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Elliot Harker Dempsey

CAT Graduate

My studies at CAT gave me the knowledge, inspiration and confidence to become an engineer that works for the planet.

Elliot studied our CAT’s Sustainability in Energy Provision and Demand Management course between 2021 and 2023. He now works within an energy systems engineering consultancy called Elevate Everywhere, who contribute energy system design and modelling expertise to heat decarbonisation planning and heat network development in the built environment. Within the Analyse team Elliot works as an Energy Consultant, engaging in feasibility, energy & carbon modelling, and concept design projects for clients in healthcare, local authorities, education, housing and the third sector.

The path into this career started after Elliot left his work as a Sales Account Manager. He found learning opportunities taking short online courses and began reading books in energy topics to help him figure out his next steps.

When I found what CAT had to offer, I was so excited to see their MSc courses had flexible entry requirements that were elsewhere holding me back from entering the realm of energy, sustainability and climate action studies. The course structure made it feasible for me to study. With brilliantly intense on-site teaching weeks coupled with remote study, I could fit my studies around parenthood, while still being able to immerse myself in, pull inspiration from, and find close new friendships in the one-of-a-kind CAT site at regular intervals. I will never forget my time spent in the WISE building, eco-huts, and along the winding trails branching out in all directions. Having had the opportunity to rub shoulders with a diverse student body across the various disciplines the graduate school offers was invaluable, and that persists with my treasured and wide network of CAT students, alumni and tutors.

By joining modules on Energy Flows in Buildings, and Energy Generation, he found value in understanding the physics of building energy consumption, and how heat networks can best optimise its delivery with holistic systems thinking. Through a lecture by CAT graduate Mike Joyce, who at the time worked at the Centre for Sustainable Energy, he was inspired to look further at opportunities and roles that lay within district heat networks. While writing his dissertation he dedicated time to writing about the lessons he’d learned through his studies on LinkedIn. He built his network, found mentorship in a Heat Network Engineer, and wrote articles that gained the attention of a number of consultancies including Elevate Everywhere. This further opened up the opportunity to begin working with them while he wrapped up his dissertation.

The scope of Elevate Everywhere’s work was well aligned with his dissertation study ‘Opportunities and Barriers to a Low Temperature District Heat Network in the City of Chester with Hindsight of a 2016 Development Project‘ which allowed him to begin working directly with these contacts to explore solutions. Elliot’s study focusses have also left him well placed to contribute to various other projects including building portfolio decarbonisation, new build low carbon strategy development, and wider sustainability & regeneration consultation.