School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Luke Smith

Lecturer in Data-centric Civil Engineering


Luke is a lecturer focusing on the role of digital technologies and data-centric approaches to civil engineering. He qualified in civil engineering, produced a doctoral thesis on the application of supercomputer architectures to detailed flood simulation and forecasting, and worked in industry as a software engineer and technical architect on projects for Royal Bank of Scotland, IKEA, Home Group, and British Airways. He founded a start-up company providing geospatial software for outdoor leisure, and worked in professional politics.

He leads the software and standards components as the Deputy Director of the Urban Observatory, is a member of the governance and executive board for the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI), a NERC Constructing a Digital Environment Fellow, and a co-investigator for a smart building component of the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity.


  • PhD, Newcastle University: Computational methods for and applications of high-performance computing in flood simulation (2012 - 2018, part-time)
  • MEng (First-class honours), Newcastle University (2008 - 2012)


  • Professional Member of the Chartered Institute for IT
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Research interests

  • Digital twins
  • Real-time simulation
  • Microsimulation in fluid and traffic systems
  • High-performance computing
  • Federated data systems and technical architecture
  • Smart cities


  • CHARIoT: Toolkit for local authorities as the trusted independent arbiters of smart city data. HEIF Connected Capability Fund (Pitch-In). PI.
  • PPIEM: Privacy-preserving indoor environment monitoring, EPSRC and PETRAS IoT. Co-I.
  • REBUSCOV: Removing operational, infrastructural and entry barriers to urban scale computer vision deployments through delivery of open-source training datasets and system management tools, HEIF Connected Capabilty Fund (Pitch-In). PI.

Previous projects

  • Flood-PREPARED: Predicting Rainfall Events by Physical Analytics of REaltime Data (NE/P017134/1). Researcher.
  • TENDERLY: Towards END-to End flood forecasting and a tool for ReaL-time catchment susceptibilitY (NE/K008781/1). Researcher.
  • SINATRA: Susceptibility of catchments to INTense Rainfall and flooding. NERC Flooding from Intense Rainfall programme (NE/K008781/1). Researcher.
  • Numerical and Laboratory Modelling Study of Meteo-Tsunamis and Harbour Resonance. Royal Society International Exchanges 2013 NSFC (IE131297). Researcher.
  • Online Social Networks (OSNs) Based System for Flood Prediction and Management (EP/K003593/1). Researcher.
  • Small items of research equipment at Newcastle University: Developing the future research base in Healthcare Technologies, Sustainability and Digital Economy (SIREN) (EP/K031678/1).


Undergraduate teaching

  • CEG3305 Computational Engineering Analysis. Lead for water components.