Darren Robinson

Professor Darren Robinson

Chair in Architectural and Urban Sciences

T: 0114 222 0312
E: d.robinson1@sheffield.ac.uk

My main passion is for research that makes a difference. Much of my research is conducted at the interface between social physics (people), building physics (buildings) and urban physics (city): people – buildings – city. This research is conducted at multiple scales: from the performance of individual buildings in their urban context and the how this performance is influenced by occupants; to the performance of entire complex urban systems and how their spatial and functional structures can be improved upon to maximise metabolic efficiency. Increasingly, I am interested in understanding how the implications on resource use of individuals, firms and institutions can be influenced and how this understanding can be embedded into predictive models.

In my spare time I am a keen triathlete, competing at standard, middle and long distances.

Teaching Activities

I teach the 'Principles of building physics for sustainable design' module as part of the MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies. I also supervises MSc and MArch dissertation projects.

Administrative Roles

I lead the People, Environments and Performance Research Group.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in:

  • Statistical modelling of peoples’ presence, activities, comfort and behaviours.
  • Multi-agent stochastic simulation, integrating the statistical models with complementary representations of agents’ decisions (agent learning, belief-desire-intent, group decision making).
  • Solar radiation and daylight modelling in the urban context.
  • Urban energy simulation, in particular of buildings’ performance and the integration of buildings with smart heat and power grids.
  • Integrated modelling of the spatial structures and functioning of urban systems with a view to improving upon their metabolic efficiency.

I would be interested in supervising PhD students in any of the topics listed above.

Grants, Awards and Consultancy

 PI of a £1.75M Leverhulme Research Programme Grant based at the University of Nottingham on “Sustaining urban habitats”.

CI on a £0.54M EPSRC grant on Model Predictive Control (will colleagues Dr Abigail Hathaway [CI] and Dr Peter Rockett [PI] – both in Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering). My contribution to this grant focuses stochastic modelling of occupants’ behaviours.

Professional Standing and Distinctions

Chartered Engineer
Fellow of the International Building Performance Simulation Association.


A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of recent publications please click here.

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Wolf S, Wölki D, Robinson D & Treeck C (2017) Evaluation and re-training of two window opening models using an independent dataset. Healthy Buildings Europe 2017 RIS download Bibtex download