Dr Ruth Stevenson


Senior Lecturer
Tutor and Dissertation supervisor



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LinkedIn: Ruth Stevenson

Ruth specialises in the institutional, social, planning and environmental aspects of sustainability. She spent her early career as a consultant environmental planner, primarily in the renewable energy industry, acting as a Director for the leading, worker owned renewable energy company, Dulas Ltd. Whilst representing the wind energy industry on the planning policy panel for the Welsh Government, she was inspired to initiate her PhD research on the policy making process and its effects on the delivery of ‘sustainable development’. Since then, Ruth’s research has focussed on new governance models required for energy, environmental and social resilience.

Ruth continues to reinforce her research and teaching activity through consultancy work, specialising in supporting community renewable energy schemes through the planning system and in identifying the resultant economic, social and environmental effects. She has managed over 25 Environmental Assessments and planning applications for renewable energy schemes and has recently carried out landscape impact assessments for a variety of wind and hydro schemes. In 2013/2014, Ruth also carried out a major piece of research for Cardiff University’s School of Architecture, alongside industry and employers in Wales to identify and deliver new sustainability skills for built environment professionals. This resulted in the writing of a 25 year strategy for sustainability training in Wales.

Ruth's combination of experience in public, private and academic environments brings a deep and nuanced understanding of sustainability and resilience issues. She uses her consultancy as a test bed for emerging theoretical understanding and her research encourages her to be a more reflexive practitioner.


PhD ‘Power, Rationality and Discourse in Renewable Energy Policy Making in Post-Devolution Wales: A Foucauldian - based Discourse Analysis’ (Funded by ESRC) Aberystwyth University

MSc. Landscape Ecology, Design and Maintenance

BSc. (Hons) Geography

Professional Membership & Other

Associate Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)

Academic referee for Environmental Values, Environmental Management, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, and Energy Policy.

Leader: Gwerin y Coed (Woodcraft Folk) engaging children in sustainability though play

Founding member: Plas Einion Housing Management Company (Shared housing)

Community Energy Fund-Robert Owen Community Banking Fund: Act as one of the panel that managing funds for Community Energy Financing (2014 – present)

Research Interests

Developing new governance models for energy resilience with a focus on the need for a more ‘energetic society’

Developing the skills required to inspire and develop a sustainable construction industry

Systems thinking and resilience

Teaching Activities

Module leader


Seminar and practical studies tutor

Thesis supervisor


Peer Reviewed Papers (since 2000)

Stevenson , R and Howard Coles, J. (2015) Neighbourhood Planning and the Energy Conversation, Town and Country Planning Vol 84 pg 449 – 456

Stevenson, R (2009) Discourse, Power and energy conflicts: understanding Welsh renewable energy planning policy Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 27 no 3 512-526

Stevenson, R. & Richardson, T. (2003) ‘Policy Integration for Sustainable Development: exploring barriers to renewable energy development in post devolution Wales.’ Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning Vol. 5, March 2003 pg. 95 -118

Conference Presentations (since 2000)

Anderson, S & Stevenson, R (2018) Are dispositional mindfulness traits effective in sustaining pro- environmental behaviour? International Conference for
Sustainable Design of the Built Environment SDBE 2018 pp 280 -291 September, 12th-14th September 2018, London

Stevenson R. (2013) Built Environment Sustainability Training: Growth, Adaptation and Progression Retrofit Wales Conference, Sept 2013, Cardiff

Stevenson R (2013) Skills Gap Analysis: Sustainability in Existing Buildings BIFM, Sustainability in Facilities Management, Newport Langstone Hotel 26th April 201

Stevenson, R. (2003) Institutional challenges of sustainable development: An exploration of renewable energy policy development in Wales. Paper presented to Royal Geographic Society/ Institute of British geographers Conference, London September 4th – 6th 2003

Stevenson, R. (2002) The Rhetoric and Reality of Sustainable Wales: A review of Renewable Energy Policy. Paper presented to Planning Research Conference, University of Dundee, and 8th – 10th April 2002

Stevenson, R (2002) Devolution and the Institutionalisation of Sustainable Development – Paper presented to RESSG postgraduate conference, The University of Gloucestershire 20th February 2002.

Stevenson, R. (2000) Realising the Potential for the Protection of the Environment by Developing Small Hydropower paper presented at ALTENER 2000, Toulouse, France, October 2000, & publication XVII/4.1030/2/98.328

Industry Reports (since 2000)

Stevenson, R (for Cardiff University, School of Architecture) (2014) Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST): A Strategy for Growth, Adaptation & Progression

Stevenson, R (2013) Built Environment Sustainability Training: Skills Needs Analysis for the Existing Build Sector: Asset Skills (for BEST Built Environment Sustainability Training programme led by Cardiff University, School of Architecture)

Edwards, R., Leaney, V.C, Stevenson, R & Heslop, A (2001) Overcoming barriers to greater active community and local involvement in wind farms in the UK