Current Research Projects

In the last few years I have worked on several funded projects as Pi or Co-I.  Here is the most recent (updates to follow):

Geo-spatial restructuring of Industrial Trade: ESRC Secondary Data Analysis grant (PI)

GRIT also has its own website here.  This was put together and maintained by Dan Olner, the postdoc on the project.

What is GRIT?

GRIT (‘Geospatial Restructuring of Industrial Trade’) is an ESRC-funded project in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. It has two aims:

  • Create a fine-grained picture of the current spatial structure of the UK economy
  • Consider how changing fuel prices could alter that structure over the long term.

We’ll examine the web of connections between businesses in the UK, and identify those economic sectors and locations facing the greatest changes. This interactive visualisation (the source of the image above) gives a national overview of trade flows within the UK. GRIT wants to add the geographical dimension and asks: where does trade flow to and from? How might this pattern change in coming years and decades?

This visualisation won the project Best Spatial Analysis Prize at GISRUK 2013!

GRIT comes at the problem from two angles. First, by using data and modelling. Second, by talking to organisations to gain a deeper understanding of how cost changes are expected to affect them, and to find ways to make our project outputs useful to them. We will work closely with a small number of organisations and engage others through this website and via other conversations along the way. We will also hold a workshop towards the end of the project.

Why is GRIT important?

People and organisations will need to rapidly adapt to changing energy costs in the next few decades. An energy revolution must take place if we’re to stand any chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change. Even without the impact this may have (e.g. through carbon pricing), fuel costs have a very uncertain future. In a time when we’re discovering costs may go up as well as down, do we have a good handle on the spatial impact this may have?

GRIT combines a data-driven approach and a desire to engage with organisations directly affected. We stand more chance of understanding and responding to these challenges if we work together to combine a broad overview with a more detailed grasp of what’s actually happening at ground level. We hope this will be a good springboard for future planning.

As this project has just finished, we are in the process of finalising the publications.  These will be uploaded and details put in the blog when available.