I am an interdisciplinary social scientist, with a professional background in architecture and urban planning, and a PhD in human geography. My research examines the capacities of workers and households to negotiate change in energy-intensive sectors and regions. My current empirical focus is on industries such as metallurgical coal, steelmaking, and the built environment that are at the heart of the carbon economy in urban and regional Australia.
Conceptually, I often look to feminist perspectives that consider work beyond the paid workplace. This includes work which is less visible, whether in the home and community. In previous projects I have looked at cultures of craft, making and skilled trades. My PhD was an ethnography of the paid and unpaid working lives of repair and maintenance trades workers at Australia's largest steelworks.
Current research projects include:
ARC DECRA 'Locating the household in post-carbon regional economies' 2021-2024: looking at how coal-worker households experience change, and their capacities to plan for transitions to a low-carbon future.
ARC DP 'Continuity and Change in the Australian Industrial Landscape' 2020-2023: looking at Port Kembla's evolution as a hybrid industrial-infrastructural landscape (CI, with Profs Chris Gibson and Lucy Taksa [Macq], Dr Andrew Warren and Prof Steven High [Concordia]).
Federal DISER-funded contract research project 2020-2022: looking at repair and maintenance and energy use in the Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVACR) industry (Lead investigator with Dr Dan Daly (SBRC), Dr Matt Daly (SBRC), Dr Elyse Stanes, Prof. Pauline McGuirk).
Recently concluded projects include:
ARC DP ‘Governing Urban Energy Transitions’: examining energy transitions in the commercial office sector across Sydney and Melbourne (led by Profs Pauline McGuirk and Robyn Dowling [Syd]),
Inter-disciplinary UOW Global Challenges Keystone project: looking at the role of maker spaces in bringing together diverse communities in the Illawarra region.