading management role alongside staff of other disciplines including geography and housing in the Department of Architecture and Planning. He held a number of posts including Departmental Research and Scholarship Leader and was Course Leader for the MSc Technical Architecture. He was involved in a number of research projects including into energy consumption in dwellings and barriers to energy efficiency and take up of renewable energy technologies by social housing tenants. He also played a significant role in the cross-university sustainability group with involvement from all faculties and subject areas.

Adrian was appointed to the Head of Department role at the University of Huddersfield in 2012 where he not only leads the constituent groups of Architecture and 3D design but also research in the environmental design and sustainability field. He is also Co-Chair of the University’s Education for Sustainable Development Forum. Current research projects involve environmental assessment techniques being used in the Middle-East and occupant attitudes to sustainable design in China. He also continues his career-long interest in thermal comfort inside and around buildings and particularly in warm environments and transition zones. More recently he has been developing ideas for cross-cutting research areas linking new forms of design with techniques from product design as well as textiles.

Professor Pitts is the author of over 100 research publications including three books, a number of chapter contributions to books, and numerous refereed journal and conference papers. His most recent book concerned sustainable development and the Olympic Games. He has successfully supervised over 15 PhD students and acted as external examiner for doctoral theses and a number of masters’ programmes and numerous institutions in the UK and overseas. He has guest lectured at many institutions around the world including Australia, China, Greece, Ireland, Egypt and Latvia. In the UK he regularly reviews research council funding applications and research papers for a number of scientific journals.


  • –present
    Professor of Sustainable Architecture, University of Huddersfield