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Ramit Debnath BTech, MTech, MPhil (Cantab)


I have a background in electrical engineering and sustainability sciences which shapes my perception of engineering as a tool for reducing inequality. 

My current research involves the identification of 'invisible' drivers of energy demand in urban poverty of the Global South to deliver energy justice. In doing so, I am exploring the human dimensions of energy use in slum rehabilitation and quantifying them to inform demand-side energy policies. The core research methodology is mixed-method; the qualitative findings are drawn through the lens of social practice theory and energy culture. The quantitative analysis is performed using structural equation modelling, energy simulations and machine-learning-based state-of-the-art techniques. The findings of this research are expected to have practical policy implications towards demand-side energy just policies for poverty alleviation. 

My research is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship under the grant number [OPP1144], the Trinity-MCSC scholarship (honorary) from the Trinity College, Cambridge and a Santander Mobility Grant from the Santander Group, Spain. 

To know more about my research, please see my publication links below. 

Research Interests

  • Engineering for sustainable development 
  • Energy Policy 
  • Evidence-based policy analytics 
  • Computational social sciences
  • Poverty alleviation and social policy

Key Publications

Research in the news!

Journals (Peer-reviewed)



Invited talks


Working papers

  • Ramit Debnath, Gianna Monteiro Farias Simoes, Solange Maria Leder, Ronita Bardhan, Minna Sunikka-Blank, Roberto Lamberts (2019): A structural model of cultural energy services and appliance ownership for energy justice in slum rehabilitation: Case of Brazil and India, Energy Policy, Elsevier (Under review)
  • Ramit Debnath, Ronita Bardhan, Minna Sunikka-Blank (2019): A methodology to investigate discomfort and distress in the low-income built environment, MethodX, Elsevier (Under review)


  • Architecture and Building Physics, Oxbridge Academic Programs, New York [50 hours]. CamPrep Experience Architecture Final Project: Daylight simulation and visualization for improved well-being in classrooms: A case study of a Peterhouse classroom (Project link:
  • Innovation & Leadership Program and Science & Technology Program, Looker Education Group, Shanghai [40 hours]. Topics covered: Innovation management; Sustainable development; Urban Science; Whole Energy Systems Analysis; Systems dynamics modelling and analysis; Building Performance Analysis: Daylight modelling and simulation
  • Research mentorship program, ViaX, Beijing [10 hours]
  • Policy analysis workshop, Evolution of energy policies in China since 1950, ViaX, Beijing [10 hours]

Professional memberships

Cambridge Philosophical Society; Cambridge University Energy Network (CUEN); Cambridge University Engineering Society (CUES); Energy@Cambridge; Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG); The Energy Institute (EI); Global Energy Nexus for Urban Settlement (GENUS); Commonwealth Scholars Alumni Association; Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP); Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange Forum (CUSPE); CIBSE

Professional work

Reviewer: Energy Policy, Elsevier; Sustainable Cities and Society, Elsevier 

Assistant Editor: The Scholar Magazine, Gates- Cambridge Trust, Summer 2019

Secretary: Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange Forum (CUSPE)

Convenor: Global Energy Nexus for Urban Settlements (GENUS) & Cambridge University Energy Networks (CUEN)