Dr Emma Ferranti BSc MSc PhD AFHEA

Emma Ferranti

Department of Civil Engineering
Associate Professor

Contact details

School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Emma leads exciting interdisciplinary research at the intersection of infrastructure, the built environment and green infrastructure. She currently holds an EPSRC Fellowship examining how Nature Based Solutions can deliver infrastructure resilience to extreme weather and climate change. Emma also leads and contributes to a range of projects in the fields of transport, infrastructure resilience, climate adaptation, air quality, and green infrastructure at the University of Birmingham. She was previously a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow facilitating knowledge transfer at the intersection of green infrastructure and air quality.

An advocate for trees in the urban environment, Emma co-facilitates the national Trees and Design Action Group network, co-organising the online Seminar Series, and co-developing evidence-based resources for built environment practitioners.


  • Associate Fellow Higher Education Academy 2011
  • PhD Geography, Lancaster University 2011
  • MSc Environmental Hazards, Lancaster University 2006
  • BSc (Hons) Geography / Geology International, University of Leeds 2001


Emma was awarded her PhD in Geography from Lancaster University for her research that combined synoptic climatology and GIS to examine changing rainfall patterns in Northern England. After postdoctoral research posts in air quality with the Environment Agency and Lancaster University. In 2013, Emma moved to the University of Birmingham where she has worked as a Research Fellow on several different projects in GEES and School of Engineering. This includes holding Principal Investigator and/or Co-Investigator roles on national and international projects, and leading internal and external grant applications. To date, successful awards total £600k.

Emma currently holds an EPSRC Living with Environmental Change Fellowship (2018-2024, PI £321k) and a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (2016-2019, PI £90k).  

  • The EPSRC fellowship, Bringing the Mediterranean to Birmingham, examines the impact of extreme heat on the interconnected infrastructure of the Midlands, and considers sustainable and biophilic heat adaptation solutions that would make the region a better place to live. Project Partners include HS2, Network Rail, Highways England, Birmingham City Council, Worcestershire County Council, Staffordshire County Council, techUK, and Met Office.
  • The NERC MEDIATE fellowship facilitates knowledge exchange in the field of green and grey urban infrastructure. This includes regular workshops and meetings professional practitioners organised via the Trees & Design Action Group and West Midlands RTPI, and producing guidance documents for practitioners. First Steps in Urban Air Quality for Built Environment Practitioners (Ferranti et al., 2018) has had ~ 1,600 downloads January-September 2018.


Emma is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She currently supervises final year and MSc engineering dissertation projects, and teaches online group tutorials.


Recent research projects include:

Since 2018: EPSRC Living With Environmental Change Fellow, University of Birmingham

Bringing the Mediterranean to Birmingham examines the impact of extreme heat on the interconnected infrastructure of the Midlands, and considers sustainable and biophilic heat adaptation solutions that would make the region a better place to live. Project Partners include HS2, Network Rail, Highways England, Birmingham City Council, Worcestershire County Council, Staffordshire County Council, techUK, and Met Office.

Since 2016: Engineering Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

Several projects on transport resilience and adaptation to climate change including: visit to Rio de Janeiro to assess transport resilience with local partners through interviews; grant writing; journal article writing; workshop organisation; supervision of research assistants. She was recently awarded GEES pump-priming funds (£3K) and EPSRC GCRF IAA funding (£16K) for a project on mega-event legacies and sustainable, greener, climate-resilient cities (South Africa and Brazil).

Since 2016: NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow, University of Birmingham

The MEDIATE fellowship facilitates knowledge exchange on a wide range of topics (air quality, biodiversity, infrastructure developments) in the field of green and grey urban infrastructure. This includes regular workshops and meetings professional practitioners organised via the Trees & Design Action Group and West Midlands RTPI, and producing guidance documents for practitioners.

2014 - 2016: Summersense Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

Working closely with Network Rail this project explored the impact of heat on the railway network and evaluated the potential for innovative heat-risk management.

2013: SUMNs Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

Managing the legacy of Birmingham Urban Climate Laboratory (BUCL), including organising and delivering an end-user focused workshop, ultimately to ensure BUCLs long-term sustainability.

2012- 2013: Breathe Easier Research Associate, Lancaster University

Design and field tests of a new Passive Air Sampler to monitor particulates at Scunthorpe Steelworks, and investigate new analyses techniques (e.g. albedo, magnetic remanence).

Other activities

  • Co-facilitator of Trees & Design Action Group (TDAG) a network and charity that brings together individuals and organisations to improve knowledge and good practice to support the role of urban trees through better collaboration in the planning, design, construction and management and maintenance of our urban places.
  • Co-Lead for the Infrastructure Theme at the Resilience Hub at COP26 in Glasgow. Curated a series of global events on infrastructure resilience delivered within the Blue Zone, including Chairing session, and presenting original research.
  • Invited author for the Infrastructure Chapter (interdependencies section) of the Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk (2021) advice to government for the third Climate Change Risk Assessment.
  • Member of the Infrastructure Operators Adaptation Forum (IOAF) working with infrastructure professionals, national and regional government, and the Climate Change Committee to ensure national infrastructure is resilient to climate change.
  • Defra Forest & Woodlands Advisory Committee (North-West & West Midlands) and Urban Forest & Woodlands Advisory Committee, both roles advising Forestry Commission (since 2021).
  • Birmingham City Council Urban Forest Master Plan Advisory Group & Tree Board (since 2020).
  • Member of the NERC Advisory Network (since 2019), NERC Peer Review College (since 2020), and EPSRC Peer Review Associate College (since 2017).
  • International Conference Scientific Steering Group Committee: Trees, People and the Built Environment 4 (2021).
  • Institute for Global Innovation Clean Air: Engagement lead (since 2019).
  • Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) Interdisciplinary Leadership Fellow (since 2016)


Recent publications


Greenham, S, Workman, R, McPherson, K, Ferranti, E, Fisher, R, Mills, S, Street, R, Dora, J, Quinn, A & Roberts, C 2023, 'Are transport networks in low-income countries prepared for climate change? Barriers to preparing for climate change in Africa and South Asia', Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

Donaldson, DL, Ferranti, EJS, Quinn, AD, Jayaweera, D, Peasley, T & Mercer, M 2023, 'Enhancing power distribution network operational resilience to extreme wind events', Meteorological Applications, vol. 30, no. 2, e2127. https://doi.org/10.1002/met.2127

Potts, DA, Timmis, R, Ferranti, E & Hey, JDV 2023, 'Identifying and accounting for the Coriolis effect in satellite NO2 observations and emission estimates', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 4577–4593. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-4577-2023

Ferranti, E, Cook, S, Greenham, S, Grayson, N, Futcher, J & Salter, K 2023, 'Incorporating Heat Vulnerability into Local Authority Decision Making: An Open Access Approach', Sustainability, vol. 15, no. 18, 13501. https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813501

Greenham, S, Ferranti, E, Powell, R, Drayson, K & Quinn, A 2023, 'The impact of heat on London Underground infrastructure in a changing climate', Weather, vol. 78, no. 6, pp. 170-175. https://doi.org/10.1002/wea.4421

Axelithioti, P, Fisher, RS, Ferranti, EJS, Foss, HJ & Quinn, AD 2023, 'What Are We Teaching Engineers about Climate Change? Presenting the MACC Evaluation of Climate Change Education', Education Sciences, vol. 13, no. 2, 153. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020153

Begum, S, Fisher, RS, Ferranti, EJS & Quinn, AD 2022, 'Evaluation of Climate Change Resilience of Urban Road Network Strategies', Infrastructures, vol. 7, no. 11, 146. https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures7110146

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Ferranti, E, Jaluzot, A, James, S & Doick, K 2023, Trees as urban infrastructure. in C-L Washbourne & C Wansbury (eds), Manual of blue green infrastructure. ICE Publishing. <https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/full/10.1680/icembgi.65420.135>


Aela, P, Alawad, H, Andersson, A, Ataei, S, Bruni, S, Calçada, R, Castanheira-Pinto, A, Chen, H, Colaço, A, Costa, PA, Cui, X, Dindar, S, Ferranti, EJS, Goto, K, Guo, Y, Hamarat, MZ, Jaroszweski, DJ, Jenelius, E, Jiang, J, Jing, G, Kaewunruen, S, Karoumi, R, Li, D, Li, J, Li, Z, Lu, Q-C, Marikine, V, Martin, R, Meixedo, A, Miri, A, Montenegro, PA, Mosleh, A, Najafi, A, Ngamkhanong, C, Omasta, M, Quinn, AD, Remennikov, A, Ribeiro, D, Santos, J, Silvast, M, Billie F. Spencer, J, Tell, S, Todd, M, Xu, P, Yang, Z, You, R, Zhai, W & Zhu, S 2022, Contributors. in R Calçada & S Kaewunruen (eds), Rail Infrastructure Resilience: A Best-Practices Handbook. Woodhead Publishing Ltd, pp. xi-xiii. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-821042-0.09993-7

Commissioned report

Stevens, P, Stevens, A, Ferranti, E, Sharifi, S & James, S 2023, First Steps in Urban Water. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004284

Greenham, S, Jones, S, Ferranti, E, Acton, J, MacKenzie, AR & Grayson, N 2023, Mapping climate risk and vulnerability with publicly available data. A guidance document produced by the WM-Air project. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004259

Other contribution

Hashmi, A & Ferranti, E 2022, Accelerating the inland transport sector`s climate change mitigation measures - lessons learned from the aviation and maritime sectors. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. <https://unece.org/transport/documents/2022/07/working-documents/accelerating-inland-transport-sectors-climate-change>

Greenham, S, Workman, R, Ferranti, E, McPherson, K, Quinn, A, Street, R, Dora, J, Fisher, R, Mills, S, Packham, K, Baxter, W & Roberts, C 2022, Climate-resilient transport: a policy guide.. <https://transport-links.com/download/climate-resilient-transport-a-policy-guide/>

Jaluzot, A, James, S & Ferranti, E 2022, First Steps in Trees and New Developments. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004109

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2023.127917

View all publications in research portal