Prof. David P Connolly

Prof. David P Connolly


Professor David Connolly works within the School of Civil Engineering.  His research interests span: transportation and climate resilience, artificial intelligence and computer vision, geotechnical engineering; numerical simulation, remote sensing and energy harvesting, climate change and sustainability, Hyperloop.  He is the founder of the ‘Railway Engineering with Project Management’ MSc. Prior to this he worked at Heriot Watt University, Scotland. He holds a PhD and a first class honours in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburgh (UK).  He is a chartered professional engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (CEng MICE).  He is also a Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution (FPWI) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Potential PhD applicants from around the world: Please contact me if you have already secured, or will be able to secure, an international scholarship to come to the UK to study and are interested in undertaking a PhD in one or more topics including: geotechnical engineering, climate change, ground transport, railways, highways, hyperloop, noise-vibration, machine learning, sensors or energy harvesting. Some example currently open projects are shown below. I am happy to speak with you about supervising your PhD and to discuss and design a suitable project with you.


  • Head of Civils/Track research at the Institute for High Speed Rail & Systems Integration
  • Programme Manager - Railway Engineering with Project Management

Research interests

David Connolly has won research funding from a variety of funders, including: EPSRC, Innovate UK, The Leverhulme Trust and the European Commission.  He has also been awarded grants directly from industry.  He is currently primary supervisor for a range of PhD students and his research interests include: geotechnical engineering, Railway track dynamics, differential settlement, ground-borne vibration, critical velocity, soil-structure interaction, transport resilience, climate change, sustainability, highways, machine learning, Hyperloop, sensors and energy harvesting.  

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

David Connolly is the programme leader for the ‘Railway Engineering with Project Management’ MSc, and also teaches modules on this programme.

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">Climate Change Vs. High Speed Railways</a></li> <li><a href="//">Geotechnical engineering - shakedown of transport infrastructure</a></li> <li><a href="//">Hyperloop: modelling the transport structures of the future</a></li> <li><a href="//">Railway Machine Learning and AI</a></li> <li><a href="//">Sustainable structural design of concrete slab railway tracks</a></li> <li><a href="//">The need for speed: the behaviour of trains at very high speed</a></li> <li><a href="//">Using AI to predict the effect of climate change on earthworks</a></li>