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Ben Hughes


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Passive Cooling Technology for MENA Region Measurement and Mapping of the Urban Heat Island Effect Integrated District Cooling and Desalination Building Integrated Photovoltaic at Residential Scale Development of User Orientated Control Strategies for Residential Homes


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Professor Hughes (FIMechE, CEng, FHEA, Wh.S.Sch), began his engineering career as a mechanical apprentice for Shell UK where he remained for 12 years whilst studying part time and graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, followed by a PhD in Building Physics (EPSRC CASE) from Sheffield Hallam University.

Prof Hughes was a Teaching fellow in Mechanical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University (2009-11), before joining University of Leeds initially as a Lecturer in Civil Engineering (2011-13), Associate Professor (2013-15) and joined the University of Sheffield as Reader (2015-19).

He currently acts as Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Ventilation (Taylor & Francis), Whitworth Society Awards Panel Member (IMechE) and External Examiner for MEng/MSc programs at University of East Anglia and Plymouth. He is also the founder and Managing Director of University Spin-out Free Running Buildings Limited, and a Vsiting Professor at the University of Sheffield (Mechanical Engineering) where he leads on his REF impact case study.

·        New Civil Engineer Research Team of the Year 2017

·        New Civil Engineer Best Project: Carbon Reduction 2017

·        WSSET Innovation Award: Low Carbon Buildings 2017

·        IMechE Visionary 2014 for Exceptional Leadership Qualities

·        Sir Joseph Whitworth Senior Scholar 2009

Current Research contracts:

2020-23 EPSRC INTEGRATE: Decarbonised Heating and Cooling £1.45M

2020-23 EPSRC EUED Technology Call 2: Versatiler PCM £1.1M

2020-23 SrPE Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage £120,000

2020-23 ETP Machine Learning for indoor air quality £120,000

2019-21 Innovate UK Freeheat: natural ventilation through heat recovery £944,000

2018-21 BEIS Thermal Efficiency Challenge Heat Recovery in Commercial Buildings £560,000

2017-20 IDC Machining Science Reducing Manufacturing Energy Consumption £90,000


2016-20 Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures Solar Irrigation from Stirling Engines £120,000 

2016-20 British Council Newton Links Artificial Neural Networks for outdoor air quality £72,000


Completed Research contracts as Principal Investigator:

2017-19 Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Late Stage Development of Energy Free cooling £400,000

2016-19 EPSRC IAA/BMW Munich Energy Modelling and Mapping of Production Plant £75,000

2016-19 EPSRC CASE/BMW Energy Mapping and Modelling Using Cloud Data £90,000

2016-19 British Council Newton Links Development of Wind Belt Technology £69,000

2015-17 QNRF NPRP 6-461-2-188 Thermal Comfort of Spectators in Qatari Stadiums £750,000

2011-14 QNRF NPRP 09-138-2-059 Passive Cooling Systems in Buildings £750,000

2013-15 NIHR, i4i Development of a non-contact hand held respiratory device for infants £186,000

2013-16 EPSRC CASE Natural Ventilation of the London Underground £90,000

External positions

External Examiner, Plymouth University

1 Jan 201831 Aug 2021

Editor in Chief, International Journal of Ventilation, Taylor & Francis

1 Jun 2017 → …

Managing Director, Free Running Buildings Limited

1 Aug 2014 → …

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Research Output

  • Short- and long-term forecasting of ambient air pollution levels using wavelet-based non-linear autoregressive artificial neural networks with exogenous inputs

    Cabaneros, S. M., Calautit, J. K. & Hughes, B., 7 Apr 2020, In : International Journal of Environmental Impacts. 3, 2, p. 143-154 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access