Professor Chris Kilsby
Professor of Hydrology and Climate Change

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5614
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 6502
  • Address: School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
    Room 3.18
    Cassie Building
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU

Chris Kilsby is Professor of Hydrology and Climate Change, head of the Water Resources Engineering group and Director Of Research for the School.


Chris joined the School in 1991 from the UK Met Office and has since carried out research and teaching on many  aspects of engineering in the water sector ranging including hydrological risk (drought and flood risk) as well as national infrastructure. His work is now predominantly in the context of climate change impacts, sustainability and adaptation responses for the future.

Roles and Responsibilities

He is head of the  Water Resources Engineering group, Director of Research and a mamber of School Executive Committee. He co-ordinated  the REF submission for UoA14 in 2014.  He is Senior Academic for Newcastle's membership of the Willis Research Network. 


BSc Hons (Physics) 1983             
Chartered Meteorologist (CMet.) 1997


Fellow of Royal Meteorological Society, 1984-
Member of British Hydrological Society, (affiliated to Institution of Civil Engineers) 1997-
Member of American Geophysical Union, 2001-

Industrial experience

15 years of consultancy experience covering climate change impact assessments, urban drainage studies, water resource modelling for inter alia:  UKWIR (UK Water Industry Research), Northumbrian Water Ltd., Royal Haskoning, Atkins, WRc, Babtie International. Member of British Energy Working Group on Climate Change.

Recent contracts include leading the development and operation of the Weather Generator component of the national climate scenarios, UKCP09, for DEFRA.

Previous employment with research division of British Steel Corporation (1980-1983), UK Met Office (1983-1991).


Chris began his research career at the Met Research Flight of the UK Met Office carrying out research into radiation transfer in the atmosphere for use in climate change modelling.  He moved to Newcastle University where he started work as a Research Associate on Mediterranean climate change and hydrology and large scale hydrological modelling.  Since then he has researched many aspects of the water sector, particularly focussed on extremes and climate change impacts and adaptation,  ranging from drought to flood risk.

The scope of the work has been from small catchments up to continental scale and has covered many parts of the world.  An increasing emphasis in recent years has been on the hydrology and drainage of cities, increasingly in the context of climate change impacts and adaptation responses.

A major theme has been the use of simulation models for both generating rainfall sceanrios as well as simulating hydrologic and hydraulic responses of natural and man-made infrastructure systems. Much of this work has used stochastic approaches for rainfall and climate scenario modelling. His recent work includes leading the Weather Generator component of the UKCP09 national climate scenarios. He is Senior Academic for Newcastle's involvement with the Willis Research Network : Willis are a leading  international insurance broker and the research is directed at improving understanding and simulation of flood risk worldwide.


 Principal or co-investigator of the following current projects (reverse chronological order):

Flood MEMORY -  Multi-Event Modelling Of Risk & recoverY EPSRC 2013-2016

Blue Green Cities - Delivering and evaluating multiple flood risk benefits EPSRC 2013-2016

RESNET - Resilient Electricity Networks for Great Britain EPSRC 2011-2014

ITRC: Infrastructure Transition Research programme: EPSRC, 2011-2016

Senior Academic Willis Research Network project on extreme rainfall

ARCADIA: Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment   EPSRC 2009-2012

Platform Grant “Earth Systems Engineering”  EPSRC 2008-2013

UKCP09  Weather Generator DEFRA    2007-11 (PI)


Current Postgraduate Research Students

 Elizabeth Lewis  Developing UK wide hydrological models for climate change impacts and analysis of floods and droughts 

 Purwanti Pudyastuti  Integrated Flood Management for Transboundary River Basin. 

 Doug Richardson Statistical Approaches to Drought Forecasting

 Recent Postgraduate Research Students

Selma De Brito Guerreiro  Climate change and water resources in Iberia.

Nathan Forsythe  Investigating the impact of climate change on hydro-climatological variability and water resources in the Karakoram region of the Himalya

 Mari Jones  A Climate Hazard Index for the collective probability of extreme events 

 Linda Speight  Spatial aspects of flood and wind hazard affecting the UK insurance portfolio 

 Hongbin Zhang  Urban Flood Simulation by Coupling Hydrological and Hydraulic Models

 Module leader for :

CEG8514 Climate Change: Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation

Contributor to:

CEG2001: Design of Sustainable Engineering Systems 2

CEG 8501:  Quantitative Methods for Engineering 

CEG8505 Climate Change: Earth System, Future Scenarios and Threats

CEG8503: Hydrosystems : Processes and Management  

CEG8506: Hydrosystems Modelling 

CEG8523 : Modelling and Forecasting of Floods