Professor Christian Brand
Professor of Transport, Energy and Climate Change
Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford
Professor Christian Brand is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist, physicist and geographer with over 25 years research experience in academic and consultancy environments. He is Professor of Transport, Energy and Climate Change at the University of Oxford's Transport Studies Unit and Environmental Change Institute. He received his DPhil in Geography and the Environment from the University of Oxford in 2006.
Areas of research and teaching:
- Transport and energy - impacts on climate change, local air pollution and public health
- 'Active travel': walking, cycling, wheeling, micromobility
- Transport-energy systems modelling to inform net zero carbon emissions pathways and policies
- The unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions from personal transport
- Evaluation of transport and energy interventions and policies
Over the past 20 years Christian has been principal or co-investigator on research projects worth over £20 million.
- He is Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, where he is leading projects on energy-transport systemic change and deep decarbonisation pathways for transport.
- He is Co-Investigator of ELEVATE, a major new research project exploring the role that electrically assisted modes of transport including e-bikes, e-cargo bikes, e-scooters and e-trikes might have in reducing mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions.
- Christian also leads a major project in the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions on the impacts of lifestyle and social change on mobility-related energy demand.
- He is Co-investigator on the FCDO's Climate Compatible Growth programme working with local partners in low and middle income countries on transport decarbonisation.
- He has led ground-breaking research on evaluating the health, carbon and mobility impacts of active travel interventions, working with British, European and global partners such as the WHO.
Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA)
Funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme; 2013-2017; University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) with multiple research partners; Prof Christian Brand. More information.
Accelerating decreases in van carbon emissions (adVANce)
Funded by the EPSRC via the UKERC phase 3 Flexible Research Fund; 2016-2019; University of Oxford with University of Leeds; Prof Christian Brand. More information.
UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Phase III - Decision Making Theme, Energy and Transport topic
Funded by UKERC phase 3 Flexible Research Fund; 2014-2019; University of Oxford with University of Leeds; Prof Christian Brand. More information.
Maximising Home Delivery
Funded by the EPSRC; 2016-2018; University of Oxford with University of Cambridge, Heriot Watt University, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco; Prof Tim Schwanen and Prof Christian Brand. More information.
UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Phase 2: Energy Demand Theme
Focused on exploring how socio-economic and technical change affect transport energy demand and technology diffusion in the UK, and to apply this to the need for more radical change to respond to climate and energy security challenges. Funded by NERC; 2004-2014; Prof Nick Eyre and Prof Christian Brand. More information.
UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium: Long term dynamics of interdependent infrastructure systems
The ITRC informs the analysis, planning and design of national infrastructure, including transport, through the development and demonstration of new decision support tools, and working with partners in government and industry. EPSRC (EP/I01344X/1). 2011-2015. Prof Nick Eyre and Prof Jim Hall. More information.
Oxford Transport Laboratory (MobOx)
Feasibility Study (Phase 1) focusing on (a) minimising the impact of the closure of the city centre Westgate Car park, with loss of 800 car parking spaces, on the rest of the transport system, and (b) integrating transport systems and infrastructure, to improve user experience and increase economic activity within the Oxford ring road. Funded by TSB. 2014. Co-I Prof Christian Brand.
Future Roadmaps of Transportation Energy and Technology
Explored and compared the composition, timing and scale of uptake of alternative transport fuels and technologies in Korea and the UK. Funded by the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER). 2013-2015. Led Prof Christian Brand. More information.
Understanding the social impacts of UK climate policies
Provided the understanding and analytical tools necessary to underpin socially just responses to climate change in the UK. Funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 2009-2013. Co-I Prof Christian Brand. More information.
Longer summary: The project looked at the distribution of carbon emissions and abatement opportunities of households in England, and the implications for energy and climate change policy impacts. The UK government has a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by 2050. In addition there are statutory targets to ensure that no household is in fuel poverty by 2016. An understanding of how current and proposed policy approaches to meeting these targets are likely to impact differentially on domestic energy consumers is fundamental to ensuring policies are both fair and effective. This research project used advanced modelling techniques to develop and analyse the datasets needed to support and further understanding of:
- the distribution of carbon emissions - from energy consumed in the home and through personal travel by car, public transport and aviation - across households in Great Britain;
- the impact of existing government energy and climate policies on consumer energy bills and household emissions in England;
- the potential for an alternative approach to reducing emissions in the domestic sector through a wide-scale retrofit of the housing stock.
Impact of Constructing Non-motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel (iConnect)
Focused on measuring and evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of new high-quality walking and cycling routes in the UK. Funded by the ESPRC. 2008-2013. Led by Prof Christian Brand, with Dr Tim Jones, Lucy Mahoney and Andre Neves. More information.
iConnect: knowledge transfer to policy and practice for future active travel development
Knowledge exchange project addressing the need of sustainable transport and health organisations at national and international levels to develop evidence-based strategies, policies and delivery programmes for future active travel development. Funded by EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account. 2014-2015. PI: Prof Christian Brand.
Towards an integrated carbon and health economic assessment tool (C+HEAT) for walking and cycling
Proof of concept project that explored, developed and tested a novel carbon economic assessment tool for measuring and valuing the carbon savings of increasing population level walking and cycling. Funded by OUP John Fell Fund. 2013-2014. Co-I: Prof Christian Brand.
Real-time vehicle monitoring for energy efficiency in transport
Proof of concept project that designed, created and tested a number of novel in-journey engine-monitoring systems for better energy efficiency in car use. Funded by OUP John Fell Fund. 2014. PI: Prof Nick Eyre, with Prof Christian Brand and Dr Russell Layberry.
Integrated travel emissions profiles
Developed and deployed so-called Integrated Travel Emissions Profiles covering annual travel activity and emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants at the households and individuals levels. The results were widely reported in the international media, including New York Times, BBC News and The Guardian. Funded by ESRC. 2004-2006. Co-I Prof Christian Brand.
Graduate Research Students - current and recent
- Mobility, Subjective Wellbeing and Health in Transitional China: towards socially sustainable cities, Wenbo Guo, started October 2016 (co supervisor, with Prof Tim Schwanen).
- Technology innovation and policy instruments to advance low-carbon transport and renewable energy use in developing Asian economies, Toru Kubo, on-going (Co supervisor, self funded). Toru is working for the Asian Development Bank in Manila and plans to complete on a P/T basis in 2017.
- Investigating the Interactions of Travel Behaviour and Wellbeing: A Longitudinal, Mixed-methods Case Study of Penarth and Cardiff, Wales, Lucy Mahoney, completed TT 2015 (Lead supervisor, funded by EPSRC). Lucy now works for Transport for London on public transport strategy.
- The impact of new walking and cycling infrastructure on personal travel and carbon emissions: the case of Cardiff Connect2, Andre Neves, completed TT 2015 (Lead supervisor, funded by EPSRC). Andre now works for Transport for London on cycling strategy.
- Electric Vehicles in China: Past, Present and Future, Zichen Zhang, completed TT 2015 (Co supervisor, funded by Chinese Government grant). Zichen now works for the World Bank in Beijing.
- The road not taken?: a longitudinal and interdisciplinary examination of energy behaviours, Malek Al-Chalabi, completed HT 2014 (Co supervisor, self funded). Malek now works for Shell in Dubai.
- Accelerating the uptake of low carbon vehicles, Craig Morton, completed 2013 (External co-supervisor, University of Aberdeen, funded by NERC UK Energy Research Centre Phase 2). Craig now works as Research Fellow at the University of Leeds.
- Barrett, J, Pye, S, Betts-Davies, S, Brand, C, et al (2022) Energy demand reduction options for meeting national zero-emission targets in the United Kingdom, Nature Energy 7, 726-735.
- Brand, C, Götschi, T, Dons, E, et al (2021) The climate change mitigation impacts of active travel: Evidence from a longitudinal panel study in seven European cities, Global Environmental Change 67, 102224.
- Brand, C, Dons, E, Anaya-Boig, E, et al (2021) The climate change mitigation effects of daily active travel in cities, Trans Res D: Trans & Environment 93, 102764.
- Brand, C, Anable, J, Ketsopoulou, I, Watson, J (2020) Road to zero or road to nowhere? Disrupting transport and energy in a zero carbon world, Energy Policy 139, 111334.
- Brand, C, Anable, J, Morton, C (2019) Lifestyle, efficiency and limits: modelling transport energy and emissions using a socio-technical approach, Energy Efficiency 12(1), 187.
See Google Scholar for full overview of publications