Dr Dana Abi Ghanem


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I am a lecturer and researcher at the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, based at the Tyndall Centre. My research interest span the broad topic of energy and society, with particular interest in new technology design and development, consumption and everyday life, and energy, cities and conflict.

I am interested in the intersections between technology design and use, particularly new energy technologies, their conception and adoption. I am also engaged in research on the history of energy and services infrastructure during times of conflict.

I am currently working on the following projects:

Following the Wires: sensing socio-material practices of everyday electricity supply in post-conflict Greater Beirut

The research explores the consequences of conflicts on electricity infrastructures in Greater Beirut. The impacts of conflict on electricity services have affected the city since the beginning of the civil war and forced households to adopt different strategies to maintain electricity services to their homes and businesses. The need and efforts to gain access to electricity and to secure stable supply have become part of everyday life and led to new practices and ways of living. By telling the story of the electricity infrastructure and the everyday responses to its failures, the project aims to make sense of the lived and material legacy of the conflict. Emphasising the importance of basic infrastructures, the project uses the synthetic power of video, together with ethnographic and sociological accounts, to show through the voices and buildings of Beirut how conflicts shape cities.

MY-STORE: Multi-energY storage-Social, TechnO-economic, Regulatory and Environmental assessment under uncertainty

My work, with Sarah Mander, on this ESPRC SUPERGEN Storage project aims to understand the regulatory context impacting the implementation of policies and strategies for the adoption of storage technologies at various points within the energy network in the UK. Through interviews conducted with stakeholders and policy analysis, the purpose is to develop an understanding of the challenges of promoting storage technologies within the confines of existing regulatory and socio-technical contexts of energy supply. 

Power outages in post-war Lebanon: socio-material practices for maintaining electrical services in homes

The principal aims of the project are to understand the social and material networks that make up everyday power supply for homes in urban Lebanon in the context of endemic power cuts. The project will generate empirical knowledge about this dimension of daily life in the city and the coping strategies adopted by households in Beirut, as they try to reconcile their ordinary expectations and aspirations with the reality of power shortages in Lebanon.

I have also been previously involved in the following projects:

Active Distribution network with full integration of Demand and distributed energy RESourceS (ADDRESS): I was a researcher on this FP7 project, with Sarah Mander and Joseph Mutale. This research explores the impact of Active Demand technologies on energy consumption in homes and small business through field trials in Europe.

RESNET: Resilient Electricity Networks for Great Britain: I was a researcher on this project, with Sarah Mander and Clair Gough. The aim of RESNET was to develop and demonstrate an approach to analyse the reliability of the UK electricity system in the context of climate change and to develop tools for quantifying the value of adaptations that would enhance its resilience. My work explored the societal implications and identifed potential barriers to adaptation measures.

External positions

Visiting Fellow, American University of Beirut

15 Sep 201415 Oct 2014

Areas of expertise

Research Networks and Beacons

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2008 - Doctor of Philosophy, Renewable Energy Technologies and their Users: the case of solar photovoltaic technology, Newcastle University (2004 - 2008)
  • 2003 - Master of Science, MSc Environment and Development, The University of Manchester
  • 2000 - Bachelor of Science American University of Beirut

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