Dr Raihana Ferdous

Lecturer in Human Geography

School of Social Sciences

Raihana Ferdous


Raihana is a lecturer in human geography. Her research interests orbit around interconnected topics such as emerging energy technology, ethical partnership, environmental sustainability, waste economy, ethical consumption and critical development. She obtained her PhD from the Geography Department at Durham University. Prior to moving to Brookes, Raihana worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Glasgow and Durham University.

Previous experience:

  • Research Associate (July 2020-September 2021): School of Education, University of Glasgow
    Participatory Futures | PI Dr Mia Perry | £150,000 Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF)
  • Research Associate (July 2020-Feb 2021): Department of Anthropology, Durham University
    Marlin Star: Community Access to Stored and Transferable Energy from Floating Renewables | PI Professor Simone Abram | £1.4 million UKRI-Innovation UK | Energy Catalyst programme
  • Research Associate (April 2019- June 2020) School of Education, University of Glasgow
    Geothermally sourced combined power and freshwater generation for eastern Africa (Combi-Gen) | PI Dr Zhibin Yu & Co-I Dr Mia Perry | £1,341,748 GCRF-EPSRC

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  •  Introduction to Human Geography, 
  • Geographical Perspectives,
  • Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience,
  • Development and Social Change, 
  • Geographical Enquiry and Field Research, 
  • Advanced Research Skills,
  • Independent Study in Human Geography


Raihana’s research is concerned with the development of sustainable energy and technology and in their shaping of the human and more than human worlds. Raihana has an extensive background in both Human Geography and Social Anthropology and has worked with various inter and multi-disciplinary teams.

She is curious about different disciplinary approaches and always brings her multidisciplinary perspective to research that is empirically located in the Global South. Methodologically, Raihana values long-term ethnographic engagement and co-production of knowledge engaging with creative methods such as visual, storytelling, and following the networks and materials.

Research projects

Kitchen Life Project

The Kitchen Life project is an interdisciplinary research pilot on sustainable cooking as it relates to energy, air pollution, and nutrition in two regions in Africa and Asia. Taking the ‘kitchen’ as the unit of analysis, three interlinked aspects will be investigated: everyday cooking practices, cooking economy and cooking materials.  A cultural understanding of everyday kitchen life in Bangladesh and Malawi will contribute essential and often overlooked insights to the related fields of energy, sustainability, and health. This project is funded by SFC-GCRF.

Off the Grid: Notes from a forgotten Island (Research Documentary)

In colloboration with a filmmaker (Meghna Gupta), I produce a research documentary Off the Grid: Notes from a Forgotten Island based on my PhD research. The film documents the arrival of solar energy to the community and the impact it has on everyday life. Off the Grid explores what the experience of a life without electricity means both emotionally and materially, as we go from light to dark over the course of a day. The documentary has been screened at various academic and non-academic events and has won several awards. 

Energy on the Move: longitudinal perspectives on energy transitions among marginal populations

Drawing on comparative lessons across four cities in two continents (Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan), this study examines the energy practices of poor women, men and young people living in informal settlements in peri-urban areas.

Research grants and awards

  • 2020/21 Co-I for Kitchen Life: Towards Clean Cooking Services in Bangladesh and Malawi funded by GCRF-SFC (£74,176)
  • 2017/2018 Co-I for Energy on the Move: longitudinal perspectives on energy transitions among marginal populations (a comparative study) funded by DFID-ESRC (£206,316)

Research group membership (external)

Centres and institutes