Sally Caird

Research Fellow

Dr. Sally Caird BA (Hons) MEd PhD FHEA

Sally Caird is a Research Fellow (part-time) with an extensive research and publication record in the design, development, and evaluation of urban innovations, supported by teaching and external activities. Her research addresses solutions to climate change challenges, centred on sustainable design, innovation and prosperity. This encompasses social, environmental and economic aspects, and spans personal, organisational and community levels. There are several distinctive strands to her research including: design aspects of the adoption and use of innovative technologies, covering low carbon vehicles, and domestic low-carbon household energy systems; and evaluation of low carbon higher education teaching models; and future city projects/programmes as sustainable urban systems. She has also made a significant contribution to supporting innovation and enterprise in SMEs. This involves extensive collaboration and network development within the public, private and third sectors.

Having recently won funding from the Smart Cities Open Challege Competition linked to the OU flagship MK:Smart initiative Sally is leading the SmartDFrame project which aims to develop new smart city frameworks to support evaluation of city performance.

Sally has co-investigated the ‘SusTEACH’ project, funded by the Jisc Greening ICT programme, leading the project to achieve Green Gown Award finalist in 2012. She co-investigated several projects including 'Household Ecological Footprints', ‘People-centred eco-design’, ‘Household adoption and use of microgeneration heat’ , the ‘Heat Pump Trial user evaluation’ and 'U-STIR Sustainable Surface Transport' project.

Her recent research has been published in the International Journal of Innovation Management (2008), Low Carbon Economy (2010), Energy Efficiency (2008 and 2012), Technovation (2013), Energy Science and Technology (2013), British Journal of Educational Technology (2015) and International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (2015). She has also published several book chapters and reports and publicised her research via the BBC, The Independent, via news websites,  in professional journals and The Conversation.

Her co-publication - ‘YIMBY Generation. Yes in my back yard!’ (2008) exemplifies one of several publications aimed at public engagement with consumers, equipment installers and manufacturers. Her research has provided evidence to the Parliamentary Committee Enquiry on Climate Change (2007), and several UK government consultations on Microgeneration Strategy (2008), Low Carbon Heat Strategy (2012) and HEFCE's consultation on Sustainable development in higher education (2013).

She designed several online tools and educational resources based on her multi-disciplinary research. This includes: the SusTEACH HE toolkit to support sustainable HE; the ‘Postcards from the Future’ ecoquiz accompanying the BBC/OU Coast series in 2005, completed by 9000 users; a schools eco-quiz for educational use; and the OpenLearn teaching unit ‘The environmental impact of teaching and learning’.

Her research on enterprise led to the open educational website and online General Enterprising Tendency (GET) test. Now supporting Oxford Innovation with the Ignite Cornwall Business Competition (2013) and the Gazelle Colleges initiative, this website has 1,000 users per month and has been widely adopted by over 80 institutions in 30 countries for education, research, development and training. She also developed the Open2-Innova8ion Tool to support organisational innovation activities.

She has a BA (Hons) in Psychology (University College Dublin), MEd. in Education (Trinity College Dublin) and a PhD in Innovation (The Open University). She has certificates in management (Irish Management Institute) and management education (University of Lancaster) and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has held several research and teaching roles at the University of Durham, the University of Stirling and The Open University.

2014-2015 SmartDframe (OU SMart Cities Open Challenge Competition) aims to develop a new ‘smart city evaluation framework’ to support city development and regeneration programmes. Building on the capability being developed in MK:SMART and working closely with European city authorities, industry stakeholders, academics, and policy-makers, SmartDframe aims to trial a smart city evaluation framework that is linked to city performance indicators, holistic, data-driven, well-defined,  impact-focused, and  transferable across projects. This aims to support systemic monitoring, inter-comparisons, evaluation and foster city learning.

2011-2013 SusTEACH (Sustainable Tools for the Environmental Appraisal of the Carbon Impacts of Higher Education (HE) Teaching Models using ICTs) (Jisc funded): features analysis of environmental audit data gathered via online surveys and energy databases to analyse carbon impacts of 30 HE courses in 15 HE institutions and examine the transformative impact of ICTs on sustainability, plus development of online tools. Also contribution to debate on financial sustainability of England’s Higher Education System ‘'Plug the university finance gap by turning teaching greener’ .

2008 -2011 Heat Pump Field Trial User Evaluation (HE Innovation Fund/Carbon Connections and EST funded): features investigation of UK domestic user experiences and influence on heat pump performance. Data sources included user questionnaires, focus groups, buildings energy performance assessments, and monitored technology performance. Consortium included 3 government departments; 7 energy suppliers and 7 manufacturers.

2009- 2011 U-STIR Sustainable Surface Transport (U-STIR, FP7 funded): features workshops and customer engagement to support infrastructure for Low Carbon Electric Vehicles in UK, and contributed surface transport innovation case studies with partners in 7 European countries.

2007-2008 Household Adoption and Use of Microgeneration heat (HE Innovation Fund/Carbon Connections and EST): features online surveys with 900+ consumers to investigate household adoption, non-adoption and experience of using solar thermal, heat pump and biomass heating systems.

2004--2006 PCED (People-centred Ecodesign) (OU funded): features interviews and online surveys on consumer adoption, non-adoption of low carbon technologies, including insulation, energy efficient lighting, solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and micro-wind turbines. Collaboration with the National Energy Foundation, EST, Energy Agency and the BBC.

2001-2005 Household Ecological Footprints (OU funded): features data analysis of over 1,000 households using EcoCal software to determine ecological footprint based on transport, energy, waste, water and food consumption.

Dr. Sally Caird became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014. She is working on the presentation team for the new module 'Innovation: Designing for change' (T317). She also authored the Module Design and Innovation Project Guide and Project Toolkit.

She has also contributed as an author to the 'Innovation and Design' teaching block in the module  'Technology Policy and Innovation Research' (T890). In 2006 she also worked on the academic transformation of several courses (B624_1, B700_3, K100_3, K100_6) in XML programming for OpenLearn.

Related to her research on innovation and enterprise, she has contributed to a number of Open Business School modules including 'Business Organisations and their Environments' (B201),  'Managing Performance and Change' (B701/Book 5), and  'Managing Development and Change' (B751/Unit 6). In addition, she has taught on undergraduate and post-graduate programmes at University of Durham, the University of Stirling and The Open University.

Based on several research projects, she has designed and developed several educational tools. This included the widely adopted enterprise website, which has an average of 1,000 users per month, and has been adopted by over 80 institutions and organisations in about 30 countries for educational, training, development and research purposes. It includes two eco-lifestyle quizzes; one accompanied the BBC/OU Coast series, and was completed by 9,000 people; a second eco-tool for schools on the soils education website was funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). More recently she developed the organisational Open2-Innova8ion Tool, and the SusTEACH HE toolkit. Based on the SusTEACH project, she authored the OpenLearn teaching unit ‘The environmental impact of teaching and learning’ in 2013.

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