Resources, Infrastructure Systems and built Environments Group

The RISE research group aims to enable sustainable built environments that are resilient to a changing climate and allow humanity to live in health and prosperity within the carrying capacity of the planet.


Topics | Projects | People

Our research is organised across three core thematic areas:

Research topics


Our group has expertise in how material and energy use within the built environment can be effectively measured, understood and minimised. This includes the developing methodologies for characterisation of existing stocks, prediction of future material stocks in the built environment, assessment of their circular economy potential, and consideration of the trade-offs between wider environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions. Our work within the Resources theme takes a multi-scale, system-level approach, considering individual materials, components and systems across buildings, cities, regions and the globe.

Infrastructure Systems

We study urban systems and the extent to which their performance and evolution is influenced by their embedded physical infrastructure and how resilient they are to shocks. Our work includes complexity in cities, urban scaling and allometry, city morphology and infrastructure planning. We are particularly interested in the impacts of extreme climate change conditions by the end of the century on performance and resilience of urban systems.

Built Environment

We specialise in how energy efficient buildings can be designed, operated and maintained such that they provide a comfortable and healthy environment for their occupants. We are particularly interested in the relationship between building physics and indoor air quality, using a range of methods from numerical simulations to experimental studies and field work.

Current Projects:

Title Funding body PI
BuildZero EPSRC Danielle O Densley Tingley
Breathing City NERC Abigail EA Hathway
TAPAS (Tackling Air Pollution At School) NERC Carolanne Vouriot
Embedding Circular Economy Considerations within Built Environment Governance HEIF Charles Gillott
Behavior of the interfaces between steel and timber members at elevated temperatures Innovation Fund Denmark Martyn McLaggan; Ian Burgess; Buick Davison; Shan-Shan Huang
The changing profile of climate related transport infrastructure failure in the north IAA/QR Hadi Arbabi

Recent Projects: 

Title Funding body PI
CORONA EPSRC Martin Mayfield, Danielle Densley Tingley
DecarboN8 EPSRC Danielle Densley Tingley
Multi-scale, circular economic potential of non-residential building stock EPSRC Danielle Densley Tingley
Urban Flows Observatory EPSRC Martin Mayfield, Danielle Densley Tingley
Technical and Behavioural challenges to improving ventilation is small scale hospitality PROTECT national core study in Covid prevention, Sheffield City Council and HEIF Abigail EA Hathway
AIRBODS UKRI Abigail EA Hathway  
Policy and practice: understanding the built environment's transition to a circular economy in the UK and Canada UKRI/Mitacs Danielle Densley Tingley Charles Gillott
Regenerate HEIF Danielle O Densley Tingley Charles Gillott
Active Building Centre Research Programme EPSRC Martin Mayfield; Danielle Densley Tingley

Urban Flows Observatory Fleet

Below are images and description of the vehicles we use in the Urban Flows Observatory project.


Morca provides a broad understanding of just how crowded the radio frequency (RF) spectrum is in our cities. Morca’s drive-tests provide information as to the direction of a radio source and map the use of radio technology supporting mobile phones, Wi-Fi and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The structure of our urban landscapes is changing rapidly and we need to know more about how large-scale construction affects the effectiveness of wireless networks, to provide a reliable communications infrastructure.


The Multi-spectral Advanced Research Vehicle (MARVel) has multi-sensor capture, comprising visual cameras for radial capture of visible-spectrum band images; infrared cameras to measure thermal radiation; hyperspectral line scanners for wide-band spectral imaging; and full LiDAR coverage to build high-resolution 3-D point clouds. Additionally, the vehicle features a combined global navigation satellite system and inertial measurement unit, which can record positional information to allow data to be globally synchronised.


Mobius features air quality analysers, a weather station and antenna air monitors. This enables it to collect accurate measurements of air quality, including NOx, Particulates and Ozone, collect information on influencing factors such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction, and provide air quality metrics at a height of up to nine metres via a telescopic mast.

People Involved

Our dedicated staff that make this research possible.


Name Research Themes
Arbabi, Dr Hadi Lecturer in the Built Environment
Densley Tingley, Dr Danielle Senior Lecturer in Architectural Engineering
Hathway, Dr Abigail Senior Lecturer in Architectural Technology
Mayfield-Tulip, Prof. Martin

Head of Department

Professor of Engineering Design

McLaggan, Dr Martyn Lecturer in Low Carbon Design
Vouriot, Dr Carolanne Lecturer in Building Physics

Affiliate members

Name Research Themes
Davison, Prof. Buick

Deputy Head of Department

Professor of Structural Engineering

Stovin, Prof. Virginia Professor of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management

Our league table rankings

Top 100 Civil & Structural Engineering department in the world and 9th in the UK according to the QS World University rankings by subject (2023).

10th in the UK according to the Times University League Table (2024).

12th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide (2024).

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.