School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Professor Chris Kilsby

Professor of Hydrology and Climate Change


Chris Kilsby is Director of Civil and Geospatial Engineering and  Professor of Hydrology and Climate Change in the School of Engineering. 


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 including Blue Green infrastructure in cities.

Roles and Responsibilities

He is Director of Civil and Geospatial Engineering and 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-

Industrial experience

20 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., Southern Water Services.

He led 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).  

Google ScholarClick here

Also ORCID 0000-0003-3422-294X, SCOPUS and Research Gate. 


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:

Flood-PREPARED: Predicting Rainfall Events by Physical Analytics of REaltime Data NERC 2017-20121

MISTRAL: Multi-scale Infrastructure Systems Analytics EPSRC  2016-2020
Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future EPSRC  2016-2019

The creation of localized current and future weather for the built environment EPSRC  2015-2018 


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

Robert Bertsch  : Urban Flood Risk Management (First supervisor)

Francesco Castellani : Fraction of Attributable Risk in an Interdependent Network facing Cascading Failures (Second supervisor)

Miles Clement: Real-time estimation of lake volume and river discharge from satellite altimetry and remotely sensed imagery in ungauged basins  (Second supervisor)

Fergus McClean:  Global Infrastructure Flood Risk Analysis (Second supervisor)

Michael Pollock: Developing a method to characterise and quantify the undercatch in rainfall measurement  (Second supervisor)

Doug Richardson : Probabilistic drought forecasting using GAMLSS statistical models (Second supervisor)

Aidan Robson: The development of a next-generation microbial source tracking analytical tool (Second supervisor)

Previous Postgraduate Research Students

2017 Alex Leathard: A Water Grid for the UK

2016 Elizabeth Lewis Developing UK wide hydrological models for climate change impacts and analysis of floods and droughts”

2014 Selma Guerreiro: Climate change and water resources in Iberia

2014 Hongbin Zhang: Urban Flood Simulation by Coupling Hydrological and Hydraulic Models

2013 Nathan Forsythe:  Investigating the impact of climate change on hydro-climatological variability and water resources in the Upper Indus Basin

2013 Linda Speight  A methodology for systems based flood risk analysis in the UK with particular reference to insurance risk exposure 

2012 Mari Jones: Characterising and modelling time-varying rainfall extremes and their climatic drivers

2011 Jamie Ledingham:  The estimation of flood frequency curves by mapping from rainfall frequency curve

2011 Andrew Collier:  Extreme value analysis of non-stationary processes : a study of extreme rainfall under changing climate

2010 Ian Coleman: Detection and Characterisation of Groundwater Discharge in West Cumbria

2009 Mark Wilkinson:  A multiscale nested experiment for understanding and prediction of high rainfall and flood response spatial behaviour in the Eden catchment, Cumbria, UK

2009 Andrew Smith: A national scale rainfall analysis and event-based model of extremes for the UK

2004 Claire Walsh: Simulation and analysis of River flow regimes: implications for sustainable management of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) under climate change

2000 Hayley Fowler:  The impacts of climatic change and variability on water resources in Yorkshire


 Module leader for :

CEG8514 Climate Change: Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation

CEG8523 Flood modelling and forecasting 

Contributor to:

CEG 8501: Quantitative Methods for Engineering 

CEG8505 Climate Change: Earth System, Future Scenarios and Threats

CEG8503: Hydrosystems : Processes and Management  

CEG8506: Hydrosystems Modelling