Professor Alan Penn


Professor Alan Penn is the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Alan was previously, from July 2019 to September 2021, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

A Professor in Architectural and Urban Computing at University College London (UCL), Alan’s research focuses on understanding the way that the design of the built environment affects the patterns of social and economic behaviour of organisations and communities.

Before joining MHCLG, Alan was Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL. He was Chair of the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel for REF2014 and for RAE2008. Alan is a board member of Space Syntax Ltd, a technology spin-out from UCL, and is trustee of the Shakespeare North Trust, a charity which is constructing a new Shakespearean theatre and educational centre in Prescot, outside Liverpool.

In his role as the DLUHC Chief Scientific Adviser, Alan provides a challenge function to the department on the use of science and engineering evidence in policy-making.

Previous roles in government

  • DLUHC Chief Scientific Adviser
  • MHCLG Chief Scientific Adviser