Originally trained as an ecologist, Susan gained her Masters and PhD at the University of Birmingham studying biodiversity.
After a research career Susan became the Government Liaison officer for a Defra funded resource management organisation, and founded the BREW Centre for Local Government that advised and supported local government with commercial waste and sustainability pilot projects. Responsibilities included business planning, liaising with Government on policy and consultation and being an advisory member of the DEFRA Zero Waste project. She was a member of the West Midlands Regional Technical Advisory Board for waste planning.
For 24 years Susan served as a local councillor on Stratford on Avon district council and for ten years was a County Councillor. She helped to set up, then chaired, an energy efficiency charity, Act on Energy, and remain a trustee. She is also a trustee of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
For the past ten years Susan has worked on a range of initiatives including advising universities on dissemination strategies for research, working with sustainable development projects and advising businesses on resource management and renewable energy projects. Susan was a long term adviser on the Urban Futures team for a consortium of universities and have served on a number of national policy development working groups, mainly on rural and sustainability themes. She has also carried out work looking at the effectiveness of fuel poverty pilots and have been a long-time advocate of community energy and using the benefits for local communities.