Professor Simon Rees

Professor Simon Rees


Following the Award of a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Loughborough University in 1987 Simon Rees joined the consulting engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners as a Mechanical Building Services Engineer. In 1994 he began research into Displacement Ventilation and Chilled Ceiling systems at Loughborough University resulting in the award of a PhD in 1998. He has since spent more than five years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University in the USA. In this capacity he undertook research into ground source (geothermal) heat pump systems and numerical simulation of thermal systems. He joined the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University in 2003 to continue his work in low energy thermal systems, building heat transfer and fluid flow and energy simulation and to develop an innovative MSc programme. He joined the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds in 2015.

Research interests

Simon Rees's research interests are in the field of Building Engineering Physics and geothermal heating and cooling systems. These interests can be summarised as sustainable buidling design, energy simulation and dynamic thermal modelling methods, room heat transfer, thermal networks and geothermal systems. The most significant theme of his work has been geothermal heating and cooling systems. He also has interests in the history and philosophy of technology and the metaphysics of material objects with application to design and the principles of the circular economy.

Current work focuses on the design of office buildings and their ventilation systems and how they are chainging in response to the pandemic and hybrid working trends. This work is being done in collaboration with the Leeds University Business School and a wide range of stakeholder organisations in an ESRC funded project ‘Adapting Offices for the Future of Work’ . 

Recent work has included modelling of ground-coupled heat exchange systems such as advanced borehole heat exchanger technologies, foundation heat exchanger elements (energy piles and activated walls), tunnels and waste water networks. This work was undertaken in the Horizon 2020 project GEOTeCH (Geothermal Technology for Economic Cooling and Heating). He plays a leading role in runing the geo-energy laboratory at the Universities Centre for Infrastructure Materials.  Other research activities include performance analysis of large ground source heat pump systems (Annex 52 of the IEA Heat Pump Technology Collaboration Programme), analysis of urban wind energy potentials, application of geothermal energy to management of winter surface conditions in infrastructure systems, urban-scale solar irradiation mapping and application of Dynamic Thermal Network approaches to modelling of thermal networks and ground thermal energy storage. Much of his work relies on expertise in numerical modelling of conduction heat transfer problems and computational fluid dynamics.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Ph.D. Civil and Building Engineering - Loughborough University (1998)
  • B. Tech. Mechanical Engineering - Loughborough University (1987).

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
  • Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Student education

His primary teaching responsibilities are to lead the Building Engineering Physics element of the Architectural Engineering programme. This includes teaching of building simulation methods in taught classes, workshops and design studio settings. He also teaches energy and sustainability topics in the Civil Engineering programme. He is also a tutor for the Architectural History and Theory 4 module.

Research groups and institutes

  • Energy Leeds
  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>