The Centre is staffed by a Multi Disciplinary Team

CUSP staff apply multidisciplinary approaches to sustainability; we recognise the need for holistic, integrated solutions addressing the relevant economic, social, environmental, political and technological challenges for any given situation.

Dr Alan Owen - Director

Dr Owen started CUSP in 2009 with a view to creating interdisciplinary work with particular interest in the behavioural change/ technology interface.

Alan Owen Profile PictureDr Owen is a practical, time served engineer with 25 years experience in renewable energy technologies and sustainable development. After achieving a first class  BEng (Hons) in 2002, he completed his PhD in Marine Hydrodynamics in 2007.

Increasingly concerned that sustainability is seen only as a techno-centric issue, Dr Owen created the Centre for Understanding Sustainability in Practice (CUSP) in 2009 with a view to creating interdisciplinary projects with a particular focus on the behavioural change/technology interface. Since then CUSP has attracted over £1.8 million funding from many different sources, providing research and consultancy services for sustainable food/energy/water nexus projects in UK, South East Asia and West Africa, interfacing with the full social range from indigenous fishing communities to government leaders. Dr Owen has published peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters and has provided renewable energy advice to BBC programme makers.

Dr Owen's full staff profile

Dr. Alan Owen
+44 (0) 1224 262360

Dr Leuserina Garniati - Research Fellow

Working for CUSP since January 2010, Nia has initiated international collaborations and new research strands in the interfaces between appropriate technology and policy in sustainable energy for fragile/vulnerable societies.

Nia Garniati Profile Picture

Nia's professional experience includes more than 13 years of working with various local/multi-national NGOs, both UK and South East Asian Government institutions, and research communities in sustainable development related projects. Her main area of interest is in working with fragile/vulnerable societies to build indigenous capabilities for environmental protection and equal access to sustainable energy, food and water resources.

Her PhD thesis was in sustainable energy policy intervention and appropriate technology implementation in vulnerable societies. She currently acts in advisory capacities to the Strategic Resources Initiatives in Aceh and Timor Leste for access to sustainable energy as means to empower communities and increase their resilience towards climate change and natural/human-induced disasters.

Nia has initiated work funded by the UNDP, UK-DFID, FCO, and UK businesses for Indonesia. She has contributed to the development of the Robert Gordon University's Carbon Management Plan and was the lead consultant responsible for Aberdeen City/Shire Energy Baseline Systems and its Sustainable Energy Action Plan. She designs modules, presents lectures and co-supervises PhD and MSc students in Environmental Impact and Risk Management for the Energy Centre as well as Sustainable Energy Systems and Carbon Management for the Energy and Sustainability postgraduate programmes. 

  Leuserina's full staff profile

Leuserina (Nia) Garniati
Environmental Analyst & Carbon Analyst
+44 (0) 1224 262362

Amar Nayak - Research Assistant

Amar is a Research Assistant who has been working at the Institute for Management, Governance and Society (IMaGeS) since October 2009.

Amar has been working on a European project from its inception, focusing on improving transport, environment, energy policy, smart grids, renewable energy and carbon emissions.

He worked previously in Carbon Responsible Strategy for the North Sea region (CARE North) and is currently working in the e-harbours project also in the North Sea region. Both projects being funded by Interreg.

His research interests are:

  • Energy Policy
  • Energy Economics
  • Renewable Energy
  • Transport
  • Environmental Economics
  • Smart grid
  • Carbon emissions

  Amar's full staff profile

Amar Nayak
Research Assistant
+44 (0) 1224 263134

Emily Dumont - Research Assistant

Emily Dumont profile picture

Emily is Research assistant for CUSP based in Aberdeen and holds a first class honours degree in Management from RGU and an MSc in Economic development from the University of Glasgow.

She has volunteered on international development projects in Africa and Asia and has worked as a researcher for a micro finance charity. She is responsible for facilitating CUSP's work in building a sustainable development network of UK and Indonesian organisations.

Emily Dumont
CUSP Research Assistant
+44(0)1224 262362

Catherine Clark - Administrative Support

Catherine Clark profile picture

Catherine is the Administration Support for the School of Engineering, including CUSP, based in Aberdeen.

She previously worked for South Lanarkshire Council for seven and a half years and has worked for RGU since February 2014.

Catherine is the Administrative support for Prosperity Fund, Institutional Links, Researcher Links and all CUSP events.

Catherine's full staff profile

Catherine Clark
CUSP Administrative Support
+44(0)1224 262302

Associate Staff

CUSP Associate: Dr Cathy McCullagh

Cathy's main research interests are environmental chemistry specifically photochemistry, waste water treatment and development of photocatalytic reactors.

Cathy is also a member of Centre for Research into Energy & Environment (CREE).

View Cathy's full staff profile

CUSP Associate: Dr Radisti Praptiwi

Radisti Praptiwi profile picture

Adis is a Research Fellow for CSERM and Associate Research Assistant for CUSP based in Indonesia.

She attained her PhD in Microbiology (Process Engineering) from RGU in 2014 whilst working part time for CUSP undertaking a feasibility study between UK and Indonesian institutions on the implementation of marine energy in Indonesia.

After completing her PhD degree, Adis received Australia Award Endeavour Research Fellowship for her postdoctoral research in South Australia (SA) Water, Adelaide, Australia. Adis holds an MSc in Air Pollution Management and Control from University of Birmingham, UK; and a B. Eng in Environmental Engineering from Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia.

She has also worked as a project officer for an environmental and energy services consultant in Indonesia. She currently holds an associate position at the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Resources Management (CSERM) Universitas Nasional, Indonesia, she works in UK - Indonesia collaborative project on appropriate technology development.

Contact CUSP


+44 (0)1224 262400 

twitter logo colour  Follow us on Twitter