Geospatial and Geo-hazards

The University of Nottingham has a world-renowned expertise in Geospatial Science and Engineering as well as in Geohazards Monitoring and Assessment. UNNC has a growing pool of research active staff in this important research area that has a direct link to the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI) at UNUK. We are part of NGI and recognized as associate researchers in the NGI. There are also natural links to colleagues based in the Schools of Geography and Biosciences at UNUK, Civil Engineering and Architecture and Built Environment including the Centre of Structural Engineering and Informatics as well as to colleagues at UNMC. In a time of significant environmental and urban change throughout the world, and particularly in China, solutions to the grand challenges posed by environmental processes and related geological hazards require integrated solutions. These must bring together process understanding with observation, modelling and risk assessment. One of the aims of this research group is to bring these elements together in a more cohesive manner.


About Geospatial Research Group

Geospatial Science and Engineering is a vital part of the growing digital world in which we live. Positioning, navigation and mapping are essential to almost all aspects of business and everyday life. As such, advances in geospatial science and engineering incorporating Global Navigation Satellite System, Geographical Information Systems, remote measurement systems and timing underpin many key research areas in the world today. 

The Geospatial Research Group was formed in 2016 mainly from staff from the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Geographical Science. More recently the group has added members from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and from the Department of Architecture and Built Environment.

Currently there is a great opportunity in Zhejiang for Geospatial Science Engineering as the Zhejiang government is investing billions of RMB in a Geospatial Information Industrial Park in Deqing. This park hosted the 2018 United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC). The Geospatial and Geohazards Research Group represented UNNC at the UNWGIC. We are therefore well positioned to take advantage of the establishment of this business park in terms of forging links with industry, providing training courses, increasing student numbers (there will be a large increase of geospatial trained people required to work in Zhejiang).


Top 1% highly cited Dr Hamm is a co-author on this paper: Datta et al. (2016) Annals of Applied Statistics. This paper won the 2017 American Statistical Association Award for an Outstanding Statistical Application. 

Dr Georgios Kapogiannis, Dr Craig Hancock, PhD Researcher Tianlun Yang and MSc Graduate Ryan Jonathan are the the 2019 National Intelligent Construction Technology and Innovation Competition winners, with their project entitled "Architectural Design Intelligence based on Gamification" at the Ministry of Science and Technology.


The group is active internationally. Many (70% +) of our research papers are co-authored by a researcher working at a non-Chinese institution. Several of our members maintain good relationships with researchers at their previous universities. It is more challenging to convert these relationships into more concrete collaborations for projects. For that we need to follow specific international calls for proposals, which may not be straightforward to predict. This could be improved by signing formal agreements with these institutions (as sometimes this is a requirement for the proposals), looking for opportunities to publish together or co-supervise students together.

As mentioned previously, we are part of the NGI at UNUK. The academics in the NGI on average have more experience and larger networks than those academics at NGI. We aim to exploit these networks to gain more international collaboration. A concrete way to deepen collaboration with UNUK (and UNMC) would be provide financial support for staff and PhD student exchange. In particular, a 6-month visit for a PhD student to UNUK would be far more effective for deepening collaboration than Skype meetings. It would also enhance the attractiveness of our PhD programme.


The motivation to create the research group was always to enhance current activities in the area of Geospatial Science and Engineering at UNNC by fostering genuine collaboration among staff within UNNC, across campuses with UNUK and UNMC, with industry (particularly in Zhejiang) and with staff in other research groups. One strength of geospatial is that it cuts across other research fields. This is because we address fundamental issues in the acquisition and analysis of geospatial data which link to aspects of sensor technology, computer science, statistics, engineering (civil, environmental, building) and planning. As well as the fundamental science and engineering, our technologies can often be used to support other research areas. This creates substantial challenges and the "how" of addressing those challenges is often as significant as the application itself. The unit performs as a unit by exploiting complementary expertise to develop our three key research themes:

Our research is divided into three themes

  • Geospatial data acquisition: Positioning and Sensors;
  • Geospatial data processing, integration and management: Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Building Information Modelling (BIM);
  • Geospatial applications: Engineering and Environment

These key themes link to recognized areas of research excellence across the global University of Nottingham. We are part of the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI) based at UNUK and are included on their website as associate members. With NGI, we also co-author papers and use their facilities for experimental work. Professorial staff at NGI have actively supported the development of our group, by giving regular advice to the group leadership, by including our group members in cross campus meetings, through co-writing of research proposals, through the sharing of data and software resources and by receiving visitors from China to NGI to help us foster better links with other Chinese institutions.



The Research Group is consisted from two labs and one studio

  • GNSS Lab, Room 414, Peter Mansfield Building
  • BIM and GIS Lab Room 338, Peter Mansfield Building
  • Design Studio 115, Peter Mansfield Building


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