Professor Jim Hall is Director of the Environmental Change Institute, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks in the School of Geography and the Environment, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science and fellow of Linacre College. His research focuses upon management of climate-related risks in infrastructure systems, in particular relating to flooding, coastal erosion and water scarcity. He moved to the University of Oxford in 2011 having previously held academic positions in Newcastle University and the University of Bristol.
Jim worked in the UK and internationally as a coastal engineer before embarking on an academic career pioneering new uncertainty handling and decision-support methods for flood and coastal risk analysis. He developed the theoretical basis for the flood risk assessment methods that are now widely used in the UK and internationally. Jim was a coordinating lead author in the OST’s Foresight project on Flood and Coastal Defence, which analysed risks and responses to flooding and coastal erosion in the UK over the period 2030-2100. He also developed the framework for uncertainty analysis in appraisal of options for protecting London from flooding over the 21st Century, as part of the Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary 2100 project. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Flood Risk Management, member of the ESRA Technical Committee on Safety from Natural Hazards and was until 2009 chairman of the International Association of Hydraulic Research committee on Probabilistic Methods. In 2010 Jim Hall was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering "for his contribution to the development of methods for flood risk analysis, which underpin approaches for flood risk management in the UK and internationally."
Jim has worked extensively on application of generalized theories of probability to civil engineering and environmental systems, including random set theory, the theory of imprecise probabilities and info-gap theory. The work has been particularly fruitful in the analysis of uncertainties relating to global climate modelling, yielding the only paper on imprecise probability theory cited in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report and leading to two recent publications in PNAS.
In recent years Jim has played an increasingly high profile role in relation to engineering and climate change, with a particular emphasis on adaptation to climate change in urban areas and infrastructure systems. Jim was a Contributing Author to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Amongst other projects, he has managed the UK programme Sustaining Knowledge for a Changing Climate and was until 2010 Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, coordinating the Tyndall Centre’s research programme on climate change and cities, which yielded a highly innovative integrated assessment of climate change adaptation and mitigation in London. Jim Hall is the engineer on the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the UK independent Committee on Climate Change which was brought into being by the 2008 Climate Change Act. He now leads the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, which is funded by a £4.7million Programme Grant for EPSRC and is developing and demonstrating a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of national infrastructure.Current research interests
River and Coastal Engineering
Introduction to flood risk management
Flood Management: Governance, Planning and Project Appraisal
Options for Flood Risk Management
Asset management of flood defences and dams
Coastal flood risk management