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Simulation of people intervention scenarios in flooding emergency

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Sheffield United Kingdom Civil Engineering Software Engineering

About the Project

This project is ideal for a driven individual with a passion for computing. The successful candidate will build upon a new 'flood-people simulator' developed by the Sheffield Water Research group and in collaboration with the Sheffield Visual Computing group (

Flooding is the most frequent natural disasters that disturb day-to-day life of people. Local authorities and communities in cites need to be prepared with intervention plans in case of a flooding emergency, in particular around key infrastructure such as a railway station.

A sophisticated modelling tool is required that can dynamically map how the change in flood risk level in response to the people's actions within the urban scene. The project will aim to computerize a number of measures for flood emergency intervention. Stage 1 of the project will scrutinize structural and temporal measures of intervention reported in Government guidance (e.g. the UK Environment Agency) and in published literature. Stage 2 will focus on the implementation of the measures selected from stage 1, e.g. geometrical and deployment details of a number of flood-fighting barriers, into the flood-people simulator. Stage 3 will be dedicated to assess and compare the intervention scenarios predicted by the simulator(e.g. see for example Shirvani et al. 2020a,b).

The project can be flexible for the student to adapt the work-plan to their interests, and informed by an up-to-date review of emerging progresses in the field of flood risk management.

Funding Notes

This project is NOT FUNDED, although Departmental/University scholarships are available for exceptional applicants with proven potential of research excellence.
Suitable for candidates holding or anticipating award of an MSc, or 1st/2.1 undergraduate degree in an engineering or numerical/physical sciences discipline.


Shirvani, G. Kesserwani, and P. Richmond (2020a). Agent-based modelling of pedestrian responses during flood emergency: mobility behavioural rules and implications for flood risk analysis. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 22: 1078–1092.
Shirvani, G. Kesserwani, and P. Richmond (2020b). Agent-based simulator of dynamic flood-people interactions. Journal of Flood Risk Management, Tentatively accepted.

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