Professor Malcolm Cook


Pronouns: He/him
  • Dean of School
  • Professor of Building Performance Analysis

Research and expertise

I am Professor of Building Performance Analysis and member of the Building Energy Research Group.

My research expertise lies in low energy building design and the application of computational fluid dynamics to natural ventilation. For over 25 years I have worked with multi-disciplinary teams on the design and performance monitoring of some of the world’s most innovative low energy buildings.

Over my research career, I have led a combined research and enterprise portfolio totalling over £10m. Projects have included low energy cooling and ventilation in India, the development of simulation models for thermal comfort and thermophysiological modelling, control systems for natural and hybrid ventilation, and CFD modelling of natural ventilation. Recent work has involved assessing the effect of ventilation design and operation on the transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid) and advising the government on the safe reopening of shorts, arts and entertainment venues. 

My international profile includes speaking engagements at CEPT University in India, Hong Kong University, Oklahoma State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. I also serve on international advisory boards which have included the University of Antwerp, University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, Karlsruhe University and Hong Kong University. 

Current research activity

  • Airborne Infection Reduction through Building Operation and Design for SARS-CoV-2 (AIRBODS)

Recently completed research projects

  • Low Energy Cooling and Ventilation in Indian Residences (LECaVIR)
  • 'Thinking Inside the Box': A Mixed Reality Development Platform for co-creating energy efficient retail spaces Natural ventilation modelling using large eddy simulation
  • Modelling the human occupancy factor in the design of naturally ventilated buildings
  • Control of heat transfer and airflow in multi-functional façades

Recent publications

  • Spentzou, E, Cook, M, Emmitt, S (2021) Low-energy cooling and ventilation refurbishments for buildings in a Mediterranean climate, Architectural Engineering and Design Management, ISSN: 1745-2007. DOI: 10.1080/17452007.2021.1926898.
  • England, R, Peirce, N, Wedatilake, T, Torresi, J, Kemp, S, Cook, M, Mitchell, S, Harland, A (2021) The potential for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in sport: a cricket case study, International Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(5), pp.407-418, ISSN: 0172-4622. DOI: 10.1055/a-1342-8071.
  • Camacho-Montano, SC, Cook, M, Wagner, A (2019) Avoiding overheating in existing school buildings through optimized passive measures, Building Research and Information: the international journal of research, development and demonstration, ISSN: 0182-3329. DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2019.1663137.
  • Mantesi, E, Hopfe, C, Mourkos, K, Glass, J, Cook, M (2019) Empirical and computational evidence for thermal mass assessment: The example of insulating concrete formwork, Energy and Buildings, 188-9, pp.314-332, ISSN: 0378-7788. DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.02.021.

Current projects

  • CO2 monitoring of performing arts venues to reduce transmission risk of Covid-19

Recently completed projects

  • Air Conditioning Strategy for high-performance gymnasium: CFD Analysis
  • Concept design advice for low energy cooling and ventilation at Leicester Cathedral
  • Embedding knowledge on improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality using natural ventilation and intelligent control systems (Knowledge Transfer Partnership)


  • Design and computer simulation of Hangzhou demonstration building, China
  • Dynamic thermal simulation of post 16 centre
  • Appointed expert to assess the performance of domestic ventilation product on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust
  • Design and evaluation of natural ventilation strategy for auditoria, office spaces, and dining hall in Bedford campus centre


After graduating from Manchester University in 1991 with a degree in mathematics, I studied for an MSc in Electromechanical Design at Leicester University.

During my master's programme, I worked at the Defence Research Agency where I worked in a low-speed wind tunnel measuring the effects of drag and lift on highly swept delta wings.  I began work as a Research Assistant at De Montfort University in 1993 and pursued my PhD research evaluating the accuracy of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for modelling buoyancy-driven natural ventilation flows in buildings. This involved publication of guidelines for turbulence modelling, convergence control and use of Neumann boundary conditions. After 10 years’ post-doctoral experience during which I worked on over 30 low energy building projects around the world, I moved to Loughborough University in 2008 as a Reader in Building Performance Analysis.

At Loughborough, I established and led an MSc course in Low Carbon Building Design and Modelling and extended my research into Large Eddy Simulation, indoor air quality and building control. Some of this work was funded by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) in collaboration with SE Controls during which we developed control algorithms for energy-efficient natural ventilation based on combined CO2 and temperature sensing. I was awarded my Chair in Building Performance Analysis in 2012 and became Associate Dean for Research in 2014, a role I served until 2021 when I took on the position of Acting Dean for the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Professional affiliations

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Fellow of the International Building Performance Simulation Association
  • Member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
  • Member of the Institution of Mathematics and its Applications
  • Member of the Energy Institute
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


  • Research Informed Teaching Award (2014)
  • Best Paper Award, Building and Environment (2018)
  • Lichfield Garrick Theatre (CIBSE Project of the Year, 2004)
  • School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London (CIBSE Environmental Initiative of the Year, 2006)
  • Judson College, Elgin, Chicago (LEED Gold Award, 2008)
  • Lanchester Library, Coventry (Best Public Building Award, Building Magazine, 2000)
  • Braunstone Health and Social Care Centre (Property and Construction Sustainable Development of the Year, 2005)

External activities

  • Visiting Professor, CEPT University, India, 2017
  • Associate Editor, Science and Technology for the Built Environment, 2014-
  • International accreditation panel in Dubai for MSc course in Sustainable Design in the Built Environment, British University in Dubai, UAE, 2011
  • Chair, International Building Performance Simulation Association (England affiliate), 2008-2014
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 2011-2018
  • Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Ventilation, 2002-
  • College Member, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 2003-2007 

Key collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • Universities: Leeds, Imperial, Cambridge, Nottingham, UCL, London South Bank, CEPT (India), UC Berkeley (USA), Karlsruhe (Germany), Stuttgart (Germany)
  • Learned Societies: ASHRAE, CIBSE
  • Consultants: SE Controls, Hoare Lea, Arup, Fosters, Parsons Brinkerhoff