Professor Richard Dawson

University of Newcastle


I believe engineers have a crucial role to play in developing adaptation solutions to ensure our infrastructure and cities are resilient and sustainable in the face of intensifying global change. 

I was a classically trained civil engineer but soon recognised that the codes and historical methods that have enabled so much in the past are not always suitable in this rapidly changing world because they often fail to consider the wider interactions between engineering systems and altering environmental and socio-economic conditions.

A remarkable feature of my work has therefore been the application of engineering principles to broad scale modelling and analysis - recognition that engineering systems have a much wider influence than their physical form and need to be considered within their broader environmental and social context. This engineering philosophy has become known as Earth Systems Engineering and I am currently Director of the Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research (CESER) at Newcastle University.

My research interests, described in more detail in the 'Research' tab, are broad but with the common thread of Earth Systems Engineering. My work is necessarily a cross-disciplinary endeavour, involving collaboration with leading researchers, consultants and government agencies nationally and internationally. Through close working with endusers including placements at organisations, such as the Greater London Authority, I have disseminated and applied my work directly with stakeholders.

Prior to my current role I was lead researcher in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Cities Programme (that I now co-ordinate) and responsible for delivering the Urban Integrated Assessment Facility. Prior to this I was appointed as a researcher at Newcastle University in 2004, having previously worked at Bristol University where I co-developed the National Flood Risk Assessment methodology that was subsequently used in the Office of Science and Technology's Foresight: Future Flooding study. 


Roles and Responsibilities


Director for the Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research
Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College
Associate Deputy Editor, Climatic Change
Cities & Coasts theme co-ordinator, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research 
CEGs Research Committee Member
Editorial board, ICE Journal Infrastructure Asset Management

Professor Richard Dawson