Professor Nigel Cassidy BSc, PhD, FGS, CGeol, FHEA

Professor Nigel Cassidy

Department of Civil Engineering
Emeritus Professor of Geotechnical Infrastructure Engineering

Contact details

Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Nigel Cassidy has over 30 years’ academic and industrial experience in near-surface geophysics, geotechnical engineering and numerical modelling. His research focuses on the development of remote monitoring, modelling and inversion techniques to solve practical environmental and geo-engineering problems.

Nigel has published 70+ peer-reviewed international journal papers, articles and book chapters, 100+ conference papers/presentations and established a portfolio of over £3M of research. He is also a Council trustee of the Geological Society of London and a long-term member of the UK Government Natural and Environmental Research Council (NERC) strategic Training Advisory Board.

He has been lecturing for the best part of 20 years and specialises in teaching near-surface geophysics, remote sensing and practical fieldwork skills.

Professor Cassidy is also part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.  This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, linguists, economists, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.


  • Chartered Geologist (CGeol) 2014
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 2004
  • Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS) 2003
  • PhD in Applied Geophysics (Keele) 2001
  • BSc (Hons) Geology and Geophysics (Liverpool) 1997


Nigel started his career in electrical engineering in the mid-1980s and worked in the industrial sector for nearly ten years before completing a BSc Hons Degree in Geology & Geophysics at the University of Liverpool in 1997.   He went on to study for a PhD in Ground Penetrating Radar modelling at Keele University (1997-2001) where he stayed on as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and then Reader until 2016. He joined Civil Engineering in October 2016 as Professor of Geotechnical Infrastructure Engineering.

Nigel’s research is wide-ranging, from monitoring tree-induced subsidence through to the numerical modelling of high-frequency electromagnetics, and he has extensive practical experience of using near-surface geophysical and remote sensing techniques.  He very much enjoys fieldwork and teaches practical geophysics to researchers and students internationally.


  • MSc in Geotechnical Engineering
  • MSc in Geotechnical Engineering and Management
  • BEng and MEng in Civil Engineering


Near-surface geophysics for geotechnics, buried infrastructure monitoring/assessment and transport system evaluation.

Numerical/Mathematical Modelling and Inversion techniques: FDTD and FE based modelling and inversion of ultrasonics, seismics, ground penetrating radar, electro-seismics, seismic and electromagnetic wave propagation.

Bio-geophysics and environmental engineering :  Application and development of electromagnetic, ultrasonic and electrical imaging & stimulation systems for the study of natural and biological systems/ tissues.

Laboratory & Field Instrumentation development: Engineering/electronic design and development of instrumentation for use in geophysical, geotechnical, geological and engineering environments.

Development of novel renewable energy technologies, particularly geothermal.

Other activities

  • Member of the NERC Training Advisory Board, 2012-2018.
  • Elected Council member and Trustee of the Geological Society of London, 2014-2017.
  • Member of the Degree Accreditation Panel and Science Committee, Geological Society of London, 2012-2017.
  • Associate editor of the EAGE, Near Surface Geophysics Journal 2003-Present.
  • Associate editor of the EEGS, FastTimes periodical 2015-Present.
  • Royal Society Industrial Fellow, 2008-2012.
  • Chartered Geologist and Fellow of the Geological Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Member of Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
  • Member of American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Member of European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE)


Selected publications

Pringle J. K., Jervis, J. J., Roberts, D., Dick, H., Cassidy, N. J. and Cassella, J. P., 2016. Geophysical monitoring of simulated clandestine graves using electrical and Ground Penetrating Radar methods: 4-6 years after burial, Journal of Forensic Science, vol. 61, no. 2, 309-321.

Premasiri, R., Styles, P., Shrira, V., Cassidy, N. J. and Schwenninger, J., 2015. OSL Dating and GPR Mapping of Palaeotsunami Inundation: A 4000-Year History of Indian Ocean Tsunamis as recorded in Sri Lanka, Pure and Applied Geophysics, vol. 172, no. 12, 3357-3384..

Dick, H., Pringle J. K., Sloane, B., Carver, J., Wisniewski, K., D., Haffensen, A., Porter S., Roberts, D. and Cassidy, N. J., 2015. Detection and characterisation of a Black Death mass burial cemetery in Central London, UK., Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 59, 132-141.

Balint, R., Cassidy, N. J., Cartmell, S. C., 2014. Conductive polymers: Towards a smart biomaterial for tissue engineering, Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 10, no. 6, 2341-2353.  (“Editor’s Choice” of top five papers in Acta Biomaterialia)

Weatherill, J., Krause, S., Voyce, K.,  Drijfhout, F., Levy, A., Cassidy N. J. 2014. Nested monitoring approaches to delineate groundwater trichloroethene discharge to a lowland stream at multiple spatial scales, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, vol.158, 38-54.

Van Dam, R., Hendrick, J. M. M. Cassidy, N. J., North R. and Borchers, B., 2013. Effects of Magnetite on High-Frequency Ground-Penetrating Radar, Geophysics, vol. 78 No. 5 H1-H11.

Balint, R, Cassidy, N. J., Hidalgo-Bastida, L. A. and Cartmell, S.C., 2013. Electrical stimulation enhanced Mesenchymal Stem Cell gene expression for the treatment of non-unions and bone tissue engineering, Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, vol. 3, no. 2, 212-221.

Rose, l., Krause, S. and Cassidy, N.J., 2013. Capabilities and limitations of tracing spatial temperature patterns by fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing, Water Resources Research, vol. 49, no.3, 1741-1745.

Millington, T., Cassidy, N. J., Crocco, L. and Soldovieri, F. 2013. Tomographic GPR imaging using a linear inversion algorithm informed by FDTD modeling: a numerical case study of buried utility pipes monitoring, Near-Surface Geophysics, vol. 11, no. 2, 221-230.

Balint, R., Cassidy N. J., Cartmell S. C., 2013. Electrical Stimulation; A Novel Tool for Tissue Engineering, Tissue Engineering: Part B, 19(1): 48-57.

Balint, R., Cassidy N. J., Cartmell S. C., 2012. Capacitive stimulation enhanced osteogenic differentiation of primary human mesenchymal stem cells, Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine vol. 6, 332-332.

Krause, S., Taylor, S. L., Weatherill, J., Haffenden, A., Levy, A., Cassidy, N. J. and Thomas, P. A.  2012.  Fibre-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing for Characterizing the Impacts of Vegetation Coverage on Thermal Patterns in Woodlands, EcoHydrology, vol. 6, no. 5, 754-764.

Kettridge, N., Binley, A., Comas, X., Cassidy N. J., Baird, A. J., Harris, A., van der Kruk, J, Strack, M. and. Waddington, J. M., 2012. Do peatland Microforms Move through time?  Examining the developmental history of a patterned peatland using ground-penetrating radar, Journal of Geophysical Research, Biosciences, Vol. 117 ARTNG03030.

Whelley, P. L., Jay, J., Calder, E.S., Pritchard, M., Cassidy, N. J., Alcaraz, S. and Pavez, A., 2012. Post-depositional fracturing and subsidence of pumice flow deposits: Lascar volcano, Chile. Bulletin of Volcanology, vol. 74, 511-531.

Krause, S., Blume T and Cassidy, N.J., 2012. Investigating patterns and controls of groundwater up-welling in a lowland river by combining Fibre-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing with observations of vertical head gradients, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, vol. 16(6), 1775-1792.

Gertisser R., Cassidy, N J., Charbonnier, S., Nuzzo L. and Preece K. 2012. Overbank block-and-ash flow deposits and the impact of valley-derived, unconfined flows on populated areas at Merapi volcano, Java, Indonesia, Natural Hazards, vol. 60, no. 2. 623-648.

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