Researcher's Spotlight: Dr. Vanessa Rauland
At the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP), Dr Vanessa Rauland completed her PhD in what is arguably the most relevant research area in society and environment.
Supported by an Australian Research Council grant, her research analysed how urban cities can be ‘decarbonised’ through revolutionary approaches that incentivise low-carbon development. The outcomes have now contributed to a book, Decarbonising Cities: Mainstreaming Low Carbon Urban Development, which she co-authored with world-leading sustainability researcher, Professor Peter Newman.
From global to local, Rauland and her CUSP colleague Dr Samantha Hall have been assisting schools, not-for-profits and other businesses and organisations to implement lowcost solutions for managing their carbon footprint.
Three years ago the pair established a company, SimplyCarbon, after assisting South Fremantle Senior High School to become Australia’s first certified carbon-neutral school. The achievement drew extensive community interest, and SimplyCarbon has now developed an innovative program to assist more schools in reducing their carbon emissions and operating costs.
Rauland and Hall’s latest research also includes the development of an interactive online tool that enables people to evaluate their workspace according to physical and social environment factors such as light, temperature, greenery, movement, and the ability to interact person-to-person with colleagues. The outcomes will help develop benchmarks and comparisons for commercial office fit-outs, to improve personal wellbeing in the work environment. Testament to the creative vision of the project, ‘Rate my Space’ won the Business School Prize of the 2015 Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards (see Innovations 2015, page 16).
In addition, she supervises 10 PhD students who are undertaking research in the area of renewable energy and low-carbon cities.
Dr Vanessa Rauland profile