Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Dr Nick McCullen

Contact details

Room: 6E 4.5
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 384789

Personal website

PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Energy use in buildings and cities
  • Complex interactions and behaviours involved in energy consumption
  • Distributed generation in cities

Dr Nick McCullen

MPhys, PhD


Nick McCullen is a Lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.  He is interested in how the complex interactions between the various components, such as buildings, technology, the environment, and people, result in the energy consumption of the built environment.

Nick gained his undergraduate Master’s degree in Physics at the University of Manchester. He spent two years teaching English in rural Japan on the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) programme before returning for his PhD in the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics. On this he researched chaotic phenomena in coupled oscillators, with application to many complex behaviours arising from the interactions between simple systems. One application of the research was sensitive signal detection, related to the resonant coupling of oscillations found in insect hearing.

Nick's first post-doctoral research position was at the University of Bath, investigating electrical network models of composite materials in the Bath Institute for Complex Systems.This involved modelling the microstructure of these materials as many individual elements coupled via a network of interactions between them, to understand the macroscopic, system level 'emergent properties' observed in physical experiments.

This line of research led him to the University of Leeds as part of the multi-disciplinary project Future energy decision—making for cities: Can complexity science rise to the challenge. Nick's work involved mathematical and computational modelling of the influence of various factors affecting the uptake of energy efficiency innovations by individual households in a city, including the influence of peers via their personal social network.


Nick is currently involved in research proposals related to the modelling of the vastly complex city energy systems and end users to better understand energy use in cities and homes.

A part of this is working out what measures will be necessary to address the twin challenge of making cities capable of both remaining habitable by adapting to the possible effects of future climate change, and also mitigating further change by providing the energy needs of their citizens more sustainably.


  • Low Carbon Design


Book Sections

Almond, D., Budd, C. J. and McCullen, N. J., 2011. Emergent behaviour in large electrical networks. In: Georgoulis, E. H., Iske, A. and Levesley, J., eds. Approximation Algorithms for Complex Systems. Springer, pp. 3-26. (Springer Proceedings in Mathematics; 3)


Aouaichia, M., McCullen, N., Bowen, C., Almond, D., Budd, C. and Bouamrane, R., 2017. Understanding the anomalous frequency responses of composite materials using very large random resistor-capacitor networks. European Physical Journal B, 90 (3), 39.

Osorio, B., McCullen, N., Walker, I. and Coley, D., 2016. Understanding the relationship between energy consumption and urban form. Athens Journal of Sciences, 4 (2), pp. 115-141.

McCullen, N. and Wagenknecht, T., 2016. Pattern Formation on Networks:from Localised Activity to Turing Patterns. Scientific Reports, 6, 27397.

Bale, C., McCullen, N., Foxon, T., Rucklidge, A. and Gale, W., 2014. Modeling diffusion of energy innovations on a heterogeneous social network and approaches to integration of real-world data. Complexity, 19 (6), pp. 83-94.

Bale, C. S. E., McCullen, N. J., Foxon, T. J., Rucklidge, A. M. and Gale, W. F., 2013. Harnessing social networks for promoting adoption of energy technologies in the domestic sector. Energy Policy, 63, pp. 833-844.

McCullen, N. J., Rucklidge, A. M., Bale, C. S. E., Foxon, T. J. and Gale, W. F., 2013. Multiparameter models of innovation diffusion on complex networks. SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, 12 (1), pp. 515-532.

Almond, D. P., Budd, C. J., Freitag, M. A., Hunt, G. W., McCullen, N. J. and Smith, N. D., 2013. The origin of power-law emergent scaling in large binary networks. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 392 (4), pp. 1004-1027.

McCullen, N. J., Ivanchenko, M. V., Shalfeev, V. D. and Gale, W. F., 2011. A dynamical model of decision-making behavior in a network of consumers with applications to energy choices. International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos in Applied Sciences and Engineering, 21 (09), pp. 2467-2480.

McCullen, N. and Moresco, P., 2011. Route to hyperchaos in a system of coupled oscillators with multistability. Physical Review E (PRE), 83 (4), 046212.

Mccullen, N. J., Almond, D. P., Budd, C. J. and Hunt, G. W., 2008. The robustness of the emergent scaling property of random RC network models of complex materials. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 42 (6), 064001.

McCullen, N., Mullin, T. and Golubitsky, M., 2007. Sensitive signal detection using a feed-forward oscillator network. Physical Review Letters, 98 (25), p. 254101.

McCullen, N. and Moresco, P., 2006. Method for measuring unstable dimension variability from time series. Physical Review E (PRE), 73 (4), 046203.

Conference or Workshop Items

Osorio, B. M., McCullen, N., Walker, I. and Coley, D., 2016. Energy use of urban transport and buildings: A new combined metric. In: wholeSEM 3rd Annual Conference, 2016-07-04 - 2016-07-05, The Møller Centre, Churchill College.

Wismayer, A., McCullen, N. and Hayles, C., 2016. Occupant behaviour at the Presidential Palace of San Anton, Malta:A study supporting the development of a methodology to enhance energy efficiency in heritage buildings. In: Europe and the Mediterranean Towards a Sustainable Built Environment, 2016-03-16 - 2016-03-18, Malta.

Wismayer, A., McCullen, N. and Hayles, C., 2016. Forthcoming. Adaptive re-use of heritage buildings:a case study of the Presidential Palace of San Anton, Malta. In: REHAB 2017, 2017-06-14 - 2017-06-16.

Wismayer, A., McCullen, N. and Hayles, C., 2016. Forthcoming. Sustainable Regeneration of Cultural Built Heritage:Workshop Report and Outcome. In: REHAB 2017, 2017-06-14 - 2017-06-16.

McCullen, N., Wolfrum, M. and Wagenknecht, T., 2015. Snaking on Networks: From Local Solutions to Turing Patterns. In: SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems, 2005-05-17 - 2015-08-21, Utah.

Osorio, B. M., McCullen, N. and Walker, I., 2015. Urban transport: analysis of commute energy use. In: 21st International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment, 2015-06-02 - 2015-06-04.

McCullen, N., Walker, I., Natarajan, S. and Padget, J., 2014. Smart meter roll-out strategy and its effect on energy savings at community level. In: Behave Energy Conference, 2014-09-03 - 2014-09-04, Said Business School, University of Oxford.

McCullen, N., Bale, C., Foxon, T. and Gale, W., 2013. An evaluation of local authority social network interventions for the promotion of energy efficiency measures in the domestic sector. In: ECEEE Summer Study Proceedings, 2013-06-03.

McCullen, N. J., Rucklidge, A., Bale, C., Foxon, T. and Gale, W., 2013. Dynamics, Networks and Energy Efficiency. In: SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems, 2013-05-19 - 2013-12-23, Snowbird, Utah, USA.

McCullen, N. J., Bale, C., Foxon, T., Rucklidge, A. and Gale, W., 2013. Modelling the uptake of domestic energy technologies via local networks and integrating real-world data. In: FutureBuild 2013, 2013-09-04 - 2013-12-06, University of Bath.

McCullen, N., Zhang, T., Bale, C., Foxon, T., Gale, W., Rucklidge, A., Aickelin, U. and Siebers, P.-O., 2012. Energy Decision-Making for Cities. In: UKERC Meeting on Energy and Complexity, 2012-07-05, The Meeting Place.

Bale, C., McCullen, N., Foxon, T., Rucklidge, A. and Gale, W., 2011. Local authority interventions in the domestic sector and the role of social networks:a case study from the city of Leeds. In: Energy and People: Futures, complexity and challenges, 2012-09-20 - 2012-09-21.


McCullen, N., 2007. Transition to High Dimensional Dynamics in Systems of Coupled Oscillators. Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Manchester.

This list was generated on Sun Oct 22 01:54:03 2017 IST.