School of Engineering



Making catchments, cities, and infrastructure more productive, safer, and sustainable

Water Resources: River Tyne in Newcastle, with Millennium Bridge in foreground.

About Us

We develop innovative ways to manage water systems and mitigate the effects of climate change across the world.

Grounded in both science and engineering, the Water Group was established in 1984. Our research is cutting edge and diverse. It informs our teaching, for both undergraduates and postgraduates. It is used by organisations, institutions and communities worldwide to inform their decision making.

We teach talented students to the highest standards through our MSc, MEng, PhD and EngD programmes. We educate the next generation of water researchers, policy-makers and professionals.

We are founding members of UKCRIC. In the North-East, we host:

We work in partnership with the Environmental Engineering Group. In collaboration with academics, government, industry and communities throughout the world, we are:

  • transforming practice
  • improving quality of life
  • helping to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 
STREAM: The Industrial Doctorate Centre for the Water Sector - logo
UKCRIC: UK Collaborium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities - logo
Urban Observatory - logo
WIRe Logo
National Green Infrastructure Facility NGIF - logo
Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub - logo


We have organised our research around four inter-related themes.

Each theme integrates projects including advanced computer simulation capabilities, statistical methods, and systems modelling.

Our work often cuts across themes and research disciplines. We lead the GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. The project brings together leading researchers from around the world. The work is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

We have a long-term commitment to field experimentation and engineering interventions at a range of scales.

Leading the way in high definition modelling

We are at the forefront of high definition hydrological and hydraulic computational modelling.

Thousands use our rainfall simulators and climate downscaling methods to design adaptation strategies for climate change. Our systems perspective led to the first national scale flood risk maps, and now helps us to:

  • understand infrastructure inter-dependencies
  • mitigate cascading failures
  • improve our management of the water, energy and food nexus

Our communication approaches and technologies allow non-specialists to engage with our research. The tools and frameworks we use help stakeholders and policy makers make better decisions.

We pioneer the use of nature-based solutions as part of a holistic approach to make our catchments, coasts and cities more sustainable.

Field sites and laboratories

We have installed experimental monitoring across a range of field sites.

As founding members of UKCRIC, we host the National Green Infrastructure Research Facility. We also host the Newcastle Urban Observatory. These facilities and more support our teaching. They include:




Our world-leading research feeds into our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Our MSc programmes

Our integrated suite of MSc courses provides a choice of specialist training within a common framework of sound hydrological and water resource management. The courses contain six modules in common. Each module provides a solid foundation in the basic principles of:

  • hydrology
  • data capture and management
  • computer modelling
  • river basin management
  • mathematical methods
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

These modules equip students with the basic expertise needed to become hydrological and water management professionals.

Students then take four further modules to develop the specialism of individual courses. For example, they may choose to study:

  • climate change impact and adapation
  • flood forecasting
  • groundwater modelling and assessment
  • pollution control engineering
  • hydrosystems processes and modelling

Some of these specialist modules are common to more than one course. Many are global in scope, and cover case studies and research from around the world.

dissertation project complements the taught element. Students apply their learning in a short research study relevant to their chosen specialism.

The integrated nature of the courses allows flexibility in making a final choice after students arrive at Newcastle. It also means that students from all the courses study together on many occasions. This creates a more sociable learning environment. It maximises the opportunities for developing professional relationships.

In Semester 2, students from the European MSc course in Hydroinformatics and Water Management (EuroAquae) join the modules. This further enhances the international composition of the classes.

All our courses are accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators, ensuring a strong foundation for a career as a professional engineer.

Find out more

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduates have the opportunity to specialise in Water Resources Engineering in Year 4 of the Civil Engineering MEng Honours programme.


Our staff and students are working at the forefront of water research.

Head of Group

Dr Geoffrey Parkin
Reader in Hydrology and Water Management

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6146

Deputy Head of Group

Academic and research staff

Dr Haider Ali
Research Associate (Intense)


Dr Jaime Amezaga
Reader in Environmental Sustainability

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4876

Professor Andras Bardossy
Prof of Earth Systems Modelling

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6319

Dr Stephen Birkinshaw
Researcher in Water Resources


Dr Stephen Blenkinsop
Senior Researcher in Climate and Climate Change

Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 7933

Professor Rick Brassington
Visiting Professor of Hydrogeology

Telephone: +44 (0) 192 576 6754

Dr Steven Chan
Research Associate


Peter Cunningham
Technician in Hydraulics and Hydrology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7932

Professor Richard Dawson
Professor of Earth Systems Engineering, Director of Research & Innovation

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6618

Dr Na Dong
Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4861

Dr Alistair Ford
Lecturer in Geospatial Data

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7121

Dr Nathan Forsythe
Newcastle University Research Fellow

Telephone: 0191 208 6875

Professor Hayley Fowler
Professor of Climate Change Impacts

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7113

Vassilis Glenis
Lecturer in Hydroinformatics

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6413

Dr Selma Guerreiro
Research Fellow


Dr Oliver Heidrich
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6563

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5950

Dr Jennine Jonczyk
Researcher in Water Resources

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8599

Dr Abdullah Kahraman
Researcher in severe weather and climate change


Dr Majed Khadem
Research Associate

Telephone: 0191 208 7121

Professor Chris Kilsby
Professor of Hydrology and Climate Change

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5614

Dr Elizabeth Lewis
Lecturer in Computational Hydrology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7544

Dr Xiaofeng Li
Reserch Scientist in Rainfall Extremes and Tibetan Climate Dynamics


Dr Colin Manning
Research Associate

Dr Fergus McClean
Research Associate


Dr Greg O'Donnell
Senior Researcher in Land Use Management Effects in Extreme Floods

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5221

Lynn Patterson
UKCRIC Support Assistant

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6319

Dr David Pritchard
Research Associate

Dr David Pritchard
Research Associate

Dr Paul Quinn
Senior Lecturer in Catchment Hydrology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5773

Dr Francesco Serinaldi
Willis Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5956

Dr Luke Smith
Lecturer in Data-centric Civil Engineering

Telephone: +44 191 208 6766

Dr Eleanor Starkey
Research Associate


Dr Brian Thomas
Senior Lecturer in Hydrology


Professor Eric Valentine
Visiting Professor

David Walker
Research Assistant


Dr Claire Walsh
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6447

PhD Students

Sven Berendsen
Modelling the water cycle for a 'Digital Twin' for Newcastle

Dominic Carver
Impact of removing a small impounding weir

Miles Clement
Flood extent and volume from radar

Fulvio Domenico Lopane
Optimising the management of flood emergencies

Luis Felipe Duque
Hydrological response of catchments at a local scale

Tessa Gough
The role of Citizen Science Big Data for flood management

Amy C Green
Use of available observations for estimating the rainfall field

Daryl Hughes
Frameworks for dam removal initiatives

Christos Iliadis
Analysing precipitation extremes in a changing climate

Shannon Leakey
Improving the understanding of leaky barriers

Laura McGinty
Aspects of Green Infrastructure investment

Farzana Ahmed Mohuya
Contribution of Citizen Science to flood risk management

Colin Nicholson
Models for urban water management and flood modelling

Alem Oyarmoi
Hydrological regulation in papyrus-based wetland systems

Trevor Pearman
Geospatial data representation for modelling and monitoring

Xanthe Polaine
Applying game theory to water resource management

Roberto Villalobos Herrera
Events-based approach for representation of rainfall events

Alethea Walker
Role of Green Infrastructure in mitigating urban flood risk

Anna Whitford
Using sub-daily extreme rainfall events for prediction


Learn about the academic, societal, industrial and political impact our research is having on the wider world.

Our high quality academic work is responsive to large-scale societal needs and demands. Here are a few examples of how we’re helping to make the world a better place.

Join Us

An internationally-leading group in research, teaching, and engagement with industry and society.

We offer excellent opportunities across all these areas. Join us in a range of exciting activities.

The Water Group includes a wide-ranging team of academic and research staff, PhD and MSc students.