Dr Daniel Boddice B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr Daniel Boddice

Department of Civil Engineering
Assistant Professor

Contact details

School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dan is an Assistant Professor with a research interest in the application of geophysical sensors to address current and future societal issues such as improving site investigation, solving industrial challenges associated with poor knowledge of the underground space and assessing the condition of infrastructure, the soil we construct in, on and utilise for food production and carbon sinks. He has extensive experience, both for the development and deployment of novel techniques such as cold atom gravity gradiometers, as well as improving deployment and processing techniques for a range of existing geophysical sensors, both individually and in combination, to look through the ground and assess ground properties. His skills range from field collection of geophysical data including novel data processing and interpretation to computer forward modelling of geophysical targets and noise sources to conducting laboratory testing of soil in controlled conditions. 

Dan works closely with a diverse range of industrial partners including technology companies, geophysical surveyors, end users of geophysical data and stakeholders to deliver research that is of real practical benefit.  Dan is passionate about knowledge transfer and has shared code, training and experience with academic and industrial partners, improving instrument design and workflows for planning, processing and interpretation of data.

To date, Dan has published several high quality journal papers and delivered numerous talks at international level conferences.  He has assisted in writing 4 Innovate UK grants, most recently co-writing Gravity Pioneer, a multi-million pound ISCF grant to produce a commercial prototype QT instrument.  He also regularly communicates his research to the public at exhibitions and events.


  • PG Cert Higher Education (2022 University of Birmingham)
  • PhD in Civil Engineering (2015 University of Birmingham) on Changing Geophysical Contrast between Archaeological Features and Surrounding Soil
  • MSc in Archaeological Prospection (2010 University of Bradford)
  • BA (hons) Ancient History and Archaeology (2007 University of Liverpool)


Having graduated in 2007 with a BA degree from the University of Liverpool in Ancient History and Archaeology, Dan quickly became excited by the possibility to find and investigate things underground without the need to dig them up and made the transition to studying an MSc in Archaeological Prospection at the University of Bradford and graduating with a distinction in 2010. 

With a new found knowledge and interest in the physics behind the geohphysical techniques, this led Dan to pursue his PhD on the DART (Detection of Archaeological residues using remote sensing techniques), examining the relationship between the properties of the soil and the seasonality of the geophysical response of archaeogical ditches.

Always looking to pursue his interest in improving existing methods and developing new techniques for investigating underground, Dan was appointed as a Postdoctoral researcher on the GG-TOP project working on making quantum technology gravity gradiometer instruments a commerical reality and has led to a number of follow on projects in this area (SIGMA, SIGMA+, REVEAL, Gravity Pioneer) on which he continues to work to this day.

Dan was selected as a trainee on the third training cycle of surrogate on site inspectors for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty Organisation (CTBTO) where he puts his wide knowledge of geophysical techniques to good use in helping the organisation to prepare to verfify compliance with the treaty upon entry into force.  Dan was also recently selected as a trainer to help prepare future generations of on site inspectors.


  • MSc Ground Investigation – Module Lead
  • MEng Civil Engineering Group Management Project Part A and Part B – Module Lead
  • UG Geotechnical Engineering 1 (Ground Investigation)
  • UG Surveying Week
  • Constructionarium Organiser
  • Supervision of BEng, MEng and MSc projects

Postgraduate supervision

Use of geophysical technologies to find and monitor underground infrastructure and solve industry led challenges and scenarios

Development of methodologies and techniques for the collection, processing and interpretation of geophysical data including automation, data fusion and inversion.

Linkages between geotechnical and geophysical properties in the soil


Dan's current research centres around the field testing of gravity gradiometer instruments based on quantum technology and the development of methodologies and techniques for the collection, processing and interpretation of the acquired data for a variety of different subsurface targets in order to help industry bring the new technology to the marketplace.  The research is strongly cross-disciplinary and involves working closely with colleagues in the School of Physics and Astronomy, who are developing these instruments. 

Dan also have a strong interest in the interpretation of the subsurface as well as linkages between geophysical measurements and underlying soil conditions, and improvement and development of other geophysical techniques as shown during his PhD.

Other activities

  • Surrogate On-site Inspector for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)
  • Surrogate On-site Inspector Trainer for CTBTO since 2019
  • International Society of Archaeological Prospection (ISAP) member since 2009


Recent publications


Boddice, D, Metje, N & Chapman, D 2023, 'Long‐term monitoring to inform the geophysical detection of archaeological ditch anomalies in different climatic conditions', Archaeological Prospection. https://doi.org/10.1002/arp.1902

Vovrosh, J, Boddice, D & Holynski, M 2023, 'Using the quantum properties of atoms to reveal what's underground' TheScienceBreaker, vol. 9, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.25250/thescbr.brk690

Boddice, D, Metje, N & Tuckwell, G 2022, 'Microgravity surveying before, during and after distant large earthquakes', Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 197, 104542. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2022.104542

Stray, B, Lamb, A, Kaushik, A, Vovrosh, J, Rodgers, A, Winch, J, Hayati, F, Boddice, D, Stabrawa, A, Niggebaum, A, Langlois, M, Lien, Y-H, Lellouch, S, Roshanmanesh, S, Ridley, K, Villiers, GD, Brown, G, Cross, T, Tuckwell, G, Faramarzi, A, Metje, N, Bongs, K & Holynski, M 2022, 'Quantum sensing for gravity cartography', Nature, vol. 602, no. 7898, pp. 590–594. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04315-3

De Villiers, G, Ridley, K, Rodgers, A & Boddice, D 2019, 'On the use of the profiled singular-function expansion in gravity gradiometry', Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 170, 103830. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2019.103830

Boddice, D, Metje, N & Tuckwell, G 2019, 'Quantifying the effects of near surface density variation on quantum technology gravity and gravity gradient instruments', Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 164, pp. 160-178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2019.03.012

Boddice, D, Atkins, P, Rodgers, A, Metje, N, Goncharenko, Y & Chapman, D 2018, 'A novel approach to reduce environmental noise in microgravity measurements using a Scintrex CG5', Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 152, pp. 221-235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2018.03.022

Goncharenko, Y, Boddice, D, Rodgers, A, Atkins, P, Metje, N & Chapman, D 2018, 'Using broadband seismic networks to optimise microgravity survey strategy in the UK', Near Surface Geophysics, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 477-489. https://doi.org/10.1002/nsg.12007

Hinton, A, Perea Ortiz, M, Lamb, A, Rammeloo, C, Stray, B, Voulazeris, G, Zhu, L, Kaushik, A, Lien, Y-H, Niggebaum, A, Rodgers, A, Stabrawa, A, Boddice, D, Plant, S, Tickwell, G, Bongs, K, Metje, N, Holynski, M, Winch, J, Briggs, J, Freer, S, Moustoukas, D, Powell-Gill, S & Squire, C 2017, 'A portable magneto-optical trap with prospects for atom interferometry in civil engineering', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences , vol. 375, no. 2099, 20160238. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2016.0238

Boddice, D, Metje, N & Tuckwell, G 2017, 'Capability assessment and challenges for quantum technology gravity sensors for near surface terrestrial geophysical surveying', Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 146, pp. 149-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2017.09.018

Boddice, D, Metje, N & Chapman, D 2017, 'Unique Insight into the Seasonal Variability of Geophysical Properties of Field Soils: Practical Implications for Near Surface Investigations', Near Surface Geophysics, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 515-526 . https://doi.org/10.3997/1873-0604.2017020

Thring, LM, Boddice, D, Metje, N, Curioni, G, Chapman, D & Pring, L 2014, 'Factors affecting soil permittivity and proposals to obtain gravimetric water content from time domain reflectometry measurements', Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 51, no. 11, pp. 1303-1317. https://doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2013-0313


Vovrosh, J, Dragomir, A, Stray, B & Boddice, D 2023, 'Advances in Portable Atom Interferometry-Based Gravity Sensing', Sensors, vol. 23, no. 17, 7651. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23177651

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