Emeritus Professor Martin Snaith OBE, FREng, MA, BAI, MSc, PhD, ScD, FICE, FIHT

Emeritus Professor Martin Snaith

Department of Civil Engineering
Emeritus Professor of Highway Engineering

Contact details

School of Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Martin Snaith is Emeritus Professor of Highway Engineering and is the founder and former Chair of the International Consortium centred upon the University, HDMGlobal, responsible for the development and marketing of the benchmark road economic model HDM-4. He has and does carry out extensive research into road management issues and has published widely in Journals and addressed conferences around the world on developments in Road Asset Management. He has published extensively following major research grants from EPSRC, British Aid and others and has jointly authored or contributed to three major text books.

He has lectured extensively on road asset management at home and overseas not least regularly to KTH in Sweden and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand as a Former Erskine fellow, and the Senior Roads Executive programme at the University of Birmingham.

He advises many agencies around the World both governmental, e.g. DFID and DfI (NI), JKR & PLUS (Malaysia), and commercial, eg RoadMainT(China), on high level problems concerned with road resourcing in general and all areas of road asset management.

In addition, he was a Trustee of the Bournville Village Trust for twenty years and is a sometime member of The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.


  • OBE, 2005
  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, 1998
  • ScD, University of Dublin, 1984
  • Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1979
  • Fellow of the Institution of Highways and Transportation, 1975
  • PhD, University of Nottingham, 1973
  • MA, University of Dublin, 1971
  • MSc, University of Dublin, 1969
  • BAI, First Class Honours degree in Engineering, University of Dublin, 1968


Martin Snaith qualified from Trinity College, Dublin in 1968 followed by two University research attachments, one in Dublin and one at Nottingham resulting in an MSc and a PhD in the dynamic testing of pavement subgrades for the US Army Corps of Engineers and bituminous paving materials for the TRL(UK), respectively.

Following that he spent time overseas with the Ministry of Works in Kenya and then returned to academia in Dublin as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and thereafter at Queens University as a Lecturer which was followed by the post of Overseas Development Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and later a Chair, deputy Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

He stepped down from that position in 2002 and has since been an Emeritus Professor assisting the Engineering School and University. He is a founding Director of both Highway Management Services Ltd and the international consortium known as HDMGlobal which is the World Road Association chosen custodian of the HDM suite of economic analysis programs for highways responsible for development, marketing and selling them on behalf of its stakeholders including the World Road Association.

Since 2002 he has, and is, working for a number of clients. He has variously advised, audited, implemented, lectured or researched road systems in Australia, Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia and the United Kingdom (UK). In the UK he has worked for many years with the Roads Service of Northern Ireland (RSNI), the National Audit Office (UK), the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the National Audit Commission (UK), Highways England (Independent panel member for six years for the annual Performance Management Review of their innovative M25 DBFO contract) and “British Aid” (DFID) for whom he is currently acting as Chair of the Steering Committee for their major “High Volume Transportation” research programme for Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Whilst researching with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) he further developed a system, in use there, for the capitalisation of the road asset for use elsewhere using more network-wide “coarse” data. Working with the RSNI he implemented such an enhanced network based process suited to Northern Ireland, which has now been in use for some twelve years. He is currently assisting with a World Bank funded implementation of a similar system for Yunnan province of China with RoadMainT of China.


Occasional lectures and tutorials for the masters programme in Road Management and Engineering and the Senior Road Executive programme when held at the University.

Postgraduate supervision

None currently, many previously.


Currently further researching capital valuation of road networks, introducing social benefit valuation into network benefit cost analyses to run alongside both road operator and user costs to provide a more accurate analysis of the total economic costs of road operation. In addition to this, methods for monitoring and thereafter the prevention of corruption wastage of resources in road operations.

Previously over the years many research contracts from a variety of agencies such as European Research Office of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Shell International, DFID and EPSRC.

Other activities

  • 2013- , Old Bedfordians Club Council Member.
  • 2013- , Bedford School, Associated Governor.
  • 2012-  ,Visiting Professor, National Engineering Research Center(sic) of Road Maintenance Technologies, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China.
  • 2006-2010, UK Representative, European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research, (COST), Transport and Urban Development.
  • 2005-2015, Founding Chair, HDMGlobal International Consortium
  • 2004-2008, Chair, Royal Academy of Engineering Industl. Secondment Scheme Committee.
  • 2002-2006, Erskine Fellow of the University of Canterbury (NZ).
  • 2002-2008, Member of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
  • 1996-1999, Committee Member, Inland Surface Transport, LINK/ESPRC Programme Advisory Committee
  • 1996-2016, Trustee, Bournville Village Trust, Birmingham.
  • 1993-2006, Solihull School Governing Body, latterly Vice Chair.
  • 1993- ,Transport Research Laboratory, Honorary Research Fellow
  • 1988, Delegation Member (sometime acting Chairman)
  • Pavement Evaluation Technology - ICE/DTI Sponsored Mission to the United States of America.
  • 1986, Committee Member, The Secretary of State for Transport's independent review of structural maintenance of motorways and trunk routes.
  • 1985-1988, Committee Member
  • Transportation Sub-Committee, Science and Engineering Research Council.
  • 1985- , Founding Director, Highways Management Services Ltd
  • Numerous external examining tasks at home and overseas.
  • Numerous implementations of management systems overseas.


  • Costello, S. and Snaith, M.S. (2016), “Pavement asset management”. Chapter in Highways-5thEdition, eds C.A.O’Flaherty and D. Hughes, ICE Publishing, pp469-490.
  • Snaith, M.S. (2009), “A capital stitch in time saves nine” Keynote address. Procs of the Annual Roading New Zealand Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Snaith, M.S. and Khan, M.U.(2008), “A study of the deleterious effects of corruption in the roads sector” Procs. of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Transport Board, Vol 161, Issue TR4, London, pp231-236.
  • Snaith, M.S. and Orr, D.M. (2006) “Condition based capital valuation of a road network”, Procs. of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Municipal Engineer, Vol 159, Issue ME2, London, pp 91-96
  • McElvaney, J. and Snaith, M.S. (2002), “Analytical design of flexible pavements”. Chapter in Highways-4thEdition, ed C.A.O’Flaherty, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, pp395-423.
  • McMullen, D and Snaith, M.S.(2002), “Structural maintenance of road pavements”. Chapter in Highways-4thEdition, ed C.A.O’Flaherty, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, pp516-546.
  • Robinson, R., Danielson, U. and Snaith, M.S. (1998) “Road Maintenance Management - concepts and systems”, Macmillan Press, Basingstoke, 304pp.
  • Snaith, M.S. (1998), “The development and implementation of pavement management systems: a case study over 15 years”. Procs of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Transport Board, Paper 11605, Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol. 129, Issue 2, London, pp 72-79.

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