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Phillipa Watson

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Phillipa Watson

Research Fellow

Room 408, Geography Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 7228 (phone)

Phillipa.Watson@utas.edu.au

Dr Phillipa Watson is a Research Fellow (for the Head of School) in the School of Technology, Environments and Design (TED). She has have worked to facilitate sustainable change in built environments for over 20 years, integrating design understanding with socially and environmentally focused research. Phillipa has been with UTAS since late 2006.

Biography

Phillipa has worked in various roles for her career, in particular in: research (at UQ, CSIRO and UTAS); sustainable building consultancy (at Brisbane City Council and RED sustainability consultants); housing design (through private practice); and, the development of sustainable assessment tools for built environment professions (in Brisbane City Council, CSIRO, CRC for Construction Innovation). All her work has sought to support smart and sustainable change for both people and the building/technologies they use, in both professional/organisations and community contexts.

Over the last decade in research Phillipa has sought to understand how people respond to and use technologies, homes and energy. Through this interdisciplinary research she has explored in depth both people and technologies involved in energy provision, energy efficiency, housing quality, housing performance, home management practices, low income household challenges, home and building occupant health and wellbeing, materials/product performance, decision-making for sustainability, adaptation and transition at various scales, community change, and related policy issues.

Projects have included ‘Get Bill Smart’, which investigated a novel approach to supporting energy efficient change in households living with low incomes in Tasmania; and ‘The CONSORT Bruny Island Battery Trail’ where she contributed to social research that explored householder responses to trading energy from their batteries with the electricity grid, during times of peak electricity demand. Her current research includes investigating the use of Augmented Reality in building, design and manufacturing industries; exploring Industry transformation in Tasmania; and energy and financial literacies for low income householders.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDDwelling adaptation for sustainability: Improving interventions for energy efficiency, comfort and equity in TasmaniaUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2013
BArch (Hons)Materials Investigation: A Built Environment Tool for AustraliaUniversity of QueenslandAustralia1999

Teaching

Housing policy; design; sustainability; decision making; adaptation and transition; dwelling; housing quality; homemaking; housing disadvantage; household experiences; dwelling practices; community change

View more on Dr Phillipa Watson in WARP

Expertise

Socio-technical transitions, dwelling practices, housing adaptation, design and adaptation decision making, housing policy; dwelling; housing quality; healthy housing; homemaking; housing disadvantage; household experiences; community change, energy efficiency and energy productivity; sustainable built environments, behaviour-change; distributed energy users.

Research Themes

Phillipa's interdisciplinary research aligns with the University's research themes of 'Environment, Resources and Sustainability', 'Better Health', ‘Creativity, Culture and Society’, and 'Data, Knowledge and Decisions'.

Collaboration

Phillipa has extensive experience working on collaborative projects that involve multiple organisations. Two recent examples of collaboration are provided here.

CONSORT Battery Trial (longitudinal social research 2016-2019)

A consortia project investigating using energy stored at households as network support via batteries, during peak load times. This project examined how the electricity network can work with householder-owned battery systems to help manage the network more efficiently, especially during periods of peak electricity demand. Phillipa was a key researcher on the social research team for this project, overseen by Assoc. Professor Heather Lovell, and was also a key collaborator with all other organisations involved. The project was funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency ($2.89 million) and, with substantial in-kind contributions, has a total project value of $7.99million. The consortium was made up of researchers and innovation engineers from The Australian National University (ANU), The University of Sydney (USyd), the University of Tasmania (UTAS), battery control software business Reposit Power and network provider TasNetworks. Final reporta are available at http://brunybatterytrial.org/ .

Get Bill Smart (longitudinal impacts research 2013-2016)

Get Bill Smart was a consortia project funded by a competitive grant provided by the Australian Government’s Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP). With an overall budget of $1.4million for the consortium, the research team at UTAS, was funded $360,000. This was an action-research project that investigated the effects of energy efficiency support provided to low income householders in Greater Hobart, in Tasmania. It measured changes to household energy use, thermal comfort, affordability and wellbeing. Phillipa was heavily involved in the design and execution of this project and contributed as a Research Fellow and as Chief Investigator (2016). Reports are available at http://www.slt.org.au/get_bill_smart .

Awards

  • 2018 - CONSORT Trial awards (x4) -  Energy Networks Australia Industry Innovation Award; Engineer’s Australia – Tasmanian Engineering Excellence Award; Clean Energy Council’s Community Engagement Award; and Energy Project of the Year by the Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA) (http://brunybatterytrial.org/). Mention was made of the innovative social research on the Trial and its influence in the granting of the awards.
  • 2016 - The Get Bill Smart project won the Environment Award, Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards: Ricoh Business Centre Hobart Environment Award for Get Bill Smart Project (Mission Australia, Sustainable Living Tasmania, University of Tasmania and RED Sustainability Consultants). http://www.utas.edu.au/sustainability/sustainability-performance/sustainability-related-awards/awards
  • 2016 - High Flyer Bursary (competitive) ‘An interdisciplinary approach to living in a risky world: Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank 2016’, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.
  • 2011 - Bursary - Early Career Researchers Conference with Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure.
  • 2010 - Bursary - Early Career Researchers Conference with Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure.
  • 2006 - Doctoral research scholarship, funded by School of Geography, University of Tasmanian and Office of Energy, Tasmanian Government.
  • 2005 - Marketing Award for Financing and Innovation in Growth (FIG) Course for investigation into commercialization of research.
  • 2004 - CSIRO Team Award for excellence in research for the LCADesign assessment tool.
  • 2003 - 2nd prize Thuringowa Climatic Responsive Housing Design Competition group design, Queensland.

Current projects

‘Examining case of Augmented Reality in Practice’ (2018 onwards) - The study is aiming to better understand the potential of Augmented Reality technology to become more widely used in real-world applications. We are interested in capturing and understanding your experiences and opinions of Augmented Reality from the perspective of your roles in the design, construction, and/or manufacturing industries. The research is being conducted by a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Tasmania, school of Technology, Environments and Design (TED). The project lead is Dr Mark Sawyer, Lecturer, Architecture and Design. Other researchers involved are Dr Phillipa Watson, Research Fellow, School of TED; Professor Byeong Ho Kang, Head of Discipline, Information and Communication Technology, Dr Winyu Chinthammit, Senior Lecturer, Information and Communication Technology and Deputy Director, Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HiTLAB). This is a project Phillips has supported as a Head of School research initiative.

‘Exploring the Intersection of Energy Literacy and Financial Literacy in Tasmania’ (exploratory research 2018 onwards) - A UTAS funded project investigating the intersections of financial and energy literacies for vulnerable households in Tasmania. This project draws on awareness from the Get Bill Smart Project (which investigated low income households), and economic and education disciplinary understanding of financial literacies. We know that poor financial and energy literacies in vulnerable households has negative impacts on people’s lives. This $11680 exploratory project is seeking to better understand the intersection of energy and financial literacies in the community in Tasmania, how people draw upon their personal energy and financial literacies when making decisions about the use of energy, and the possible educational interventions that could influence, support, and impact decision-making and energy use behaviours.

‘Industry Transformation in Tasmania’ - A UTAS project investigating: concepts of transformation; challenges industry partners face in collaborating with the university and new opportunities in the future. The research team al sit within the School of Technology, Environments and Design and the project is led by Amy (Chia Chin) Lin.

Fields of Research

  • Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology (160808)
  • Social Policy (160512)
  • Architectural Science and Technology (incl. Acoustics, Lighting, Structure and Ecologically Sustainable Design) (120104)
  • Interior Design (120106)
  • Human Geography (160499)
  • Built Environment and Design (129999)
  • Urban Design (120508)
  • Environment Policy (160507)
  • Housing Markets, Development, Management (120503)
  • Social Change (160805)
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (050204)
  • Social and Cultural Geography (160403)
  • Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning) (160404)
  • Urban Sociology and Community Studies (160810)
  • Urban Policy (160514)
  • Ecosystem Function (050102)
  • Public Administration (160509)
  • Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
  • Research, Science and Technology Policy (160511)
  • Secondary Education (130106)
  • Higher Education (130103)

Research Objectives

  • Residential Building Management and Services (870503)
  • Energy Services and Utilities (850601)
  • Environmentally Sustainable Energy Activities (859899)
  • Residential Energy Conservation and Efficiency (850704)
  • Residential Construction Design (870204)
  • Residential Construction Processes (870404)
  • Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society (970116)
  • Environmental Lifecycle Assessment (960603)
  • Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability (960311)
  • Construction (879999)
  • Environmental Health (920405)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Technology (970110)
  • Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis (940204)
  • Environmentally Sustainable Construction (879899)
  • Cultural Understanding (959999)
  • Social Ethics (950407)
  • Consumption Patterns, Population Issues and the Environment (960702)
  • Education and Training Systems (930599)
  • Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) (920408)
  • Energy Transformation (850499)
  • Renewable Energy (850599)
  • Teaching and Instruction Technologies (930203)
  • Pedagogy (930201)

Publications

Phillipa has published on a variety of topics including: housing policy, energy efficiency, housing disadvantage, housing practices for sustainability, and adapting housing.  Recently she has contributed to Indoor Built Environment, Housing and Theory and Urban Policy and Research journals.

Selected references:

Lovell H, Watson P (2019), 'Scarce data: off‐grid households in Australia', Energy Policy, 129 pp. 502-510.

Watson P, Watson S (2017), 'Warm house, Cold house: a review of measures of thermal comfort used in Get Bill Smart's energy efficiency assessments', Energy Procedia, 121 pp. 190-197.

Gabriel M, Rooney M, Watson P (2016), ' The best house possible': The everyday practices and micro-politics of achieving comfort in a low-cost home', Housing and Home Unbound: Intersections in economics, environment and politics in Australia, Routledge, N Cook, A Davison, L Crabtree (ed), London, UK, pp. 151-166.

Watson P, Gabriel M, Rooney M (2015), 'Get bill smart: A community partnership approach to supporting low-income households to achieve home energy savings', Indoor and Built Environment, 24, (7) pp. 867-877.

Total publications

24

Journal Article

(8 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Lovell H, Watson P, 'Scarce data: off-grid households in Australia', Energy Policy, 129 pp. 502-510. ISSN 0301-4215 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.02.014 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lovell H

Tweet

2018Lyth A, Spinaze A, Watson P, Johnston FH, 'Place, human agency and community resilience - considerations for public health management of smoke from prescribed burning', Local Environment, 23, (10) pp. 975-990. ISSN 1354-9839 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2018.1508205 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Spinaze A; Johnston FH

Tweet

2017Lovell H, Hann V, Watson P, 'Rural laboratories and experiment at the fringes: case study of a smart grid on Bruny Island, Australia', Energy Research & Social Science, 36 pp. 146-155. ISSN 2214-6296 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.09.031 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Lovell H; Hann V

Tweet

2017Watson P, Watson S, 'Warm house, Cold house: a review of measures of thermal comfort used in Get Bill Smart's energy efficiency assessments', Energy Procedia, 121 pp. 190-197. ISSN 1876-6102 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.08.017 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Tweet

2015Watson P, Gabriel MB, Rooney M, 'Get bill smart: A community partnership approach to supporting low-income households to achieve home energy savings', Indoor and Built Environment, 24, (7) pp. 867-877. ISSN 1423-0070 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/1420326X15591637 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Gabriel MB; Rooney M

Tweet

2013Gabriel M, Watson P, 'From modern housing to sustainable suburbia: how occupants and their dwellings are adapting to reduce home energy consumption', Housing, Theory and Society, 30, (3) pp. 219-236. ISSN 1403-6096 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14036096.2013.775183 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 13Web of Science - 10

Co-authors: Gabriel M

Tweet

2012Gabriel M, Watson P, 'Supporting sustainable home improvement in the private rental sector: the view of investors', Urban Policy and Research, 30, (3) pp. 309-325. ISSN 0811-1146 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/08111146.2012.673484 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Gabriel M

Tweet

2010Gabriel M, Watson P, 'The environmental sustainability of Australia's private rental housing stock', AHURI, Online, (145) EJ ISSN 1445-3428 (2010) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gabriel M

Tweet

Chapter in Book

(2 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Altmann E, Watson P, Gabriel M, 'Environmental Restriction in Multi-Owned Property', Multi-Owned Property in the Asia-Pacific Region: Rights, Restrictions and Responsibilities, Palgrave Macmillan, E Altmann and M Gabriel (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 119-136. ISBN 978-1-137-56988-2 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-56988-2_7 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Altmann E; Gabriel M

Tweet

2016Gabriel M, Rooney M, Watson P, ' The best house possible': The everyday practices and micro-politics of achieving comfort in a low-cost home', Housing and Home Unbound: Intersections in economics, environment and politics in Australia, Routledge, N Cook, A Davison, L Crabtree (ed), London, UK, pp. 151-166. ISBN 9781138948976 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9781315669342 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3

Co-authors: Gabriel M; Rooney M

Tweet

Conference Publication

(8 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Kompas T, Crossley P, Nicol S, Bland L, Chauvenet A, et al., 'Risk and Resource Allocation in the Environment', An Interdisciplinary Approach to Living in a Risky World: Recommendations from the 2016 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank, pp. 9-11. ISBN 9780858475298 (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2010Watson Phillipa, 'Barriers to renovation for housing sustainability in Tasmania', School of Geography & Environmental Studies Conference Abstracts 2010, 28 June 2010, Sandy Bay (2010) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Stratford E, Watson Phillipa, 'Critical mix: champions, capacity and complexity in Glenorchy's Energy Rebate Project. Lessons for policy makers', Radical Ideas in a Changing Climate. Remaking Suburbia: Research and policy directions for sustainable home improvements, March, Melbourne, pp. 11-12. (2009) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stratford E

2008Stratford E, Davison AG, Watson Phillipa, Elliott C, 'Barriers to Renovation for Housing Sustainability in Tasmania', Proceedings of the 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference, September, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 370-377. ISBN 978-0-646-50372-1 (2008) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stratford E; Davison AG; Elliott C

2008Watson Phillipa, 'Housing improvement for sustainability in Tasmania: who is involved what are they doing, and what has been the effect?', School of Geography and Environmental Studies Conference Program 2008, October 2008, Hobart, pp. 19-20. (2008) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2007Watson Phillipa, 'A little effort goes a long way: looking at improvements to Tasmanian housing stock', School of Geography and Environmental Studies Conference Program 2007, October, Hobart, pp. 19-19. (2007) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2007Watson Phillipa, 'Understanding the mechanisms of sustainable housing renewal in Tasmania: a qualitative method', 2nd Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference Program 20th - 22nd June 2007, June, Brisbane, pp. 23-23. (2007) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2007Watson Phillipa, Watson S, 'Eco-Renovation Research Through Practice: Environmentally Sustainable Renewal of a 1950's Suburban House', 2nd Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference Program 20th - 22nd June 2007, June, Brisbane, pp. 23-24. (2007) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Alexander J, Gabrielle M, Houstein T, Rooney M, Watson P, et al., 'Get Bill Smart Final Report', Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australia (2016) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Lovell H, Watson P, 'TasNetworks Tariff Trial Method Review - Phase One', TasNetworks, Australia (2016) [Consultants Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lovell H

2016Lovell H, Watson Phillipa, 'Tariff Trial Survey Design', TasNetworks, Tasmania (2016) [Consultants Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lovell H

Thesis

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2013Watson P, 'Dwelling adaptation for sustainability: improving interventions for energy efficiency, comfort and equity in Tasmania' (2013) [PhD]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(2 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Watson P, Lovell H, 'TasNetworks Tariff Trial Recruitment Strategies Review', TasNetworks, Tasmania, pp. 1-21. (2016) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lovell H

2008Watson Phillipa, Cooper CH, 'Saving energy starts at home', Unitas: News from the University of Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Tasmania, 323, September (2008) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cooper CH

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

4

Total funding

$383,794

Projects

Exploring the Intersection of Energy Literacy and Financial Literacy (2018)$11,680
Description
Lack of financial literacy and energy literacy have negative impacts on people from vulnerable communities, which limit their ability to make informed decisions about energy use and management of associated financial obligations. Supporting improved financial and energy literacies is particularly relevant and urgent as energy costs are increasing and taking up larger, often unaffordable, portions of household budgets. Currently, the Australian Government is negotiating with energy providers to ensure regular communication with consumers about potential energy savings. Although these negotiations may benefit consumers, it is unlikely that changes in pricing alone will foster more discerning energy usage in consumers who already lack energy literacy. Poor financial and energy literacies will continue to create significant barriers to consumers being able to understand and make use of communication from energy providers. The research will seek to answer:1. What is the intersection of energy and financial literacies in the community?2. In what ways do people draw upon their personal energy and financial literacies when making decisions about the use of energy?3. What are possible learning interventions that could influence, support, and impact decision-making and energy use behaviours? This project will lay the foundations for an ARC Linkage Grant application in collaboration with Aurora Energy. It will draw on research conducted already as part of the Get Bill Smart project, conducted by Dr Phillipa Watson and colleagues, funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($11,680)
Scheme
Grant - CALE Hothouse Alignment Scheme
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Fitzallen NE; Watson Phillipa; Fraser SP; Dungey MH; Yanotti MB
Year
2018
Tariff Trial, Phase One (2016)$7,787
Description
Review of tariff trial approach, sample size and overall trial method robustness (Phase One). 1. A review of the 600 household sample size, including discussion of its main opportunities/advantages and limitations. 2. A brief review of up to 10 other publically available tariff trials in Australia, including gathering data on sample size, location, and other key methodological characteristics. This is to benchmark the proposed Tasmania tariff trial, providing comparison of the sample size and experimental design against other similar trials completed within the Australian electricity market. 3. Methodological review of the experimental design. 4. Highlighting of any significant problems with the experimental design (show stoppers) in the methodological review. 5. Suggestion of modifications that could be made to the experimental design to ensure robustness, and of any further activities or approaches that will encourage robustness. This consultancy involves advising on the research approach being only. We are not involved in data collection or analysis.
Funding
Tasmanian Networks Pty Ltd ($7,787)
Scheme
Consultancy
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Lovell HC; Watson Phillipa
Year
2016
Tariff Trial (2016 - 2017)$15,520
Description
UTAS will be assisting TasNetworks to develop a survey tool for the Tariff Trail. UTAS will do this by a) running a workshop to develop survey topics, and b) drafting survey questions for review by TasNetworks. The survey is being developed in May and June 2016 for use at the start of Phase One of the Tariff Trial. This is Phase 2 of UTAS assistance.The survey being developed will be sent to householders along with the terms and conditions for the tariff trial. It is a before survey that is to be filled out prior to advanced meter installations in participant homes. This before survey will be coupled in data analysis with an after survey that will be developed at a later date
Funding
Tasmanian Networks Pty Ltd ($15,520)
Scheme
Consultancy
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Lovell HC; Watson Phillipa
Period
2016 - 2017
Get Bill Smart (2013 - 2016)$348,807
Funding
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency ($348,807)
Scheme
Grant-Low Energy Efficiency Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Gabriel MB; Watson Phillipa
Period
2013 - 2016

Research Supervision

Current

2

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDARENA CONSORT Smart Grid Pilot: Exploring the governance and implementation of energy innovation and community acceptance2016
PhDHealthy Built Fabric Systems for Zero Energy Residential Buildings2019