Dr David Dawson

Dr David Dawson


I am an enthusiastic and adaptable early career researcher focused towards the application of scientific information to real-world issues. I studied a BSc in Geography in which I developed an interest in applied multi-disciplinary research. This interest was put into practice on a GWR PhD Studentship, on behalf of Network Rail and Devon and Cornwall’s County Councils, in which I investigated the impacts of climate change on a piece of critical transport infrastructure. During this time, and on top of the specific research skills required, I began to develop strong motivations for communication and facilitation of academic research to wider audiences and dealing with some of the barriers to this process. 

Since my PhD I have continued my interest in applied infrastructure research through project experience related to material resource issues for low-carbon futures (EPSRC Undermining Infrastructure project 2011-2013); Leeds' interdisciplinary research collaborations (EPSRC - Infrastructure Futures, 2012/13); international collaborations on material efficiencies (JSPS short-term fellowship - 2013); and new local business models for infrastructure finance (EPSRC/ESRC - iBUILD project - 2013 - 2015). In 2015, I began a 3 year Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship investigating transport resilience in the UK, and thus returning to the research area I began during my PhD, but with the added experience I have gained working/collaborating with academics, infrastructure owners, and policy-makers across multiple disciplines. The overall aim of my fellowship is to provide evidence and guidance to improve decision making around transport resilience by collectively considering long-term, sustainable engineering and investment solutions to reduce transport infrastructure failures and societies’ role in limiting future impacts. In 2017, I become an active member (co-investigator) of a UK consortium examining sustainable approaches (blue/green infrastructure) to urban flood risk managment (EP/P004261/1: Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future). 


  • 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

Current postgraduate researchers

<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>