Dr. Sally Caird BA (Hons) MEd PhD FHEA
My interests lie in sustainable development. I have an extensive research and publication record examining innovation processes associated with the design, impact and evaluation of innovative products, services and systems in urban contexts, supported by teaching and external activities. My teaching supports the popular module T317 'Innovation: Designing for change' and several technology policy and innovation management modules at the Open University. This is supported by my curriculum-centred research, which led to the development of the popular ‘Design and Innovation Project Guide and Toolkit’.
My research has focused on innovation, particularly low energy/carbon design solutions, including domestic energy systems, low carbon transport, sustainable higher education teaching models, as detailed in my ' Research Interests' and ‘Publications’. Most recently linked to the OU flagship MK:Smart initiative, I have been leading the SmartDFrame project which examines city approaches to the evaluation of smart city innovation projects and programmes and their outcomes for cities and citizens. This has already led to several publications including the report A Tale of Evaluation and Reporting in UK Smart Cities, the Smart Cities:Smart Regions conference publication and a journal paper published in Urban Research and Practice.
I have strong interests in designing and developing research-informed, online, open educational tools and resources based on my research. Supporting environmental sustainability interests, this includes: the OpenLearn teaching unit ‘The environmental impact of teaching and learning’; the SusTEACH HE toolkit supporting sustainable Higher Education; the ‘Postcards from the Future’ ecoquiz accompanying the BBC/OU Coast series; and the schools eco-quiz on the Defra-funded soil education website. Supporting innovation and enterprise, this work includes the Open2-Innova8ion Tool and the popular online, open educational website, GET2test.net with the General Enterprising Tendency (GET) test. Now supporting Oxford Innovation activities with SMEs (e.g. the Ignite Cornwall Business Competition) and the Gazelle Colleges initiative, the get2test.net website has nearly 2,000 users per month and has been widely adopted by over 80 institutions across over 30 countries for education, research, development and training.
My work encompasses social, environmental and economic themes, spans citizen, organisational/institutional and city levels, and involves collaborations with public and private sectors. This research has led to substantive contributions to curriculum across undergraduate programme modules, OpenLearn and open public education resources, external enterprise and innovation programmes, and has contributed to government consultations.
2014-2017 SmartDframe (OU Smart Cities Open Challenge Competition funding linked to the OU flagship MK:Smart initiative). This examines city approaches to the evaluation of smart city projects and programmes and their outcomes for cities and citizens. This led to the report A Tale of Evaluation and Reporting in UK Smart Cities which includes an analysis of smart city case studies in the UK – Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Peterborough. http://www.open.ac.uk/research/main/news/evaluating-smart-city-success
2011-2013 SusTEACH (Sustainable Tools for the Environmental Appraisal of the Carbon Impacts of Higher Education (HE) Teaching Models using ICTs) (Jisc-funded). This features analysis of environmental audit data gathered via online surveys and energy databases to analyse carbon impacts of 30 HE courses in 15 HE institutions, and examine the transformative impact of ICTs on sustainability, plus development of online tools. This led to the ‘Green Gown Award 2012 - Research & Development Finalist’. Several research papers followed, including a research paper published in International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, which was selected as Winner of the ‘Outstanding Paper Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2016.’ http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/literati/awards.htm?year=2016. This work also led to a publication in The Conversation, with the article ‘'Plug the university finance gap by turning teaching greener’, which contributed to debate on financial sustainability of England’s Higher Education System.
2008 -2011 Heat Pump Field Trial User Evaluation (HE Innovation Fund/Carbon Connections and EST funded): features investigation of UK domestic user experiences and influence on heat pump performance. Data sources included user questionnaires, focus groups, buildings energy performance assessments, and monitored technology performance. Consortium included 3 government departments; 7 energy suppliers and 7 manufacturers.
2009- 2011 U-STIR Sustainable Surface Transport (U-STIR, FP7 funded): features workshops and customer engagement to support infrastructure for Low Carbon Electric Vehicles in UK, and contributed surface transport innovation case studies with partners in 7 European countries.
2007-2008 Household Adoption and Use of Microgeneration heat (HE Innovation Fund/Carbon Connections and EST): features online surveys with 900+ consumers to investigate household adoption, non-adoption and experience of using solar thermal, heat pump and biomass heating systems.
2004--2006 PCED (People-centred Ecodesign) (OU funded): features interviews and online surveys on consumer adoption, non-adoption of low carbon technologies, including insulation, energy efficient lighting, solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and micro-wind turbines. Collaboration with the National Energy Foundation, EST, Energy Agency and the BBC.
2001-2005 Household Ecological Footprints (OU funded): features data analysis of over 1,000 households using EcoCal software to determine ecological footprint based on transport, energy, waste, water and food consumption.
I became a lecturer at the Open University in 2017. Prior to joining the Open University I taught on undergraduate and post-graduate programmes at University of Durham, the University of Stirling. I am currently working on the presentation team for the module 'Innovation: Designing for change' (T317) and several technology-policy and innovation modules.
Prior to becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014, I worked on module production as an author on several OU undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including:
Linked to my research, I designed and developed several research-informed open educational resources, including: