Richard Dawson is Professor of Earth Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University. He gained his PhD from the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the analysis and management of environmental risks to infrastructure networks, catchments and urban areas.

Richard has managed research funding worth £14m and currently leads Newcastle University's involvement in the major UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) programme. This includes co-leading the Newcastle Urban Observatory ( and new engineering laboratories.  

Research interests

Richard is interested in application of data analytics to advance civil engineering and urban design. This includes:

  1. Development of ‘digital twins’ in water and urban systems to improve predictive/real time modelling and simulation;
  2. Use of real-time data from multiple sources to enhance the resilience of socio-technical systems, for example the flooding of a city; and,
  3. Broad scale, multi-sector, monitoring and analytics of cities to understand interdependencies and the impacts of long term drivers of social, environmental and technological change.