School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Russell Adams

Researcher in Water Resources



I am a hydrologist with over twenty years experience of working in different countries on many different research projects. I obtained my Masters degree in Engineering Hydrology in the Department of Civil Engineering here at Newcastle University. I then worked on various hydrological modelling projects focussed on land use change in the Water Resources Systems Research Laboratory (WRSRL). A change of direction led me to an interest in minewater pollution and I completed my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Paul Younger in 2001. I spent some time working on integrated surface and groundwater projects in both WRSRL and the HERO group under Paul's direction.

Following my initial spell working at this university I moved overseas to New Zealand to work at the National Institute for Water and Environmental Research (NIWA). I was tasked with implementing the SHETRAN modelling system that had been developed here by WRSRL. After this I had further spells working in both the USA, at UMass Amherst, then in Australia, initially at the University of Melbourne. At Melbourne I worked with Prof. Andrew Western on sediment and nutrient generation, both on modelling and monitoring projects. I developed an interest in nutrient modelling, and have continued to work on this theme during my second spell at Newcastle University which commenced in 2014. During my second spell I have began to work with Dr Quinn on Natural Flood Management (NFM) monitoring and modelling projects.  I recently worked on a different topic related to assessing the risk of energy infrastructure failing due to high winds, termed "Consequence Forecasting", with Dr Sean Wilkinson and Dr Sarah Dunn in the GEST group.

Areas of expertise: Hydrology, Water Resources, Modelling


  • PhD Simulating Groundwater Rebound in Abandoned Mines (Newcastle University, 2001)
  • MSc Engineering Hydrology (Newcastle University, 1990)
  • BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering (Manchester University, 1989)

Google scholar: Click here.

SCOPUS: Click here.


Current Research Projects

1) ProactiveDemonstration Test Catchments Project.

2) Lustrum Beck, Natural Flood Management. Phase 2. Project Manager: Ted Thomas (Environment Agency), Chief Investigator for CEG, Dr Paul Quinn (Newcastle University), Funded by EA, 2016-7. Part of PROACTIVE: management and mitigation to protect surface and groundwater systems

3) SUDS in the CIty - National Green Infrastructure Research Facility. Part of the UKCRIC funded Urban Observatory

Research Interests

  • Hydrological Modelling, including model development and application
  • Simulation of risk and uncertainty, including resilience and reliability, both the natural and built environment
  • Natural Flood Management,  as part of the PROACTIVE Group with Dr Paul Quinn
  • Modelling of Surface/Groundwater Interactions
  • Nutrient and Pollution modelling including agricultural runoff, minewater pollution and mitigation measures

Research Grants Awarded

“An integrated investigation of nutrient generation and delivery processes and pathways from paddock to small catchment scale”. Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP). Funded for $450K, 2009-12. I co-authored the Proposal for this project with the CI Prof. Andrew Western and the Partner Investigators (PIs). The University of Melbourne was the lead institution. Partners (PIs) were: Monash University (A/Prof. Mike Grace); Oregon State University (Prof. Jeff McDonnell); University of Melbourne, School of Land and Environment (MSLE) (Em. Prof. Robert White).

Industrial Linkages

  • Worked as Consultant on projects for:
  • UK Environment Agency (including South Crofty Minewater Study 1998-2000 and Lustrum Beck NFM (2015-))
  • Minerals Industry Research Organisation
  • NRM North (Tasmania, Australia)
  • West Gippsland CMA (VIctoria, Australia)
  • Auckland Regional Council (NZ)