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Dr Sally Caird

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • sally.caird

Professional biography

Dr. Sally Caird BA (Hons) MEd PhD FHEA

My interests lie in sustainable development. I have an extensive research and publication record examining innovation processes associated with the design, impact and evaluation of innovative products, services and systems in urban contexts, supported by teaching and external activities. My teaching supports the popular module T317 'Innovation: Designing for change' and several technology policy and innovation management modules at the Open University.  This is supported by my curriculum-centred research, which led to the development of the popular ‘Design and Innovation Project Guide and Toolkit’.

My research has focused on innovation, particularly low energy/carbon design solutions, including domestic energy systems, low carbon transport, sustainable higher education teaching models, as detailed in my ' Research Interests' and ‘Publications’. Most recently linked to the OU flagship MK:Smart initiative, I have been leading the SmartDFrame project which examines city approaches to the evaluation of smart city innovation projects and programmes and their outcomes for cities and citizens. This has already led to several publications including the report A Tale of Evaluation and Reporting in UK Smart Cities, the Smart Cities:Smart Regions conference publication and a journal paper published in Urban Research and Practice.

I have strong interests in designing and developing research-informed, online, open educational tools and resources based on my research. Supporting environmental sustainability interests, this includes: the OpenLearn teaching unit ‘The environmental impact of teaching and learning’; the SusTEACH HE toolkit supporting sustainable Higher Education; the ‘Postcards from the Future’ ecoquiz accompanying the BBC/OU Coast series; and the schools eco-quiz  on the Defra-funded soil education website. Supporting innovation and enterprise, this work includes the Open2-Innova8ion Tool and the popular online, open educational website, with the General Enterprising Tendency (GET) test. Now supporting Oxford Innovation activities with SMEs (e.g. the Ignite Cornwall Business Competition) and the Gazelle Colleges initiative, the website has nearly 2,000 users per month and has been widely adopted by over 80 institutions across over 30 countries for education, research, development and training.

My work encompasses social, environmental and economic themes, spans citizen, organisational/institutional and city levels, and involves collaborations with public and private sectors. This research has led to substantive contributions to curriculum across undergraduate programme modules, OpenLearn and open public education resources, external enterprise and innovation programmes, and has contributed to government consultations.

Research interests

2014-2017 SmartDframe (OU Smart Cities Open Challenge Competition funding linked to the OU flagship MK:Smart initiative). This examines city approaches to the evaluation of smart city projects and programmes and their outcomes for cities and citizens. This led to the report  A Tale of Evaluation and Reporting in UK Smart Cities which includes an analysis of smart city case studies in the UK – Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Peterborough. 

2011-2013 SusTEACH (Sustainable Tools for the Environmental Appraisal of the Carbon Impacts of Higher Education (HE) Teaching Models using ICTs) (Jisc-funded). This features analysis of environmental audit data gathered via online surveys and energy databases to analyse carbon impacts of 30 HE courses in 15 HE institutions, and examine the transformative impact of ICTs on sustainability, plus development of online tools. This led to the ‘Green Gown Award 2012 - Research & Development Finalist’. Several research papers followed, including a research paper published in International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, which was selected as Winner of the ‘Outstanding Paper Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2016.’ This work also led to a publication in The Conversation, with the article ‘'Plug the university finance gap by turning teaching greener’, which contributed to debate on financial sustainability of England’s Higher Education System.

2008 -2011 Heat Pump Field Trial User Evaluation (HE Innovation Fund/Carbon Connections and EST funded): features investigation of UK domestic user experiences and influence on heat pump performance. Data sources included user questionnaires, focus groups, buildings energy performance assessments, and monitored technology performance. Consortium included 3 government departments; 7 energy suppliers and 7 manufacturers.

2009- 2011 U-STIR Sustainable Surface Transport (U-STIR, FP7 funded): features workshops and customer engagement to support infrastructure for Low Carbon Electric Vehicles in UK, and contributed surface transport innovation case studies with partners in 7 European countries.

2007-2008 Household Adoption and Use of Microgeneration heat (HE Innovation Fund/Carbon Connections and EST): features online surveys with 900+ consumers to investigate household adoption, non-adoption and experience of using solar thermal, heat pump and biomass heating systems.

2004--2006 PCED (People-centred Ecodesign) (OU funded): features interviews and online surveys on consumer adoption, non-adoption of low carbon technologies, including insulation, energy efficient lighting, solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and micro-wind turbines. Collaboration with the National Energy Foundation, EST, Energy Agency and the BBC.

2001-2005 Household Ecological Footprints (OU funded): features data analysis of over 1,000 households using EcoCal software to determine ecological footprint based on transport, energy, waste, water and food consumption.

Teaching interests

I became a lecturer at the Open University in 2017. Prior to joining the Open University I taught on undergraduate and post-graduate programmes at University of Durham, the University of Stirling. I am currently working on the presentation team for the module 'Innovation: Designing for change' (T317) and several technology-policy and innovation modules.

Prior to becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014, I worked on module production as an author on several OU undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including:

  • 'Innovation: Designing for change'  (T317);
  • 'Innovation and Design' teaching block in 'Technology Policy and Innovation Research' (T890);
  • 'Business Organisations and their Environments' (B201);
  • 'Managing Performance and Change' (B701/Book 5);
  • 'Managing Development and Change' (B751/Unit 6).

Linked to my research, I designed and developed several research-informed open educational resources, including:



City approaches to smart city evaluation and reporting: Case studies in the United Kingdom (2018)
Caird, Sally
Urban Research and Practice ((Early Access))
Soil-Net - Development and impact of an innovative, open, online soil science educational resource (2017-05)
Hallett, Stephen H. and Caird, Sally P.
Soil Science, 182(5) (pp. 188-201)
Conceptualising the role of Information and Communication Technologies in the design of higher education teaching models used in the UK (2015)
Caird, Sally and Lane, Andrew
British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(1) (pp. 58-70)
Design of higher education teaching models and carbon impacts (2015)
Caird, Sally; Lane, Andy; Swithenby, Ed; Roy, Robin and Potter, Stephen
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 16(1) (pp. 96-111)
The potential social, economic and environmental benefits of MOOCs: operational and historical comparisons with a massive ‘closed online’ course (2014-04)
Lane, Andy; Caird, Sally and Weller, Martin
Open Praxis, 6(2) (pp. 115-123)
Diffusion, user experiences and performance of UK domestic heat pumps (2013-11-30)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
Energy Science and Technology, 6(2) (pp. 14-23)
The Open2-Innova8ion tool - a software tool for rating organisational innovation performance (2013)
Caird, Sally; Hallett, Stephen and Potter, Stephen
Technovation: The International Journal of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, 33(10-11) (pp. 381-385)
The FuturICT education accelerator (2012-10)
Johnson, J.; Buckingham Shum, S.; Willis, A.; Bishop, S.; Zamenopoulos, T.; Swithenby, S.; MacKay, R.; Merali, Y.; Lorincz, A.; Costea, C.; Bourgine, P.; Louçã, J.; Kapenieks, A.; Kelly, P.; Caird, S.; Bromley, J.; Deakin Crick, R.; Goldspink, C.; Collet, P.; Carbone, A. and Helbing, D.
European Physical Journal - Special Topics, 214 (pp. 215-243)
Domestic heat pumps in the UK: user behaviour, satisfaction and performance (2012)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin and Potter, Stephen
Energy Efficiency, 5(3) (pp. 283-301)
Adoption and use of household microgeneration heat technologies (2010-12)
Caird, Sally and Roy, Robin
Low Carbon Economy, 1(2) (pp. 61-70)
Who adopts microheating technologies? (2009-10)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
Green Building Magazine, 19(2) (pp. 44-47)
Design Improvements from users’ experiences of low and zero carbon technologies (2008-10)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
International Journal of Performability Engineering, 4(4) (pp. 357-370)
User-centred improvements to energy efficiency products and renewable energy systems: research on household adoption and use (2008-09)
Caird, Sally and Roy, Robin
International Journal of Innovation Management, 12(3) (pp. 327-355)
Improving the energy performance of UK households: Results from surveys of consumer adoption and use of low- and zero carbon technologies (2008-05)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin and Herring, Horace
Energy Efficiency, 1(2) (pp. 149-166)
Household ecological footprints - demographics and sustainability (2006-12)
Caird, Sally and Roy, Robin
Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 8(4) (pp. 407-429)
Household ecological footprints – moving towards sustainability? (2001-10)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
Town and Country Planning, 70(10) (pp. 277-279)
Environmental actions to reduce household ecological footprints (2001-06)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
International Journal of Environmental Education and Information, 4(2) (pp. 315-332)
Team approaches to developing innovative projects and processes (1997-12)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin and Wield, David
International Journal of Innovation Management, 1(4) (pp. 333-354)
Problems Experienced by Engineers with Environmental Product Development Projects (1994-06)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin and Wield, David
Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 6(2) (pp. 177-188)
How important is the innovator for the commercial success of innovative products in SMEs? (1994)
Caird, Sally
Technovation, 14(2) (pp. 71-83)
How do award winners come up with innovative ideas? (1994)
Caird, Sally
Creativity and Innovation Management, 3(1) (pp. 3-10)
What do psychological tests suggest about entrepreneurs? (1993)
Caird, Sally
Journal of Managerial Psychology, 8(6) (pp. 11-20)
Testing enterprising tendency in occupational groups (1991-12)
Caird, Sally
British Journal of Management, 2(4) (pp. 177-186)
The enterprising tendency of occupational groups (1991)
Caird, Sally
International Small Business Journal, 9(4) (pp. 75-81)
Self assessments of participants on enterprise training courses (1991)
Caird, Sally
British Journal of Education and Work, 4(3) (pp. 63-80)
What does it mean to be enterprising? (1990-09)
Caird, Sally
British Journal of Management, 1(3) (pp. 137-145)
Enterprise competencies: an agenda for research (1990)
Caird, Sally
Journal of European Industrial Training, 14(7) (pp. 3-8)
Enterprise education: the need for differentation (1990)
Caird, Sally
British Journal of Education and Work, 4(1) (pp. 47-57)
Greening Higher Education qualification programmes with online learning (2014)
Caird, Sally; Lane, Andrew and Swithenby, Edward
In: Leal Filho, W.; Azeiteiro, U. and Caeiro, S. eds. E-learning and sustainability. Umweltbildung, Umweltkommunikation und Nachhaltigkeit - Environmental Education, Communication and Sustainability (pp. 105-116)
ISBN : 978-3-631-62693-1 | Publisher : Peter Lang Scientific Publishers | Published : Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien
ICTs and the design of sustainable higher education teaching models: an environmental assessment of UK courses (2013-11-30)
Caird, Sally; Lane, Andrew and Swithenby, Ed
In: Caeiro, S.; Leal Filho, W.; Jabbour, C. J. C. and Azeiteiro, U. M. eds. Sustainability Assessment Tools in Higher Education – Mapping Trends and Good Practices at Universities round the World (pp. 375-386)
ISBN : 978-3-319-02374-8 | Publisher : Springer International Publishing | Published : Cham, Switzerland
Yes in my back yard: UK householders pioneering technologies (2010-10)
Caird, Sally and Roy, Robin
In: Devine-Wright, Patrick ed. Renewable Energy and the Public (pp. 203-219)
ISBN : 978-1-84407-863-9 | Publisher : Earthscan | Published : London
People centred eco-design: consumer adoption of low and zero carbon products and systems (2007-01)
Roy, Robin; Caird, Sally and Potter, Stephen
In: Murphy, Joseph ed. Governing Technology for Sustainability (pp. 41-62)
ISBN : 1844073459 | Publisher : Earthscan | Published : London, UK
Communication on Smart City Evaluation and Reporting In UK cities: Pilots, Demos and Experiments Case (2017-01-19)
Caird, S.; Hudson, L. and Kortuem, G.
In : First International Smart Cities in Smart Regions Conference 2016 (10-12 May 2016, Lahti, Finland) (pp. 20-28)
Designing low and zero carbon products and systems: improvements based on consumers’ experience of adoption and use (2007-08-28)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
In : International Conference on Engineering Design ICED'07, Design for Society: Knowledge, innovation and sustainability (28-30 August 2007, Paris, France)
Can consumers save energy? Results from surveys of consumer adoption and use of low and zero carbon technologies (2007-06)
Caird, Sally; Herring, Horace and Roy, Robin
In : European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study 2007 (4-5 June 2007, La Colle sur Loup, Côte d’Azur, France)
Designing low and zero carbon products and systems – adoption, effective use and innovation (2006-10-23)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
In : Sustainable Innovation 06: 11th International Conference (23-24 Oct 2006, Chicago, USA)
An environmental assessment activity to promote active distance learning and challenge of personal lifestyles and values (2001)
Crompton, Sally; Caird, Sally and Roy, Robin
In : 6th International auDES Conference: Bridging Minds and Markets. Emerging Issues in Environmental Education and Employment in Europe (5 -7 Apr 2001, Venice, Italy)
A Tale of Evaluation and Reporting in UK Smart Cities (2016-04-01)
Caird, Sally; Hudson, Lorraine and Kortuem, Gerd
The Open University
The SusTEACH Methodology: Assessment of the environmental impacts of Higher Education Teaching Models and development of an Environmental Appraisal toolkit (2015)
Caird, Sally; Swithenby, Edward and Lane, Andrew
The Open University
Plug the university finance gap by turning teaching greener (2014-11-25)
Caird, Sally
The Conversation, London.
SusTEACH at the Open University (2013-01-15)
Caird, Sally; Lane, Andrew; Potter, Stephen and Sackett, Mike
The Open University
General measure of Enterprising Tendency test (2013)
Caird, Sally
Getting warmer: a field trial of heat pumps (2010-09)
Roy, Robin; Caird, Sally and Potter, Stephen
The Energy Saving Trust, London, UK.
Heat pump user experiences, behaviour and satisfaction (2010-07)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin and Potter, Stephen
The Open University Design Innovation Group, Milton Keynes UK.
YIMBY Generation – yes in my back yard! UK householders pioneering microgeneration heat (2008-06-04)
Roy, Robin; Caird, Sally and Abelman, Jennie
The Energy Saving Trust, London, UK.
Consumer adoption of household energy efficiency measures, Report DIG-09 (2007-12)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin; Potter, Stephen and Herring, Horace
Design Innovation Group, The Open University
Consumer adoption and use of household renewable energy technologies, Report DIG-10 (2007-12)
Caird, Sally; Roy, Robin; Potter, Stephen and Herring, Horace
Design Innovation Group, The Open University
Climate Change: the citizen's agenda Evidence to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (2007-09)
Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally
The Stationery Office, London, UK.
Postcards from the Future (2005)
Caird, Sally and Hallett, S., Milton Keynes, UK.

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