Global Challenges Academy

Staff Profile

Dr Claire Walsh

Senior Lecturer


I am a Senior Lecturer in, and Deputy Head of, the Water Group in the School of Engineering. My research interests focus on long-term change in both natural environments and urban systems, with a strong focus on water security and sustainable infrastructure. 

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Co-Director, Newcastle's Centre of Research Excellence in Water
  • Co-Director, National Green Infrastructure Facility
  • Deputy Head of the Water Group
  • Editorial Panel Member for Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability
  • Champion of Newcastle University's Global Challenges Academy’s Sustainable Water Network 

Current PhD Students

  • Johannes Senn: Multi-Source Remote Sensing for Enhanced Flood Modelling
  • Rixia Zan: Biochar amended sand as pollution attenuating materials for sustainable stormwater management 
  • Farzana Ahmed Mohuya: Urban flood risk in Dhaka 
  • Alethea Walker: Green Infrastructure: understanding its role in mitigating current and future flood risk in urban areas.
  • Ashwini More: Water sensitive urban planning and design, based on ecosystem services 
  • Matt Kirby: Multifunctional green belts - mainstreaming nature in a contentious policy space to address the climate and ecological emergencies (OnePlanet Scheme, joint with Northumbria University)
  • Samalia Kanoma: Climate change impacts of water resources in Nigeria.

Past PhD Students

  • Laura McGinty (2020): Business model innovation for green urban infrastructure
  • Golnaz Jahanshah (2018): Uncertainties in long-term management of water resources 


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 
  • PhD Civil Engineering at Newcastle University
  • BSc (First Class Honours) Geography at Newcastle University


  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • British Hydrological Society

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Research Interests

Flood risk assessment and management in urban areas

Green infrastructure

Climate impacts on water resources

Infrastructure business models

Urban agriculture



ESRC. Using participatory approaches to instigate improvements in water quality: UK and Taiwan (£60k, 2021-2023). PI.

NERC. PYRAMID: Platform for dYnamic, hyper-resolution, near-real time flood Risk AssessMent Integrating repurposed and novel Data source. (£787k, 2020-2022). Co-I. 

EPSRC. Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience. (£6.6M, 2019-2027). Co-I.

GCRF. Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. (£20M, 2019-2024). Co-I.

NERC. Building resilience to pluvial flood risk (Kampala, Uganda). (£250k, 2018-2020). PI

EPSRC. UKCRIC - UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure & Cities: Newcastle Laboratories. ( £9.7M, 2016 - 2021). Co-I.

EPSRC. Grand Challenge in Water: Tailored Water to ENsure sustainabiliTY beyond 2065 (£3.9M, 2016-2021). Co-I.

NERC Drought resilience in ecosystem services and rural communities in China. (£160k, 2016-2017). Co-I.

EPSRC Preparing for GCRF: Advancing planning of drainage in Low and Middle Income Countries. (£20k, 2016-2017). PI.

EPSRC Prosperity Outcomes: Resilient Nation: Planning and building new tools for climate resilient. (£35k, 2016-2017). PI.

EPSRC. Impact Acceleration Award: Web-service simulation model and tool for flood risk management in urban areas (£80k, 2016-2017). PI.

NERC. Delivering green infrastructure in cities through a new business model. (£30k, 2016-2016). Co-I.

Institute for Sustainability, Newcastle University. BUG: Bio-informing Urban Gardening (£34k, 2015-2016). PI.

Science Central, Newcastle University. MINT Community Action and Knowledge Exchange. (£8k, 2015-2016). Co-I.

Science Central, Newcastle University. SPATIAL: Sparse data acquisition via societal collaboration. (£7k, 2014-2015). PI. 

Workers Education Association. Greening Wingrove Barometer. (£18k, 2013-2017). PI.

EPSRC. Knowledge Transfer Secondment at Newcastle City Council (£70k, 2011-2012).

Other Research Projects

iBUILD (Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery). Research programme/Centre Manager and core research fellow; jointly-funded by EPSRC and ESRC. 2013-2017.

Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities. Named researcher; EU FP7 funded. 2012-2017.

SHOCK Project. Named researcher; EPSRC funded. 2011-2013.

Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment. Research co-ordinator; EPSRC funded. 2009-2012.

Platform Grant on Earth Systems Engineering. Named researcher; EPSRC funded. 2008-2014.

Severe Weather Events Risk and Vulnerability Estimator. Researcher Co-Investigator; EPSRC funded. 2008-2011.

Sustaining Knowledge for a Changing Climate. Core researcher; EPSRC funded. 2006-2008.

Incorporating Climate Change into River Typologies. Core researcher; Environment Agency funded. 2006-2007.

Engineering Cities Project. Named researcher; Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; NERC funded. 2006-2009.

Equivalent Flows for Freshwater Fisheries. Core researcher; Environment Agency funded. 2004-2006.

Sustainable Water Uncertainty, Risk and Vulnerability in Europe. Research assistant; EU FP5 funded. 2003-2004.

Esteem Indicators

  • Awarded Newcastle University's 'Best Environment Research Project' in 2016 (BUG) and 2014 (Cafe Waste).
  • Invited guest speaker and mentor at The National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Institute for Mathematics’ Applied to Geosciences Theme of the Year Workshop on Uncertainty in Climate Change Research: An Integrated Approach, held in Boulder Colorado, August 2012.
  • Guest Editor for a double Special Issue of Hydrology Research, published January 2012.
  • Elected Honorary Secretary of the British Hydrological Society for two terms (2008-2012).
  • Chair of the Organising Committee for the British Hydrological Society six-yearly International Symposium held at Newcastle University, 2010. 
  • Organising committee member for the British Hydrological Society National Symposium, Dundee, 2012.
  • Won a prestigious scholarship to attend Brown University’s International Advanced Research Institute on Climate Change and Water Resources in 2011.
  • 2009 – 2011: Meetings’ Committee Member of the Royal Meteorological Society.
  • 2006 – 2008: Elected Committee Member of the British Hydrological Society.
  • 2004 – 2008: Chair of the Pennines’ Hydrological Group.


CEG 3503: Hydrosystems Engineering (Stage 3, Civil Engineering) Module Leader

CEG 3099: Individual Project (Stage 3, Civil Engineering)

CEG 8099: Investigative Research Project (Stage 4, Civil Engineering) Module Leader

CEG 8512: Integrated River Basin Management (MSc, Hydrology and Water Management) Module Leader

CEG 8524: Water Management: Issues and Challenges (MSc, Hydrology and Water Management) Module Leader

CEG 8596: MSc Project and Dissertation in Water Resources (MSc, Hydrology and Water Management)