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Lord and Lady Harris hear from Dr Phil Grünewald on 30th anniversary of Harris Lecture Theatre

Grünewald, who is the research director of an £8.7m research project into energy demand, spoke about Oriel College’s heat decarbonisation programme and the challenges part and parcel of reducing the carbon emissions of heritage buildings.

Graduate students AJ Hudson and Thomas O’Callaghan-Brown also presented at the event. Hudson, a doctoral student and political ecologist, discussed his research on the impact that concepts of “paradise” can have on local communities. O’Callaghan-Brown spoke about the work he is doing for his master’s thesis on biodiversity in urban areas.

The title of the event was “Net zero is coming home. What can we do as college, communities and citizens”. It was organised by the Oriel Environmental Group.

Enclosed within the Island Site, the Harris Lecture Theatre and adjacent Harris Seminar Room were constructed in 1993 following a generous benefaction from Lord and Lady Harris. The two venues are named after Lord Harris’s father, Charlie.

Lord and Lady Harris are celebrated patrons of education, and the lecture at Oriel College afforded Lord Mendoza CBE, the Provost, an opportunity to recognise their many contributions.

A total of 54 academies, educating about one in 40 children in the London area, belong to the Harris Federation, of which Lord Harris is the chair and main sponsor.