Dr David Dawson

Dr David Dawson


I am an active researcher and expert in infrastructure adaptation to climate change, I specialise in the evaluation of climate impacts on transport infrastructure (transport networks and sea-level rise) and the spatial prioritisation of adaptation planning for sustainable and resilient urban areas. I have an interest in methods to support these including hydrodynamic modelling techniques, spatial planning, and economics and appraisal (e.g. real options), and most recently these methods have led to the application of adaptive pathway approaches. My research is primarily motivated by impact and the potential to make societies life a little better through the development of current and future sustainable and resilient infrastructure.


  • Module Leader CIVE588M / CIVE5170M

Research interests

  • Infrastructure and transport system resilience - combining engineering, economics and social science perspectives
  • Climate change, flooding, vulnerability, impacts and adapation
  • Approaches to evaluating/valuing systems and applications of non-standard techniques (e.g. real options) 

Recent grant applications 

  • System of Systems approaches to flood risk management (2019-2020): iCASP impact project (Leeds City Council/ Environment Agency)
  • Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future (2017 - 2019): Investigating multi-functionality across blue/green/grey infrastructure systems: http://www.urbanfloodresilience.ac.uk/
  • iBUILD/Tipping Point Commissions: Your Road, My Street (2017): capturing the human dimension of transport infrastructure: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/ibuild/outputs/reports/map-5.pdf
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship Award (2015 - 2018): Improving transport infrastructure futures under climate and socio-economic uncertainties.
  • ARCC collaboration funding (Aug 2014). Department for Transport secondment. Transport Resilience Review Team, London (September/November 2014).
  • Potential Infrastructure Mining Systems (PIMS): JSPS short-term fellowship award June - Sept 2013: The Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) supported project seeks to combine and direct international expertise to accelerate the development of an approach that promotes the ‘designing-in’ of resource recovery into low-carbon infrastructure planning in order to reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure systems to material supply issues. 
  • EPSRC: Bridging the Gap Award – 1st June 2012 to 28th February 2013The central challenge addressed by this project is the development of new collaboration and interdisciplinary expertise at the interface of engineering, economics and society to enable the delivery of long-term sustainable, both environmentally and economically, and resilient infrastructure. This will be achieved through workshops and sandpit events that will enable new collaborative ideas to be exploited. It is hoped the project will improve interdisciplinary relationships and promote the development of a new leading research consortium at the University of Leeds.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc Hons (Class I) in Geography, University of Liverpool
  • Ph.D Geography, University of Plymouth

Professional memberships

  • Alumini: Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science
  • Member: British Standards Institute

Student education

  • Module Leader: CIVE5170M International Construction Management and Engineering/ Engineering Project Management Dissertation
  • Module Leader: CIVE5338M Transport Resilience  
  • Level 3, 5 and MSc project supervision                     

Research groups and institutes

  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering
  • 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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>