Dr. Chad Walker (he/him) is an AMTD Global Talent Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo.  Here he is studying planning processes and the potential democratization of new energy systems. In particular, he is interested in how Smart Local Energy Systems (i.e. Smart Grids) may 'build back better' in a post-COVID-19 world. A press release introducing his work can be seen here.

More broadly, Chad is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist with interests around justice, equity, and public support for low-carbon transitions. Recent research includes studying the impact of environmental justice in shaping support for wind energy, critically investigating the meaning of community energy, and using diverse methodologies to better understand reconciliation, autonomy, and pathways for improved health via Indigenous-led renewable energy development. 

Chad has a PhD from Western University (2017) and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen’s University (2017-2019), the University of Exeter (2019-2021), and the University of Saskatchewan (2021). At Queen's he worked with Dr. Heather Castleden on the CIHR-funded Achieving Strength, Health and Autonomy, through Renewable Energy Development for the Future (A SHARED Future) program.  In Saskatchewan, he was part of the SSHRC-funded Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) initiative. During his time in the United Kingdom, he studied user engagement and public participation through the development of Smart Local Energy Systems. 

Through all of his work, he has used a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, spurring a keen interest in the ways we think about and practice mixed methods. 

Recent publications

Non-Indigenous partner perspectives on Indigenous peoples' involvement in renewable energy: exploring reconciliation as relationships of accountability or status quo innocence?

Chad Walker, Mary Beth Doucette, Sarah Rotz, Diana Lewis, Hannah Tait Neufeld, Heather Castleden

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 2021, pp. 636-657

What is ‘local’ about Smart Local Energy Systems? Emerging stakeholder geographies of decentralised energy in the United Kingdom

Chad Walker, Patrick Devine-Wright, Melanie Rohse, Luke Gooding, Hannah Devine-Wright, Rajat Gupta

Energy Research and Social Science, 2021

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[the tentatively titled] SLICER Project

Smart, Local, & Integrated Community Energy Research Project. Our goal is to advance our social scientific understandings of smart and local energy transitions in Canada. Funded by an AMTD Global Talent Fellowship at the University of Waterloo.


UK-based academic consortium aimed at understanding the challenges and opportunities within Smart Local Energy Systems. Supported through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) Partnership

The CASES Partnership is a research initiative involving 15 northern and Indigenous communities and public and private sector project partners from Canada, Alaska, Sweden, and Norway. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

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Dr. Chad Walker

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School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability

University of Waterloo