School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr David Milledge

Newcastle University Research Fellow

Background

I am a geomorphologist with expertise in landslide mechanics, hillslope hydrology and development of environmental models. I am seeking to improve our understanding of the timing, size and location of landslides on natural slopes. I specialise in: 1) development of new models to examine the drivers and impacts of landslides, 2) development and application of remote sensing tools to collect landslide data; and 3) application of these models and datasets to address real problems for those exposed to landslide hazards worldwide. I also have an ongoing interest in hillslope and catchment hydrology not only for its impact on landslides but also for its role in controlling fluxes of water (and thus floods) and solutes (and thus pollutant concentrations) across landscapes. I am currently a Research Fellow in the Geotechnics and Structures Group in the School of Engineering.

Professional History

Sept 2014 to June 2018: Temporary Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Durham University

Dec 2013 to June 2018: Research Associate in the Department of Geography at Durham University

Dec 2010 to Dec 2013: NERC Independent Research Fellow at Durham University and University of California, Berkeley (Jan-Dec 2012).

Sept 2008 to Dec 2010: Research Associate in the Department of Geography at Durham University

Academic Qualifications

2004-8: PhD in Physical Geography at Durham University: “Modelling shallow landslides: the importance of hydrological controls and lateral reinforcement”.

2000-2003: BSc in Geography at Leeds University.

Memberships  

Member of British Society for Geomorphology (2004-)

Member of American Geophysical Union (2006-)

Member of European Geosciences Union (2011-)

NERC Peer Review College (2012–)

Industrial Experience 

I have experience of working with industry through a number of consultancy contracts over the past 10 years, generally focused on water quality (SCIMAP applications) and natural flood management impacts for: Northumbrian Water Ltd, Lune Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.

Outreach 

I have been involved in a number of outreach activities speaking, showing beautiful (and sometimes terrifying video) and providing mini-demonstrations at venues from lecture theatres to pubs to schools.


On the web 

Google Scholar:https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=0XykQl0AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Milledge

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4077-4898

Research

Research Interests

Landslides are responsible for thousands of fatalities and millions of pounds of damage annually and are the dominant agent for erosion in steep landscapes worldwide. The geomorphic effect and destructive potential of landslides is driven by their timing, size and location. As a mathematically minded geomorphologist with expertise in landslide mechanics I am seeking to improve our understanding of the timing, size and location of landslides on natural slopes. I specialise in development of simple mathematical models to examine the drivers and impacts of landslides, in the development and application of remote sensing tools to collect landslide data; and in the application of these models and dataset to address real problems for those exposed to landslide hazards worldwide. I also have an ongoing interest in catchment hydrology and in particular in the impact of natural flood management on streamflow. Some areas of current or recent research include:

Analytical slope stability models

Landslides and landscape evolution

Landslide size and shape

Interactions between climate, vegetation and geomorphic processes (especially landslides)

Landslide detection from optical and SAR satellite imagery

Simple rules for landslide hazard

Co-seismic loess landslides

Landslide forecasting from rainfall characteristics and ground surface displacement

I am always looking for enthusiastic and curious potential PhD students with an academic background in earth or environmental science, hydrology, geotechnical engineering, geography, mathematics or physics. If you are interested in landslides and their drivers or impacts, please contact me: david.milledge@newcastle.ac.uk

Fellowships and other Prizes

American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Leica Geosystems Prize (2008)

NERC Postdoctoral fellowship (2010-13)

 

PhD Students (co-supervised)

Current Students 

2016: Katy Burroughs (Earth Science, Durham) “Rapid detection of earthquake-triggered landslides using satellite radar” with Dr Walters (Earth Science, Durham) and Prof Densmore (Geography, Durham).

2016: Gopi Baysal (Geography, Durham) “Communicating risk to increase resilience to landslide dam bursts” with Dr Covey (Psychology, Durham), Dr Rosser and Dr Oven(Geography, Durham).

2016: Sheena Ramkumar, 2016-2020, “Developing simple rules to minimize co-seismic landslide hazard” with Prof Reiss (Philosophy, Durham) and Prof Densmore (Geography, Durham).

2018: Ellen Robson (Engineering) “Use of novel non-linear slope profiles to mitigate against landslides in developing countries” with Prof Stefano Utili (Engineering, Newcastle) and Prof Densmore (Geography, Durham).

2018: Andrea Agosti (Engineering) “Innovative design of open cast mines in weak rocks” with Prof Stefano Utili (Engineering).


Service

I have been a member of the NERC peer review college since 2012 and have reviewed grants for NERC and for ETH Zurich. I have provided peer reviews for >15 different journals ranging from technical remote sensing journals (e.g. IJRS) to those that specialise in geomorphology (e.g. ESPL, JGR-ES) or Hydrology (e.g. Jnl of Hydrology, WRR).

 

Recent Research Grants 

2017-2021 “Optimising NFM in headwater catchments to protect downstream communities”. With Prof Evans and Dr Allott (Manchester); and Prof Holden (Leeds). NERC. MILLEDGE PI at Newcastle. £286,627.

2013-15: “Making Space for Water 2: Providing evidence of the success of blanket bog restoration (gully blocking and re-vegetation) in reducing flood risk”. With Prof Evans and Dr Allott (Manchester). DEFRA and EA funded project. MILLEDGE PI at Durham. £52,200 to Durham.

2011-15: “Ecological integrity and sustainability in the Ganges river basin” with Prof Sinha (IIT Kanpur) and Dr Carbonneau (Durham). UKIERI. MILLEDGE CO-I. £20,060.

2010-2013: “Understanding transient response to climate change in coupled hydro-eco-geomorphic landscapes”. NERC Independent Research Fellowship. MILLEDGE PI. £246,126.

2010: “Building adaptive strategies for environmental change in river catchments”, with, Prof Pain and Dr Whitman (all at Durham). RELU. MILLEDGE CO-I. £153,120

Publications