Staff Profile:Dr Libby Schweber

Professor Libby Schweber
Job Title:

School Director of Post Graduate Research Studies (for current students)

BA Sociology, Harvard University
MA Hebrew University
MA Princeton University
PhD Sociology Princeton University

Areas of Interest:

Social Theory, Methodology, Sustainability, Innovation, Assessment, Standards and Feedback

External Responsibilities:

ARCOM committee member

Career Path:

My academic career can be divided into two related, but distinct phases. In the first part I specialized in the Sociology of Knowledge and Comparative Historical Sociology. I first developed this interest while working on my PhD for Princeton, much of which was written in Paris as a visiting student at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. This work focused on the effect of national state and scientific institutions on styles of reasoning. I pursued this work in Berlin at the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte before taking a position at Harvard University as an Assistant, and then Associate, Professor in the Department of Sociology. In 2003 I moved to the University of Reading as Reader and Head of the Department of Sociology, where I continued my work on styles of reasoning.

The second phase of my academic career began in 2008 when I joined the ICRC to develop a research programme on sustainable construction. This research applies my interest in the sociology of science and technology to a new object, namely large construction firms. While the theoretical frameworks and research questions are similar, the move has introduced me to a world of engineers, architects and industry partners and allowed me to engage in an exciting, contemporary field of research. My work focuses on the way in which large construction and engineering consultancy firms have responded to the challenges of sustainable construction. I am particularly interested in the way in which professionals engage with policy and management tools and in the relation between innovation and standardization. Specific research projects include the integration of assessment tools such as BREEAM and different types of feedback into the design process, mainstreaming sustainability in large construction firms, the uptake and diffusion of innovations such as renewable technologies and MMC. My current research uses a variety of social theories to explore these issues, including: neo-institutionalism, social practice theory, STS and ANT.

Research groups / Centres:

Innovative Construction Research Centre
Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Built Environment

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This list was generated on Tue Aug 11 09:23:06 2020 UTC.
Schweber L staff profile photo 2018

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8567
126 Chancellor's Building

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