Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research

Staff Profile

Dr Colin Davie

Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Director of Postgraduate Studies



Dr Colin Davie joined Newcastle University in 2004 as part of the Geotechnical and Structural Engineering (GEST) Group in the School of Engineering.  His research interests focus on the analysis of concrete exposed to high temperatures (with applications in nuclear power plant structures, fires in tunnels and buildings etc.) and multi-phase behaviour of the ground, concerned with fluid flow, heat transfer, electrical conductivity etc. (with applications in slope stability, geological disposal of radioactive waste, ground source energy, rock slope stability etc.).  His area of teaching revolves around geotechnics, geology and rock engineering for civil engineers and engineering geologists.



Google Scholar


  • BEng Civil Engineering with Geology (1998)
  • MSc Geotechnical Engineering (1999)
  • Ph.D (Particulate Mechanics Framework for Modelling Multi-Physics Processes in Fracturing Geomaterials) (2002)

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Director of Postgraduate Studies, School of Engineering

Area of expertise

  • Flow and conductivity in porous geomaterials

Industrial Experience

Various consultancy work for Magnox, AMEC Power and Process and EDF related to concrete exposed to elevated temperatures in nuclear applications.  Secondments to Scottish Power (1998) and Halcrow Special Structures (2001).



Research Interests

Constitutive behaviour of multi-field problems of flow and other forms of conductivity (thermal, electrical etc.) in porous and fractured geomaterials.

  • Fully coupled Hygro-Thermal-Mechanical modelling of concrete exposed to elevated temperatures (with applications in nuclear power plant structures, fires etc.).
  • Coupled modelling of multi-phase fluid flow in the ground (with applications in slope stability, electro-kinetics, ground source energy, etc.)
  • Coupled modelling of thermal behaviour of the ground (with applications in ground source energy, nuclear waste disposal, tunnel fires etc.)
  • Discrete element representations of coupled multi-field problems.
  • Novel applications for porous media modelling schemes.

I am actively recruiting Postgraduate Research Students in all areas of my interest. The projects listed on the School pages are indicative of potential projects but are by no means exhaustive. Please contact me for further discussion.



Google Scholar

Research Projects and Funding

  • CACTUS - Climate Adaptation Control Technologies for Urban Spaces - EPSRC (EP/R005834/1) - £280k (of £1.7m) (Co-I) - Jan 2018 - Dec 2022
  • SAFE Barriers - a Systems Approach For Engineered Barriers - EPSRC/NDA (EP/I036427/1) - £208k (of £1.3m)  (Co-I/NU PI) - Sept 2012 Sept 2016
  • EPSRC Small Equipment Grant - £10k - 2012
  • University EPSRC Impact Award - EPSRC - £12k (PI) - 2011
  • MSc Engineering Geology. Masters Training Grant (MTG) - NERC (NE/H52592X/1) - £125k (PI) - 2009 - 2011
  • MSc Enviro. Biogeochemistry. Masters Training Grant (MTG) - NERC (NE/H525938/1) - £125k (Co-I) - 2009-2001
  • An Advanced Numerical Tool for the Prediction and Analysis of Spalling in Concrete Structures Exposed to Combined Thermal and Mechanical Loading - EPSRC (EP/E048935/1) - £201k (PI) - Sept 2007-July 2010
  • Thermo-mechanical behaviour in concrete at high temperatures – EPSRC/Halcrow Group Ltd. (CASE/CAN/06/71) - £20k (PI) - Nov 2006-Nov 2009
  • Management, monitoring and treatment of mine workings - NetworkRail - £63k (Co-I) – Apr 2005-Mar2008
  • Travel Grant – RAEng (PI) - £500 - 2006

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Peter Helm - Void migration in shallow mine workings (Completed 2011)
  • Chris Robson - Thermo-mechanical behaviour in concrete at high temperatures (Completed 2012)
  • Carla-Leanne Washbourne - Engineering soils to create carbon sinks (Completed 2014)
  • Ross Stirling - Cracking in engineered soils and compacted fills (Completed 2014)
  • Chris Davies - Investigation of the geotechnical and physico-chemical behaviour of the steel-clay interface in engineered barrier systems for geological disposal of radioactive wastes
  • Oboho Eminue - Crack development mechanisms in clay embankments
  • Alfred Opukumo - Ground remediation techniques for mitigation of cracking 

Esteem Indicators

  • Member of the Geotechnique Assessors Panel (2016 - 2018)
  • Reviewer for high impact international journals across concrete research and geotechnical engineering disciplines
  • Reviewer for EPSRC responsive mode and first grant proposals
  • Invited presentation – Computational fracture modelling workshop – Durham University (2016)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of 4th International Workshop on Concrete Spalling due to Fire Exposure, Leipzig, Germany (2015)
  • Member of the RILEM Technical Committee 256-SPF ' Spalling of concrete due to fire: testing and modelling', (2013-Present)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of 3rd International Workshop on Concrete Spalling due to Fire Exposure, Paris, France (2013)
  • Chair and co-organiser NAFEMS seminar on Concrete under Fire: Effects of Heat on Concrete, disseminating research to industry (2011)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of 2nd International Workshop on Concrete Spalling due to Fire Exposure, TU Delft, Netherlands (2011)
  • Invited session chair & presenter - European Conference on Computational Mechanics, Paris (2010)
  • Invited presentation – Intl. Workshop on Geoenvironmental Engineering, Wuhan, China (2009)
  • Invited speaker - Structures in Fire Forum, Sheffield University, (2009)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of 1st International Workshop on Concrete Spalling due to Fire Exposure, Leipzig, Germany (2009)
  • Invited member of the RILEM Technical Committee 227-HPB 'Physical Properties and behaviour of High-Performance Concrete at high temperature'.  Sole UK representative. (2008-2014)
  • Mike Crisfield Prize in Computational Mechanics (2004)
  • Prize for Best Paper in Computational Mechanics (Student)(ACME 2002)
  • Scottish Geotechnical Group Trophy (2001)
  • Prize for Best Paper in Computational Mechanics (Student - Runner-up)(ACME 2001)


Undergraduate Teaching

Basic geotechnics and geology for civil engineers.

Module leader for:

  • CEG1201 Geotechnical Properties of Soils and Rock

Project supervision:

  • CEG3099 Individual Design Project (BEng)
  • CEG8099 Investigative Research Project (MEng)

Postgraduate Teaching

Rock engineering and geotechnics for geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists

Module leader for:

  • CEG8207 Field Class (Alpes de Haute Provence - France)

Teaching contributions to:

  • CEG8209 Engineering and Applied Geology
Project supervision:
  • CEG8296 Project and Dissertation in Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology (MSc)
  • CEG8396 Project and Dissertation in Structural Engineering (MSc)