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Dr Ruth Stevenson

Senior Lecturer

Ruth is an environmental social scientist, lecturing across the range of taught and research postgraduate courses at CAT. Drawing on experience in renewable energy consultancy, policy making with Welsh Government and academic research on policy and discourse she focusses on the nature of socio-technical transformations and working towards social and behavioural transformation. She works closely with CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain Hub to implement systemic change at grassroots and institutional levels.


Ruth is an Environmental social scientist specialising in the institutional, social and environmental aspects of sustainability and transformation. She spent her early career as a consultant environmental planner, primarily in the renewable energy industry, acting as a Director for the worker owned renewable energy company, Dulas Ltd. Whilst representing the wind energy industry on the planning policy panel for the Welsh Government, she was inspired to initiate her PhD research on the policy making process and its effects on the delivery of ‘sustainable development’. Since then, Ruth’s research has focussed on new governance models, behavioural and systems transformations required for energy, environmental and social resilience.  She set up the Sustainability and behaviour change MSc but works across disciplines at the Graduate School.

Ruth also works closely with CAT’s Zero Carbon Innovation Lab, supporting them in developing systemic approaches to transformational change at grassroots and institutional levels. This acts as a test bed for emerging theoretical understanding.


Ruth’s research focusses on:

  • Developing new governance models for transformation
  • Systems thinking, transformation and resilience
  • Social practices and behaviour change
  • Discourses and communication
  • Environmental,  Social and ethical  Impacts of Energy developments

Teaching Activities

  • Module leader SA, SABE, SAP,  SFNR, SBC Dissertation
  • Lecturer SA, SABE, SAP, SEPDM, SFNR, SBC Dissertation
  • Seminar and practical studies tutor
  • Thesis supervisor


Anderson, S & Stevenson, R (2018) Are dispositional mindfulness traits effective in sustaining pro- environmental behaviour? International Conference for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment SDBE 2018 pp 280 -291 September, 12th-14th September 2018, London

Stevenson , R and Howard Coles, J. (2015) Neighbourhood Planning and the Energy Conversation, Town and Country Planning Vol 84 pg 449 – 456

Stevenson, R ((2014) Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST): A Strategy for Growth, Adaptation & Progression: Cardiff University, School of Architecture

Stevenson R. (2013) Built Environment Sustainability Training: Growth, Adaptation and Progression Retrofit Wales Conference, Sept 2013, Cardiff

Stevenson R (2013) Skills Gap Analysis: Sustainability in Existing Buildings BIFM, Sustainability in Facilities Management, Newport Langstone Hotel 26th April 201Stevenson, R (2009) Discourse, Power and energy conflicts: understanding Welsh renewable energy planning policy Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 27 no 3 512-526

Stevenson, R (2013) Built Environment Sustainability Training: Skills Needs Analysis for the Existing Build Sector: Asset Skills (for BEST Built Environment Sustainability Training programme led by Cardiff University, School of Architecture)

Stevenson, R. & Richardson, and T. (2003) ‘Policy Integration for Sustainable Development: exploring barriers to renewable energy development in post devolution Wales.’ Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning Vol. 5, March 2003 pg. 95 -118

Stevenson, R. (2003) Institutional challenges of sustainable development: An exploration of renewable energy policy development in Wales. Paper presented to Royal Geographic Society/ Institute of British geographers Conference, London September 4th – 6th 2003

Stevenson, R. (2002) The Rhetoric and Reality of Sustainable Wales: A review of Renewable Energy Policy. Paper presented to Planning Research Conference, University of Dundee, and 8th – 10th April 2002

Stevenson, R (2002) Devolution and the Institutionalisation of Sustainable Development – Paper presented to RESSG postgraduate conference, The University of Gloucestershire 20th February 2002.

Edwards, R., Leaney, V.C, Stevenson, R & Heslop, A (2001) Overcoming barriers to greater active community and local involvement in wind farms in the UK

Stevenson, R. (2000) Realising the Potential for the Protection of the Environment by Developing Small Hydropower paper presented at ALTENER 2000, Toulouse, France, October 2000, & publication XVII/4.1030/2/98.328