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The ACHILLES research consortium

The ACHILLES research consortium draws together experts from academia and industry. The consortium comprises the Universities of Newcastle, Loughborough, Durham, Southampton, Bath and Leeds and the British Geological Survey.


The ACHILLES team has a long history of working together and we know each other very well. We are quite spread out with locations, from north to south, in Newcastle, Durham, Leeds, Keyworth, Loughborough, Bath and Southampton. As a consequence we have developed effective approaches to meeting up through the web, but our regular (at least quarterly) team meetings are great events, both scientifically and socially.

The photo below shows quite a few of us at our launch even in Loughborough.

From top to bottom and from left to right: ‌

Peter Helm, Paul Hughes, Tom Dijkstra, Jimmy Boyd, Kate Dobson, William Powrie, John Preston, Stefano Utili, Harry Postill, Ali Smith.

Chris Kilsby, Ross Stirling, David Gunn, David Toll, Mo Rouainia, Stephanie Glendinning, Darren Wilkinson, Neil Dixon, Jon Chambers, Joel Smethurst

Not on photo: Kevin Briggs, Fleur Loveridge, Anthony Blake, Ashraf El-Hamalawi, Richard Court, Sofia Dias, Abdallah Najdi, Adrian White, Alex Svalova, Amr Morsy, Hellen Brooks, Jessica Holmes, Jim Whiteley, John Armstrong, Nader Aridi, Wengui Huang and Yuderka Trinidad-Gonzalez.

The pen pictures of the team are available through the Team tab.

The Programme Management Team

The Programme Management Team (PMT) manages the risk and resources of the Programme Grant and is chaired by Prof Stephanie Glendinning (Newcastle University). Support for the PI is provided by Prof William Powrie (University of Southampton). The PMT is further strengthened by the three Research Challenge Leads; Prof David Toll (Durham University), Prof Neil Dixon (Loughborough University) and Prof Darren Wilkinson (Newcastle University). The Early Career Academics (ECA) are represented by Dr Kevin Briggs (University of Bath), Dr Richard Court (Newcastle University) and Dr Tom Dijkstra (Loughborough University) provide Programme Management support.

The Scientific Steering Group

The PMT is incorporated into the broader Scientific Steering Group (SSG) where the direction of our scientific research is evaluated and scrutinised. All ECAs are represented in this Group as are Dr Joel Smethurst (University of Southampton) and Dr Jon Chambers (British Geological Survey).

The Expert Advisory Board

The Expert Advisory Board (EAB) ensures that our research is world-leading. The EAB is chaired by Prof Michael Davies (Sussex University) and the members of the EAB are Prof Charles Ng (HKUST), Prof Michael Hicks (TUDelft), Prof Mark Girolami (University of Cambridge), Prof Sarah Springman (ETH Zurich) and Prof Andy Take (Queen’s University).

The EAB meets once a year with the Project Management Team (PMT) and is tasked with ensuring;

  • that targets are set, against which the team delivers from across the Research Challenges
  • that the science and engineering is benchmarked against international competitors
  • that interdependencies between RCs are fully exploited, and
  • that researchers on international visits are hosted.

The Impact Advisory Group

An independent Impact Advisory Group (IAG) is formed from key Stakeholder User Group (SUG) members and provides more detailed advice and co-create research outputs.

The IAG comprises primary users of the Programme’s outcomes; managers and engineers responsible for the design, operation and maintenance of long linear earthwork assets, including Highways England (Patterson), Network Rail (Abbott), HS2 (Sartain), Environment Agency (Tarrant), The Cabinet Office, CIRIA, industry consultants, standards consultants and contractors including JD Consulting (Dora), Jacobs (Moore, Jackson), Mott MacDonald (Power).

The IAG is chaired by Christopher Power from Mott MacDonald.