Mr Christopher Bouch B.Sc., M.Sc., C.Eng., M.I.C.E.

Mr Christopher Bouch

Department of Civil Engineering
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Chris Bouch is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 22 years of experience as a contractor, consultant and an asset manager covering heavy steel structures, buildings and railway infrastructure. 

Chris joined the University of Birmingham at the end of 2003, taking the post of Research Fellow in the Centre for Railway Research and Education, and working on a wide range of EPSRC and European Commission-funded research projects studying systems aspects of railway infrastructure.  In 2013 he moved to the Centre for Resilience Research and Education and is currently working on three EPSRC-funded projects: iBUILD, which is researching infrastructure interdependencies and novel business models at the local and regional scales; Liveable Cities, which is envisioning the liveable cities of 2050 and the engineering strategies we will need to get us there; and Urban Living Birmingham, which is exploring how user-centred innovation can contribute to the improvement of local authority-provided services.  On all three of these projects Chris is exploring the application of systems engineering techniques and a systems thinking approach.


  • M.Sc. in Rail Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, 2003
  • Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1991
  • B.Sc. (Hons) in Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 1981


Chris Bouch graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds in 1981.  He has 22 years of experience of UK and overseas design and construction gained as a contractor, consultant and an asset manager.  During that time he worked on the construction of steelwork for power stations, a cable-stayed bridge, a major highway viaduct in Egypt and some local hospitals in Nigeria.  Design work included temporary works for a bridge construction, design of a replacement bridge deck, and design of railway infrastructure repairs.  Additionally he acted as project manager for a number of multi-disciplinary railway projects, including a package of bridge deck replacements and a portfolio of station enhancements.  In 1991 he became a Chartered Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and in 2003 he was awarded an M.Sc. in Rail Systems Engineering.

Since the end of 2003 has been a research fellow at the University of Birmingham, initially at the Centre for Railway Research and Education, where he studied a systems approach to the improvement of track capacity; track maintenance; railway innovation processes, and; modelling the resilience of the rail network in the face of climate change. From 2013 Chris has studied at the Centre for Resilience and Education, researching the application of systems engineering techniques and systems thinking to the development of future cities and the business models needed to support investment in their infrastructure.  During that time he has had extensive experience in the use of CORE, a powerful systems modelling tool produced by Vitech Corporation in the USA.


Chris Bouch has supported Masters students and students undertaking their 4th year undergraduate projects within the School of Engineering.


Current research

  • iBUILD project, EPSRC-funded: Investigating infrastructure dependencies as a source of opportunities to improve infrastructure business model value capture. Exploring application of the Future Cities Method to the assessment of business model resilience for the case of decentralised energy provision in Birmingham. Investigating the feasibility of a decentralised approach to the provision of city infrastructure based on the Digbeth area of Birmingham. A study into the development of alternative business models for solid waste management based on the Smithfield area of Birmingham
  • Urban Living Birmingham, EPSRC-funded: Studying the application of systems thinking to support end-user innovation of local authority services in Birmingham, UK
  • Liveable Cities, EPSRC-funded: Studying the application of systems engineering techniques to the modelling of existing systems in cities, providing a basis for mapping urban metabolism and for the design of the new engineering strategies necessary to support the liveable cities of the future.

Previous research

  • Hi-Tech Rail, ERDF-funded, project manager: Helping SMEs in the West Midlands to bring innovative technologies to the rail market.
  • Transport resilience, EPSRC-funded, research fellow: Exploring the lessons that critical local transport and utility infrastructure can learn about resilience from ecological, economic, physical infrastructure, community/social, and government systems.
  • RRUK project, EPSRC-funded, research fellow: Project studying the dynamic re-scheduling of trains in a perturbed timetable situation.
  • Innotrack, EC-funded, Research fellow: Studying the development of innovative track maintenance technologies and processes aimed at reducing the cost of maintenance by 30%.  Responsible for research among European infrastructure managers to: identify and prioritise underlying causes of track problems, and; investigate track maintenance logistics.
  • RRUK project, EPSRC-funded, research fellow: Developing a methodology for assessing the impact of innovative new technologies on the railway.  Responsible for the development of a novel methodology for creating system models of complex technical environments
  • FUTURENET, EPSRC-funded, research fellow: Studying the resilience to climate change of the UK transport system.  Responsibility for developing the modelling methodology linking transport planning processes, various data sources and asset degradation prediction tools.


Journal publications

  1. Development of a common set of European high-level track maintenance cost categories, Bouch, C. & Amoore, J. 1 Jan 2010 In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. 224, 4, p. 327-335 9 p.
  2. Developing system models to help Great Britain's railways embrace innovative technologies with confidence, Bouch, C. & Roberts, C. 1 Nov 2013 In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transport. 227, 6, p. 677-684 8 p., 8
  3. State of the art for European track maintenance and renewal logistics, Bouch, C. & Roberts, C. 1 Jan 2010 In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. 224, 4, p. 319-326 8 p.
  4. Measuring urban sustainability and liveability performance: the City Analysis Methodology, Leach, J. M., Braithwaite, P., Lee, S., Bouch, C., Hunt, D. & Rogers, C. 15 May 2016 In: International Journal of Complexity in Applied
  5. Introducing new technology to the railway industry: system-wide incentives and impacts, Lovell, K., Bouch, C., Smith, A., Nash, C., Roberts, C., Wheat, P., Griffiths, C. & Smith, R. 1 Mar 2011 In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. 225, 2, p. 192-201 10 p.
  6. Resistance and resilience - paradigms for critical local infrastructure, Rogers, C., Bouch, C., Williams, S., Barber, A., Baker, C., Bryson, J., Chapman, D., Chapman, L., Coaffee, J., Jefferson, I. & Quinn, A. Jun 2012 In : Institution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Municipal Engineer. 165, 2, p. 73-84 12 p.

Conference publications

  1. Developing system models to help railways embrace innovative technologies with confidence, Bouch, C. & Roberts, C. 2013 Proceedings of the INCOSE International Symposium 2013, Philadelphia USA. INCOSE
  2. A Novel Methodology for the Application of Middle-out, Model-based systems engineering Techniques for City Waste Management Systems Development, Bouch, C., Hunt, D., Rogers, C., Lee, S., Wallace, T. & Kenny, R. 1 Oct 2015 Proceedings INCOSE International Symposium 2015. 1 ed. California, USA: Elsevier, Vol. 25, p. 697-711
  3. Innovative Decentralised Urban Infrastructure: Key Factors in the Direction of Development, Bouch, C., Bartle, I., Rogers, C. & Baker, C. 8 Sep 2016 University of Sussex SPRU50 Conference 2016
  4. A Systems-Based Approach to the Identification of Enterprise/Infrastructure Interdependencies as a Precursor to Identifying Opportunities to Improve Infrastructure Project Value/Cost Ratios, Bouch, C., Baker, C., Rogers, C.D.F., Dawson, R., International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, 30 Sep 2014 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
  5. Modelling Infrastructure Interdependency at the City Scale: A Novel Methodology Applied to Birmingham’s Solid Waste Management System, Bouch, C., Rogers, C. & Baker, C. 14 Sep 2015 Proceedings of the ISNGI conference 2015
  6. Material Flow Analysis (MFA) for Liveable Cities, Hunt, D., Leach, J. M., Lee, S., Bouch, C., Braithwaite, P. & Rogers, C. 2014 Proceeding of the 4th World Sustainability Forum 1-30 November 2014
  7. What makes a city liveable?: implications for next-generation infrastructure services, Leach, J. M., Lee, S., Braithwaite, P., Bouch, C., Grayson, N. & Rogers, C. 2 Oct 2013 Infrastructure for a better future: a forum for vision, leadership and action. Perez, P. & Campbell, P. (eds.). Wollongong, Australia: University of Wollongong: Smart Infrastructure Facility, p. 397-405 8 p.
  8. Critical infrastructures and sharing: implications for UK centralised infrastructure systems, Leach, J. M., Bartle, I., Hale, J., Bouch, C., Boyko, C. T., Lee, S., De Laurentiis, V., Cavada, M., Locret-Collet, M., Hunt, D., Sadler, J. & Rogers, C. 2015 Proceedings of the International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure 2015.

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