Professor Lee Chapman PhD FRMetS FHEA

Professor Lee Chapman

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor of Climate Resilience & Met Office Joint Chair
Deputy Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer (College of Life and Environmental Sciences)

Contact details

0121 414 7435
+44 (0)121 414 5528
View my research portal
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

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, impact and business engagement are at the heart of this research agenda and underpins much of his work.


  • BSc Geography (University of Sheffield, 1998)
  • PhD Geography (University of Birmingham, 2002)
  • PG Cert in Learning & Teaching (University of Birmingham, 2009)


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 the then emerging GIS and GPS 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.  A university spin-out company called Entice Technology Ltd was set up commercialise the work. 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 past President (now secretary) 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.  The flagship product 'wintersense' was licensed to Campbell Scientific Ltd in 2019 and is now marketed across the world. 

He was awarded the 2013 RGS Cuthbert Peek award for advancing knowledge of urban climatology through GIS and remote sensing, the 2014 RMetS Innovation Award for ‘making meteorological measurements that matter’ and the 2017 Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology.   He became Professor of Climate Resilience in 2016 and has co-authored all three of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessments.


Professor Lee Chapman is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has a significant teaching profile which spans several programmes of study.

His teaching methods and assessment strategies were informed by studying for a PGCert in Learning and Teaching which Professor Chapman completed in 2009. He was nominated for a prize in Level 1 of the course and won a prize for Level 2 where he had his teaching project published:

Chapman, L. (2010) Dealing with maths anxiety: How do you teach mathematics in a geography department? Journal of Geography in Higher Education 34:205-213.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Chapman has supervised 18 students to completion and currently supervises postgraduate students:

  • Yongjian Li: Extending the utility of connected vehicles for winter road maintenance (Chinese Scholarship Council / Li Siguang)
  • Chenguang Xiao: Federated learning for internet of things networks (School Studentship)
  • Yanzhi Lu: The role of trees in reducing the impact of environmental stressors (Self-Funded)
  • Nicole Cowell: Distributed measurements of particulate matter (Self-Funded)
  • Nigar Parvin: Using green infrastructure to improve human health (Funded by Prime Minister Bangledesh Fellowship)
  • Richard Bufton: Impact of the urban heat island on parakeets (NERC CENTA DTP)

Potential students should contact Professor Chapman directly.



Professor Lee Chapman has contributed to a large portfolio of research funded by a wide range of funding bodies including EU, EPSRC, NERC, Innovate UK and Industry.  The four main grants he is currently working on are:


KNOWING (Horizon Europe)


KNOWING addresses the challenge of achieving climate change adaptation and mitigation goals (such as Net Zero) in mutually beneficial ways. Climate adaptation and mitigation strategies have been developed traditionally in isolation, with the important interactions, synergies and trade-offs often being neglected. The project will develop a modelling framework to synthesise integrated mitigation and adaptation pathways with targeted interventions for a number of demonstrator cities across Europe.

Birmingham Urban Observatory (EPSRC)

As part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), this project has deployed a 'living lab' of hundreds of sensors across the city.  With a focus on monitoring environmental stressors on infrastructure, the foundations of the observatory are built on a dense network of weather and air quality monitoring equipment.  This project builds on Professor Chapman's Internet of Things expertise and consists of nested arrays of both 'off-the-shelf' and UoB developed sensors which together provide the data which can help underpin an urban component of the national digital twin.

Towards a digital twin for urban transport (Department for Transport)

Lee Chapman was appointed a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in 2021.  This project works with other fellows and the DfT to integrate the data from three urban observatories (Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham) with DfT datasets relevant to wider Government’s objectives, e.g. Improving Transport for the User, recovery from C-19, Decarbonisation and Levelling-up.   The project represents a piece of foundation work towards an ‘urban module’ in the transport ecosystem component of the proposed national digital twin, with the long term aim of a national platform for urban transport data

West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme (NERC)

WM-air is an initiative to support the improvement of air quality, and associated health, environmental and economic benefits in the West Midlands.   The project dovetails into the Birmingham Urban Observatory which provides additional observational capacity, along with the air quality supersite triplet located within the city.

Other activities

  • Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute
  • Member of the NERC Advisory Network
  • Member of the EPSRC ICT Strategic Advisory Team
  • Member of the NERC Peer Review College and EPSRC Peer Review College
  • Secretary of the Standing International Road Weather Commission
  • Associate editor of Transport Behaviour and Society


Recent publications


Chapman, L, Bell, S & Randall, S 2023, 'Can crowdsourcing increase the durability of an urban meteorological network?', Urban Climate, vol. 49, 101542.

Budnitz, H, Tranos, E & Chapman, L 2023, 'Whether weather causes contention: assessing the ongoing resilience opportunity of telecommuting', GeoJournal, vol. 88, no. 1, pp. 613-638.

Hodgson, JR, Chapman, L & Pope, FD 2022, 'Amateur runners more influenced than elite runners by temperature and air pollution during the UK's Great North Run half marathon', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 842, 156825.

Cowell, N, Chapman, L, Bloss, W & Pope, F 2022, 'Field Calibration and Evaluation of an Internet-of-Things-Based Particulate Matter Sensor', Frontiers in Environmental Science, vol. 9, 798485.

Cowell, N, Chapman, L, Bloss, W, Srivastava, D, Bartington, S & Singh, A 2022, 'Particulate matter in a lockdown home: evaluation, calibration, results and health risk from an IoT enabled low-cost sensor network for residential air quality monitoring', Environmental Science: Atmospheres.

Hodgson, JR, Chapman, L & Pope, FD 2021, 'The Diamond League athletic series: does the air quality sparkle?', International Journal of Biometeorology, vol. 65, no. 8, pp. 1427-1442.

Feng, JL, Cai, XM & Chapman, L 2020, 'A tale of two cities: The influence of urban meteorological network design on the nocturnal surface versus canopy heat island relationship in Oklahoma City, OK, and Birmingham, UK', International Journal of Climatology.

Feng, J, Cai, X & Chapman, L 2020, 'A tale of two cities: The influence of urban meteorological network design on the nocturnal surface versus canopy heat island relationship in Oklahoma City, US and Birmingham, UK', International Journal of Climatology.

Abdulrasheed, M, MacKenzie, AR, Whyatt, D & Chapman, L 2020, 'Allometric scaling of thermal infrared emitted from UK cities and its relation to urban form City and Environment Interactions', City and Environment Interactions, vol. 5, 100037.

Budnitz, H, Tranos, E & Chapman, L 2020, 'Responding to stormy weather: choosing which journeys to make', Travel Behaviour and Society, vol. 18, pp. 94-105.

Budnitz, H, Tranos, E & Chapman, L 2020, 'Telecommuting and other trips', Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 85, 102713.

Commissioned report

Acton, J, Anderson, P, Andres, L, Angus, M, Amor, P, Arrowsmith, J (ed.), Asmelash, H, Bartington, S (ed.), Bengtsson, F, Bhullar, L, Bloss, W, Bonet, B, Börner, S, O Bonsu, N, Bryson, JR, Burns, V, Burrows, A, Calvert, C, Cassidy, N, Cavoski, A, Chadyiwa, M, Chapman, H, Chapman, L, Cockram, M, Degendardt, L, Dickinson, D, Ding, Y, Dobrzynski, D, Dolo, M, Dora, J, Ercolani, M, Ersoy, A, Farag, H, Ferranti, E, Fisher, R, Freer, M, Goldmann, N, Goode, CE, Greenham, S, Gulati, S, Hadfield-Hill, S, Harper, G, Hegerl, G, Hillmansen, S, Holmes, J, Huang, JJ, Huser, C, Jackson, R, Jaroszweski, D, Jefferson, I, Johnson, J, Kaewunruen, S, Kelly-Akinnuoye, F, Kettles, G, Kraftl, P, Krause, S, Leckebusch, GC, Lee, R, Lockwood, B (ed.), Lohse, J, Luna Diez, E, Lynch, I (ed.), MacKenzie, R, Maddison, D, Makepeace, J, Mann, V, Marino, R, Mavronicola, N, McDonald, M, McGowan, K (ed.), Metje, N, Ng, K, Nicol, J, O'Sullivan, C, Phalkey, N, Prestwood, E, Pyatt, N, Quinn, A, Radcliffe, J (ed.), Ravi, M, Reardon, L, Reeder, T, O’Regan, P, Remedios, L, Roberts, J, Rogers, C, Rungskunroch, P, van Schaik, W, Swan, J (ed.), Thomson, I, Toft, H (ed.), Tong, J, Botello Villagrana, F, Walton, A, Wason, C (ed.), Weir, C, Wood, R & Zhong, J 2021, Addressing the climate challenge. University of Birmingham.


Bassett, R, Young, P, Blair, G, Cai, X & Chapman, L 2020, 'Urbanisation’s contribution to climate warming in Great Britain', Environmental Research Letters, vol. 15, no. 11, 114014.

Other report

Ferranti, E, Futcher, J, Salter, K, Hodgkinson, S & Chapman, L 2021, First Steps in Urban Heat for Built Environment Practitioners. Trees and Design Action Group Trust.

Review article

Lu, Y, Ferranti, E, Chapman, L & Pfrang, C 2023, 'Assessing urban greenery by harvesting street view data: A review', Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, vol. 83, 127917.

View all publications in research portal