Geospatial Systems -
Richard Burke

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Richard Burke

G.19a Cassie Building, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU


About Richard

I hold a BSc in Physical Geography from the University of Leeds. During my undergraduate degree I studied a range of modules which provided me with skills and knowledge in GIS, remote sensing, programming, and data analysis. I was awarded the Esri UK Young Scholar Award 2020 for my final year research project. I created a web app using the ArcGIS Platform to map and assess flood risk in the Eden and Esk Catchment, Cumbria.  To learn more about my final year research project please look at my StoryMap below:


During my undergraduate degree I undertook a year-long placement with Atkins. I was based in their Water Management Consultancy Practice where I provided geospatial solutions across the water environment. I worked on a variety of topics such as natural flood management, hydrogeology and water resource management. I developed skills in researching, analysing and solving complex geospatial issues which sparked my interest in studying for a PhD. I wanted to undertake a doctoral research project that addresses and solves topical geospatial issues. I also find GIS an intuitive and powerful tool to visualise data in innovative and unique ways to solve problems clearly.




I hope to broaden and develop my geospatial skillset through studying for this MRes+PhD. I was attracted to this CDT because of the specialist training provided, the cohort-structured learning and the strong link to industry experts. The CDT has access to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Urban Observatory and the Visualisation Decision Theatre. The geospatial data science MRes in the first year will ensure I am fully prepared to undertake the PhD. I am particularly interested in geospatial research topics related to flood risk, agent-based modelling, future spatio-temporal changes, machine learning and data visualisation.


Following completion of the PhD, my career aspirations are to work in the geospatial sector. I am open to working in government, industry or academia. Throughout my career I hope to contribute to better decision-making using geospatial data and help inform and develop government geospatial strategies. I think geospatial data has changed the way we live our daily lives and communicate: its capabilities will continue to grow in the future. In my opinion it is an exciting time to be a geospatial scientist.


PhD Research

A geospatial modelling approach to assess flooding risk under future scenarios of urban form


My PhD project aims to simulate future road network layouts, land-use, density and building types to develop a more accurate representation of future spatial structure and character of urban areas. The simulated urban form output will then be applied to a flood risk simulation to understand how future urban development scenarios will impact on flooding in urban areas. The approach will involve advanced geosimulations, artificial intelligence algorithms and hydrodynamic modelling to assess how flood risk is exacerbated under different urban form scenarios. This project will enhance more community-level knowledge and resilience to urban growth in the context of flood risk.

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