Dr Richard Collins

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Water Engineering

CIV Dr Richard Collins
Profile picture of CIV Dr Richard Collins
+44 114 222 5715

Full contact details

Dr Richard Collins
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Room F119
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Our water distribution systems are vitally important. My research helps to improve the quality and safety of our drinking water.

Dr Richard Collins

Richard graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2005. He completed his PhD on the use of smart materials in valves in the Departments of Materials and Mechanical Engineering.

In 2009 he joined our Department as a researcher looking into the risks of hydraulic transients in water distribution systems.

Research interests

Richard’s research helps to ensure our vitally important water distribution systems are durable and resilient enough to withstand the conditions they have to cope with.

In trying to understand the complex problems our ageing water infrastructure faces, he hopes to make a major contribution to improving operation, control and management of existing buried pipe infrastructure, maximising its performance and helping to guarantee the quality and safety of drinking water.

Richard’s current research interests are involved with the dynamics of water distribution systems and specifically the assessment and mitigation of risks of pressure transients. He studies pressure transients, measures changes in the properties inside pipes to detect pressure waves and aims to locate damage or blockages.

This covers all aspects of hydraulic transients, from probabilistically modelling their propagation, to assessing their potential to cause water quality failures. This work is funded by RCUK and relevant industrial partners.

In addition, Richard is part of projects exploring the future of water distribution, from smart infrastructure to autonomous robotic systems.

Activities and Research Projects:


Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers


  • Barr AD, Speight V, Collins R, Rigby S & Tyas A (2018) Cratering associated with failure of pressurised water mains RIS download Bibtex download
  • Barr AD, Speight V, Collins R, Rigby S & Tyas A (2018) Literature review: cratering associated with failure of pressurised water mains RIS download Bibtex download

Software / Code

  • Barr AD & Collins R (2018) Crater size calculator (Cratering associated with failure of pressurised water mains). RIS download Bibtex download



Research group

Water Distribution Systems and Infrastructure


View all research projects

Past Grants 

Grand Challenge for Water

The EPSRC-funded Grand Challenge Centre for Water, comprising 6 UK universities and 100+ industrial partners working in collaboration to develop the sustainable water solutions of the future and to accelerate innovation uptake across the water sector.

Datatecnics Phase 2

This project is assisting Datatecnics with research and development of their Critical Infrastructure Pipeline Protection System® (CIPPS®) product, including support for development of a pipe fatigue model for water trunk and distribution mains and support for field testing of prototype fatigue monitoring devices at United Utilities.

Potential PhD offerings

Unfortunately I am not seeking any PhD Students at this time, however please contact me if you are interested in doing a project in my research area.