School of Engineering

Flood Risk Management

Flood Risk Management

Our research

Characterisation and management of flood impacts through state-of-the-art modelling tools.

Increasing flood risk

Floods are the most frequent, economic damaging and socially disruptive of natural disasters. The frequency of river and tidal flood events is increasing more rapidly than other natural disasters.

This is a result of climate change, urbanisation and environmental degradation.

Managing flood risk

Flood risk management aims to reduce the likelihood and impact of floods. It provides a framework that balances the many factors that affect risk, while considering societal values. This involves:

  • data and information gathering
  • performing hydrodynamic modelling
  • risk assessment
  • appraisal of options
  • the implementation of solutions

Innovative flood modelling

We have developed a suite of state-of-the-art hydrodynamic modelling tools. These tools include the GPU enabled HiPIMS and cloud-enabled CityCAT.

We have also developed novel approaches to characterising flood impacts, such as:

  • using network models to assess impacts on infrastructure
  • using agent-based models to understand evacuation during flood events

We work closely with our Geomatics colleagues. We are combining new remote sensing and other data with advanced analytics and informatics. Together, this provides new high resolution and real time flood risk management.

Managing floods around the world

We are currently exploring issues relating to the management of floods in the UK and overseas, including Bangladesh and Vietnam.

We make communities more resilient to flooding. We provide strategies that are more sustainable given an uncertain future.

Road disturbed by flooding


Our team

Dr Stephen Birkinshaw
Researcher in Water Resources


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 Majed Khadem
Research Associate

Telephone: 0191 208 7121

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

Dr Francesco Serinaldi
Willis Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5956

David Walker
Research Assistant


Dr Claire Walsh
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6447