Population growth and climate change have exposed humanity to increased risk from natural and man-made disasters such as flooding, landslides, earthquakes, blast loading and fire. We work to make our infrastructure systems and buildings more resilient and sustainable in the face of such hazards.

CIV hazards

Our research combines small and large scale laboratory tests and field-scale physical studies, digital data collection techniques, innovative modelling and decision-making tools at the cutting-edge of data science, numerical analysis, and complex systems theory.

Our water engineering group applies transdisciplinary expertise across hydrology, hydraulic and infrastructure engineering, as well as psychology and management to test new designs and approaches to ensure resilience, efficiency and adaptability in our urban water systems. Our structural fire research focuses on the fire resistance behaviour of structures, towards improving fire engineering design practice in terms of safety, efficiency and sustainability. Our blast and impact research aims to characterise the threats from accidental or malicious high-explosive detonations, and their effects on materials and structures. In earthquake engineering, our research covers seismic vulnerability and risk analysis, seismic protective devices, performance-based design methodologies, and innovative strengthening techniques. Our geotechnical hazards research focuses on understanding and mitigating both natural and man-made ground failure under seismic and weather related triggers.


Our department has been research-led for over 100 years and our academic staff are organised into four overarching disciplines, the main ones being Water Engineering and Structural Engineering and Materials.

Water Engineering

Structural Engineering & Materials

Geotechnical Engineering

Resources, Infrastructure Systems and Built Environments

Current research

The Rosetta Stone Network: Physical testing towards a common unstanding of debris flow (Leverhulme Trust)

Mechanisms & Characterisation of Explosions (EPSRC)

Effect of microbial community interactions on ETBE biodegradation potential in groundwater (CONCAWE)

FRGeo-Crete (Horizon 2020)

Exploiting the resilience of masonry arch bridge infrastructure (EPSRC)

GRE.A.TE.R.S. (Horizon 2020)

Previous research - last 5 years

RCUK-TUBITAK Research Partnerships (EPSRC)

HARM - High Attenuation Recycling Materials (Horizon 2020)

INSPIRATION (Horizon 2020)

Academics involved

Name Other Research Themes
Bau, Dr Domenico  
de Borst, Prof. René Infrastructure, Energy & Materials
Bowman, Dr Elisabeth Infrastructure
Boxall, Prof. Joby Infrastructure, Digital & Energy 
Burgess, Prof. Ian Infrastructure, Digital & Materials
Clarke, Prof. Sam Infrastructure & Materials
Collins, Dr Richard Infrastructure
Davison, Prof. Buick Infrastructure & Materials
Douterelo Soler, Dr Isabel Infrastructure
Gaspar, Dr Tiago Infrastructure
Gilbert, Prof. Matthew Infrastructure, Digital & Materials
Guadagnini, Dr Maurizio Infrastructure & Materials
Guymer, Prof. Ian Infrastructure
Hajirasouliha, Prof. Iman Infrastructure & Materials
Huang, Dr Shan-Shan Infrastructure & Materials
Husband, Dr Stewart Infrastructure
Kesserwani, Dr Georges Infrastructure & Digital
Langdon, Prof. Genevieve Materials
Leonardi, Dr Alessandro  
McLaggan, Dr Martyn Energy & Materials
Nematollahi, Dr Behzad Infrastructure & Materials
Nichols, Dr Andy Infrastructure
Ozdemir, Dr Zuhal Infrastructure & Materials
Pilakoutas, Prof. Kypros Infrastructure & Materials
Rigby, Dr Sam Infrastructure, Digital & Materials
Rougé, Dr Charles Infrastructure, Energy, Digital & Materials
Schellart, Dr Alma Infrastructure & Energy
Shucksmith, Dr James Infrastructure
Smith, Prof. Colin Infrastructure, Digital & Materials
Speight, Prof. Vanessa Infrastructure
Stovin, Prof. Virginia Infrastructure & Materials
Tait, Prof. Simon Infrastructure & Energy
Thornton, Prof. Steve Materials
Torelli, Dr Giacomo Infrastructure & Materials
Tyas, Prof. Andrew Infrastructure, Digital & Materials

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.