Lee Chapman

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Professor Lee Chapman’s research interests are at the interface of climatology and engineering investigating the impact of weather and climate on the built environment; an important research area given the ever-increasing concentration (and vulnerability) of the population and critical infrastructure in urban areas. This covers a range of topics and sub-disciplines including infrastructure meteorology, urban climatology and climate change adaptation.  Knowledge transfer and business engagement are at the heart of this research agenda and he continues to work extensively with industry to ensure maximum impact from ongoing research activities. 


Professor Lee Chapman completed his PhD entitled "A Blueprint for 21st Century Road Ice Prediction" here in Birmingham. The aim of the project was to assimilate new technologies to develop the next generation of road weather prediction models (Route Based Forecasting). The main application was to accurately forecast road surface temperatures enabling optimal salt usage by local councils. The project involved the development of GIS models which utilised new survey techniques based upon GPS measurements and digital image processing.

A university spin-out company called Entice Technology Ltd was set up using funding received from the NERC SBRI scheme (£125k) to fund further technological development, protection of intellectual property by the filing of patents and commercialisation of the work carried out for the PhD. The business was sold in 2006 to Weather Services International Ltd. Professor Chapman is still actively involved in research and business engagement with respect to winter road maintenance. He is presently the President of the Standing International Road Weather Commission (SIRWEC) and CEO of Altasense, a University Operating Division selling Internet of Things weather monitoring solutions to highway and railway engineers.

In 2010, after holding a Roberts Research Fellowship for 5 years, Lee Chapman was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in Applied Meteorology and Climatology and in 2013 became Reader in Climate Resilience.  He was awarded the 2013 RGS Cuthbert Peek award for advancing knowledge of urban climatology through GIS and remote sensing, the 2014 IBM Innovation Award for ‘making meterological measurements that matter’ presented by the RMetS and the 2017 Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology. He became Professor of Climate Resilience in 2016.

Research interests

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Chapman has supervised 13 students to completion currently supervises seven postgraduate students:

  • Jennifer Kirby: High resolution imagery for trackside leaf-fall monitoring (EPSRC iCASE with Railway Safety & Standards Board)
  • Jiali Fang: Surface versus air heat islands (self-funded)
  • Mukhtar Abdulrasheed: Extending allometric methods to Nigeria.  (Nigerian Petroleum Development Fund
  • Hannah Budnitz: Weather impacts on commuting habits (NERC Dream CDT)
  • Richard Bufton: Impact of the urban heat island on bird distributions (NERC CENTA DTP)
  • Nigel Hopper: Impact of a changing UK climate on Corvids (NERC CENTA DTP)
  • James Hodgson: Weather, air quality and athletic performance. (NERC DREAM CDT)


Potential students should contact Professor Chapman directly.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Lee Chapman’s research interests can be best described under the heading ‘the impact of weather and climate on the built environment'. This covers a range of topics from the development of ‘dose-response’ models under the baseline climate to assessing the future impact of climate change on hard infrastructure. Areas of particular interest are urban and transport meteorology. Dr Chapman currently holds funding for three major projects:

HiTemp (NERC):This project aims to provide a demonstration sensor network designed to measure air temperature across the Birmingham conurbation.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership (E-ON Central Networks): This partnership is evaluating the impact of urban heat islands and climate change on the ageing rate of transformers in Birmingham.
Future Resilient Transport Networks (EPSRC/ESRC): This project aims to assess the future resilience of the UK transport network, taking into account the likely technology and infrastructure changes, as well as changes in climate and extreme weather events.