Alexander Gnanapragasam

Research Fellow

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Staff Group(s)
Product Design


Dr Alex Gnanapragasam is a Research Fellow in Sustainable Consumer Behaviour at NTU and is a member of the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP).

Alex also teaches on a number of courses across the College of Art, Architecture, Design and Humanities on sustainability, end-use energy demand, and both qualitative and quantitative methods. Alex currently supervises a doctoral student identifying and evaluating business opportunities to promote longer-lasting products in premium goods markets. Alex is also a founding member of the staff network supporting Race, Equality and Cultural Heritage (REACH) at NTU.

Career overview

Prior to working at NTU, Alex completed his PhD at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. While completing his doctoral studies, Alex was a Guest Lecturer on education and behaviour change for the undergraduate Sustainable Development programme at the University of St Andrews. Alex has also completed research contracts for Learning and Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland), and Carnegie Trust UK and the St Andrews Sustainability Institute.

Research areas

Alex's research at CIE-MAP focuses on evaluating consumer expectations, attitudes and behaviours with respect to product lifetimes. Additionally, Alex examines the intersection of social practice theory with product lifetimes and elucidates the possibilities for product lifetime extension through collaborative consumption.

Alex's doctoral research worked towards developing a holistic understanding of sustainability action, drawing on anthropological, psychological, sociological and educational theories of knowledge and action. The research utilised a life history approach to elucidate the role of experience and (nature) connection in engendering, sustaining and bounding sustainability action across the life course.

External activity

Peer reviewer

  • Journal reviewer for Sustainability
  • Journal reviewer for the Journal of Industrial Ecology

Professional bodies

  • 2011 – present, Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2013 – present, Member of Learning for Sustainability Scotland
  • 2017 – 2019, Certified Member of the Market Research Society
  • 2017 – 2018, Member of the Design Research Society
  • 2018 – 2019, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society


Conference advisory board membership

  • 2017 – 2018, Member, PLATE Consortium Coordinating Committee
  • 2012, Treasurer, conference organising committee, Future Connections, University of St Andrews

Sponsors and collaborators

CIE-MAP is a RCUK funded project. CIE-MAP is one of six national research centres established in 2013 to develop strategies to deliver a step change reduction in industry’s demand for energy and materials.

Recently funded projects

  • 2017, Community repair, understanding participants' experiences of repair (The Restart Project, £5,000)


Gnanapragasam, A., Cole, C., Singh, J. and Cooper, T., 2018. Consumer perspectives on longevity and reliability: a national study of purchasing factors across eighteen product categories. Procedia CIRP. ISSN 2212-8271 (Forthcoming)

Gnanapragasam, A., Cooper, T., Cole, C. and Oguchi, M., 2017. Consumer perspectives on product lifetimes: a national study of lifetime satisfaction and purchasing factors. In: C. Bakker and R. Mugge, eds., PLATE: Product Lifetimes And The Environment 2017 - Conference Proceedings. Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, 8-10 November 2017. Delft: IOS Press, pp. 144-148. ISBN 9781614998204464

Gnanapragasam, A., Oguchi, M., Cole, C. and Cooper, T., 2017. Consumer expectations of product lifetimes around the world: a review of global research findings and methods. In: C. Bakker and R. Mugge, eds., PLATE: Product Lifetimes And The Environment 2017 - Conference Proceedings. Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, 8-10 November 2017. Delft: IOS Press, pp. 464-469. ISBN 9781614998204464

Gnanapragasam, A. and Cole, C., 2017. Community repair: enabling repair as part of the movement towards a circular economy. In: Waste and Resource Management (WaRM) Conference 2017, The Open University, Milton Keynes, 20 June 2017.

Cole, C., Gnanapragasam, A. and Cooper, T., 2017. Towards a circular economy: exploring routes to reuse for discarded electrical and electronic equipment. Procedia CIRP, 61, pp. 155-160. ISSN 2212-8271

Oguchi, M., Tasaki, T., Daigo, I., Cooper, T., Cole, C. and Gnanapragasam, A., 2016. Consumers' expectations for product lifetimes of consumer durables. In: Electronics Goes Green 2016+ Conference, Berlin, Germany, 7-9 September 2016.

See all of Alexander James Gnanapragasam's publications...

Press expertise

  • Consumer perspectives on product lifetimes
  • Psychological and sociological approaches to sustainability
  • Outdoor learning in 3-18 education
  • Physical, mental and social benefits of outdoor education and recreation
  • Nature connection, contemporary research and practice

Course(s) I teach on

  • Jack Butterworth, Furniture and Product Design
    Undergraduate | Full-time / Sandwich | 2018

  • Camille Webley
    Undergraduate | Full-time / Sandwich | 2018

  • Joe Parker
    Undergraduate | Full-time / Sandwich | 2018