Dr Helen Reeves

Dr Helen Reeves

Science Director for Engineering Geology

Location: Keyworth

Tel: 0115 936 3381

E-mail Dr Helen Reeves


Helen Reeves is an engineering geologist with 17 years’ post graduate experience in engineering geology research, with over 30 papers in engineering geological mapping, rock mass characterisation, geohazard mapping and geomechanics. She gained her undergraduate Geological Sciences degree from the University of Leeds and an MSc in Engineering Geology and a PhD from the University of Durham. Currently, Helen is the Science Director for Engineering Geology at the British Geological Survey (BGS) and leads the £3m annual NERC/BGS Engineering Geology research programme investigating the: processes and the spatial distribution of shallow geohazards in the UK (particularly landslides and subsidence); geotechnical & geophysical properties of the UK land mass and urban geoscience challenges in cities


  •  2008 – ongoing : Science Director for Engineering Geology
  •  2009 –2010 : Facility Leader, Physical Properties Laboratories
  •  2007 –2009 : Team Leader, Geo-Engineering Properties and Processes, in the Physical Hazards Programme
  •  2004 –2008 : Lead researcher, Geochemical Rock Testing component of EU research project into CO2 storage in oil/gas reservoirs
  •  2004 –2007 : Lead Researcher for Cambering and Valley Bulging research task
  •  2004 –2006 : Project Manager of Glossop Landslide Mapping Project
  •  2002 –2006 : Project Manager of BGS's Engineering Geology Mersey Coridoor Research Project
  •  1998 –2002 : PhD Durham University, Dept. of Geological Sciences. PhD in borehole geophysical imaging data, fractures, in situ stress & hydrogeology. Thesis Title: “The Effect of Stress & Fractures on Fluid Flow in Crystalline Rocks, Cumbria, UK”. Supervisors - Dr. R. Holdsworth (Dept. Geological Sciences, Durham University), Dr C.J Evans (BGS) & Dr. S.F. Rogers (Golder Associates).
  •  2001 –2002 : Part-Time/Temporary Logging Engineer, Dunelm Geotechnical & Environmental – Durham
  •  1997 –1998 : MSc Engineering Geology, Durham University, School of Engineering. Dissertation Title: “Geotechnical Aspects of a Waste Disposal Shaft, Dounreay, Caithness, Scotland”.
  •  1998 –1988 : Summer Work Placement UKAEA - Dounreay site. Member of the Dounreay Waste Strategy & Studies Department.
  •  1995 –1995 : Summer/holiday work Ian Farmer Associates Ltd.- Newcastle Office. Member of the Laboratory team.
  •  1994 –1997 : BSc (Hons) Geological Sciences Leeds University, Dept. of Earth Sciences

Current projects and collaboration

  •  2008 – ongoing : Principal-investigator for £3m annual NERC/BGS Engineering Geology Research programme that maps, monitors, tests and models the physical properties of the UK landmass and how it behaves in a changing climate and interacts with the built environment (http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/engineeringGeology/home.html).
  •  2016 – ongoing : Co-investigator on 34 month Newton/EPSRC funded grant 'Disaster Resilient Cities: Kuala Lumpur'.
  •  2013 – ongoing : Co-investigator on 48 month EPSRC funded grant 'Assessing the Underworld' (http://assessingtheunderworld.org/)
  •  2014 –2016 : Co-investigator on 24 month Rail Safety & Standards Board funded project Tomorrow’s Railway and Climate Change Adaptation (TRaCCA)
  •  2013 –2013 : An EU Civil Protection Mechanism Technical Expert (Engineering Geology & Landslides – Deployed to UNDAC team Serbia, 2013)
  •  2012 – ongoing : Co-investigator on IAP ESA funded project LiveLands: Predicting, Monitoring and Alerting of Landslides and Subsidence Affecting the Transport Infrastructure (https://artes-apps.esa.int/projects/liveland)
  •  2010 –2011 : Co-Investigator on 12 month NERC funded Urgency Grant 'Zhouqu, China, disaster - data capture, modelling and preliminary geohazard assessment'.
  •  2012 – ongoing : Commercial research projects include: “Landslide hazard assessment” for the Forestry Commission, Scotland (2012), “An analysis of climate change impacts on landslip and scour along the route of the Elan Aqueduct” (2013) and “Outside party landslide susceptibility zoning” for Network Rail (2014/2015).


  •  2015 : Geological Society of London Engineering Geology Group Award

Research interests

  • Engineering geological, geotechnical and geophysical properties of the UK land mass, especially in urban areas
  • Investigating the processes & spatial distribution of shallow geohazards in the UK (particularly landslides & subsidence)

Boards and committees

  •  2012 – ongoing : Co-chair of the UK Natural Hazards Partnership (NHP): Hazard Impact Model (HIM) working group
  •  2013 –2014 : Part of the UK Government’s Scientific Advisor Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during 2013-2014 winter storms
  •  2011 – ongoing : UK National Group President of the International Association of Engineering Geology & the Environment
  •  2011 – ongoing : Council Member of the Engineering Group of the Geological Society of London
  •  2006 –2010 : Council Member of The Yorkshire Geological Society

Professional association

  • Fellow of The Geological Society of Great Britain
  • Member of The British Geotechnical Association (Associate Member Institution of Civil Engineers)
  • Member of The Society of Professional Well Log Analysts

Published outputs