Professor of Climate and Environmental Risk (University of Oxford)
Professor Jim Hall FREng is Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks in the School of Geography and the Environment, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science and fellow of Linacre College. He was director of the Environmental Change Institute from 2011 to 2018. His research focuses upon management of climate-related risks in infrastructure systems, in particular relating to various dimensions of water security, including flooding and water scarcity.
Jim Hall is a member of the UK independent Committee on Climate Change Adaptation. In 2010 Jim was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering "for his contribution to the development of methods for flood risk analysis, which underpin approaches for flood risk management in the UK and internationally." He is now a member of the Engineering Policy Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Public Voice Committee of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was is a member of the panel conducting the Institution of Civil Engineer’s 2014 State of the Nation Infrastructure assessment.
Until 2015 Jim Hall was co-chair of the Global Water Partnership / OECD Task Force on the Economics of Water Security and Sustainable Growth. He leads the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, which has developed the world’s first national infrastructure simulation models for appraisal of national infrastructure investment and risks. His book "The Future of National Infrastructure: A System of Systems Approach" was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.
Jim has also published two books on flooding: Flood Risk Management in Europe: Innovation in Policy and Practice (Springer, 2007) and Applied Uncertainty in Flood Risk Management (Imperial College Press, 2013). He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Flood Risk Management, member of the ESRA Technical Committee on Safety from Natural Hazards and was until 2009 chairman of the International Association of Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research committee on Probabilistic Methods.
Beginning his academic careers as a Royal Academy of Engineering research fellow, Jim developed the theoretical basis for the flood risk assessment methods that are now widely used in the UK and internationally. He was a coordinating lead author in the OST’s Foresight Future Flooding project, which analysed risks and responses to flooding and coastal erosion in the UK over the period 2030-2100. He also developed the framework for uncertainty analysis in appraisal of options for protecting London from flooding over the 21st Century, as part of the Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary 2100 project.
Jim moved to the University of Oxford in 2011 having previously held academic positions in Newcastle University and the University of Bristol. He has been awarded the George Stephenson Medal, the Robert Alfred Carr Prize and the Frederick Palmer Prize of the Institution of Civil Engineers for his work on flooding and coastal erosion, and the 2013 Lloyds Science of Risk prize for the work of his team on climate risk analysis.
Jim has worked extensively on application of generalized theories of probability to civil engineering and environmental systems, including random set theory, the theory of imprecise probabilities and info-gap theory. The work has been particularly fruitful in the analysis of uncertainties relating to global climate modelling, yielding a paper in PNAS that has been cited more than 1500 times.
Jim was a Contributing Author to the Nobel Prize-winning Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Amongst other projects, he led the ARCADIA project that developed methodology and tools for quantified analysis of climate risks in London. He was until 2010 Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, leading the Tyndall Centre’s research programme on climate change and cities, which yielded a highly innovative integrated assessment of climate change adaptation and mitigation in London.