Dr Catherine (Frin) Bale

Dr Catherine (Frin) Bale


In 2015 Catherine was appointed as a University Academic Fellow in Sustainable Energy Systems as part of the university's 250 Great Minds scheme. She is an interdisciplinary academic working on aspects of energy transtisions across the disciplines of engineering, economics and social science and is jointly appointed by the School of Chemical and Process Engineering and the School of Earth and Environment (where she is a member of the Sustainably Research Institute and co-lead the Energy and Climate Change Mitigation Research Group). She is a member of the Priestley International Centre For Climate management board and an associate member of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.  

Catherine is a physical scientist by training and holds an MChem (2001), and DPhil in Atmospheric Chemistry (2005), from the University of Oxford. In addition she has has studied complex systems at the prestigious Santa Fe Institute, and completed Masters-level courses at SOAS in environmental economics and policy. She worked for two years at the public-private sector interface on energy sector strategy in a regional development agency. Since 2010 she has been a researcher at Leeds.

In terms of current research, Catherine has recently successfully completed an EPSRC post-doctoral fellowship on the topic of heat demand in UK cities (EP/K022288/1). Currently she is Co-I on two EPSRC-funded projects: the Consortium for Modelling and Analysis of Decentralised Energy Storage (C-MADEnS; EP/N001745/1), leading a work-package (WP) on public perceptions of decentralised storage technologies and co-leading an integrative WP that will apply findings from across the project in case-study cities, and a project on the use of whole energy system analysis in decision-making across scales (ASCEND; EP/R002231/1) in which she makes key contributions on heat systems and local actors in energy decision-making.

She has worked extensively with local, national and international partners including Leeds City Council, the Committee on Climate Change, and the International Energy Agency. She is currently a member of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Whole-Systems Network advisory group.  

Research interests

My research interests are centred on:

  • Energy Infrastructure in Cities
  • Reducing Heat Demand in UK Cities
  • The application of complexity science modelling methods to energy challenges at the technology-policy Interface
  • The delivery of national energy policy at the local level and the role of local authorities in city-level energy decision-making
  • Participatory modelling approaches to support energy decision-making.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I contribute to teaching in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering and also the School of Earth and Environment, on topics such as air quality, and energy systems and policy.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Integrated Energy Research
  • Energy Leeds
  • Sustainable Low Carbon Futures

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>