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Ben Hughes


  • United Kingdom

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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.

·        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 as Principal Investigator:

·        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

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

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

·        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 Artificial Neural Networks for outdoor air quality £72,000

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

Completed Research contracts as Principal Investigator:

·        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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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2019 2023

REF 2021 Impact Case Study Author

Hughes, B.


Project: Non-funded project

Research Output 2015 2019

Analysis of a rotary passive heat recovery device for natural ventilation windcatcher

O'Connor, D., Calautit, J. K., Calautit, J. K., Calautit, K., Hughes, B. R. & Pantua, C., 19 Aug 2019, In : IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 556, p. 1-8 8 p., 012001.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Open Access
Waste heat utilization
Heat losses
Pressure drop
6 Citations (Scopus)

A review of artificial neural network models for ambient air pollution prediction

Cabaneros, S. M., Calautit, J. K. & Hughes, B. R., 1 Sep 2019, In : Environmental Modelling and Software. 119, p. 285-304 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Air pollution
artificial neural network
ambient air
atmospheric pollution
Neural networks