Professor of Earth System Engineering (Newcastle University)
Richard was a classically trained civil engineer but soon recognised that the codes and historical methods that have enabled so much in the past are not always suitable in this rapidly changing world because they often fail to consider the wider interactions between engineering systems and altering environmental and socio-economic conditions.
A distinctive feature of his work has been the application of engineering principles to broad scale modelling and analysis - recognition that engineering systems have a much wider influence than their physical form and need to be considered within their broader environmental and social context. This engineering philosophy has become known as Earth Systems Engineering.
Richard's research interests are broad but with the common thread of Earth Systems Engineering. His work is necessarily a cross-disciplinary endeavour, involving collaboration with leading researchers, consultants and government agencies nationally and internationally.
Prior to his current role, Richard was lead researcher in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Cities Programme (that he now co-ordinates) responsible for delivering the Urban Integrated Assessment Facility. Prior to this, he was appointed as a researcher at Newcastle University in 2004, having previously worked at Bristol University where he co-developed the National Flood Risk Assessment methodology that was subsequently used in the Office of Science and Technology's Foresight: Future Flooding study.
In February 2019 he was appointed to the Adaptation Committee of the UK Government's Committee on Climate Change.