Simon has over thirty years of quantitative and qualitative social research experience in both commercial and academic environments. Simon's interest is in behaviour and decision making evolving from a previous career in commercial communications market research for international blue chip fmcg brands.
His academic research within the Flood Hazard Research Centre and on international research projects explores the role of both public and professional social contexts in decision making, communication of flood risk with uncertainty and approaches to participatory interaction in flood risk and water management.
Beyond research and strategic risk / social research methods teaching, he has undertaken roles as a trainer on the flood assets T98 visual inspection course, FHRC Multicoloured Manual CPD courses, member of both the DEFRA / Environment Agency Theme Advisory Group and COST Action for Natural Flood Management.
Simon is course co-ordinator and teaches on the Centre's Continuing Professional Development course for Government, Environment Agency, Local Authority and Consultancy staff. He has also been a training examiner for the Visual Asset Condition Grading Program for flood asset inspectors in England and Wales.
Supervision requests at the Doctorate level on relevant research topics are welcomed.
2021 - current: Supervisor PhD candidate Arzoo Hassan (Flood Risk Management)
2021 - current: Supervisor DProf candidate Saeed Oluwadipe (Sustainable Waste Management: Household)
2021 -current: Supervisor DProf candidate Obinna Benjamin (Sustainable Waste Management: Construction & demolition)
PhD 2020: Supervisor PhD (Awarded) Marlies Barendrecht. Socio-hydrological modelling of the human flood system. Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resource Management, Vienna.
PhD 2018: Director of Studies. PhD (Awarded): Ali Alahmari 'The role of knowledge and institutional challenges to the adoption of sustainable drainage in Saudi Arabia: Implications for sustainable environmental development'.
PhD 2016 Supervisor PhD (Awarded): Simrat Riyait 'I'm big your small I'm right your wrong. The influence of gender and generation on migrant response to flood risk in England'.
An interest focused on the interaction between people and their environment (social and physical contexts) has developed from a Masters level in applied psychological research into the cognitive coping processes employed by those affected by flooding. At a doctorate level Simon adopted a sociological perspective in the form of a social construction approach to investigate the issues informing flood experts' and the publics' experiences of flooding in the UK.
BSc (Hons) Biology and Chemistry
MRS Dip (Market Research Society, Market and social research practice),
MSc (Environmental Psychology),
PhD (ESRC/Environment Agency funding)
Current & Recent Research:
Understanding effective flood risk governance. (Environment Agency, UK)
FLORIS. Innovative tools for improving Flood risk reduction strategies. (EU Civil Protection Mechanism).
Impacts in Warnings and Forecasts R&D project (Environment Agency, UK)
MSc Module Leader: Factors affecting risk and strategic risk intervention (PRS4434) and Flood Risk Management (PRS4435).
Social research methods for modules:
Research Methods (PRS4799)
Research methods and project (PRS3999)
Principles of health stressors (BIO1655)
Research methods and project planning (BIO2005)
Approaches to experimental research (BIO2003)
Research methods and professional practice (BMS2007)
Factors shaping health and safety at work (PRS4210)
Priest, Sally J. and Alexander, Meghan and McCarthy, Simon and Penning-Rowsell, Edmund C. and Cumiskey, Lydia and Cobbing, Paul (2021) Supporting flood and coastal erosion risk management through partnerships: key lessons. Project Report. Environment Agency, Bristol, UK.
Oluwadipe, Saeed and Garelick, Hemda and McCarthy, Simon and Purchase, Diane (2021) A critical review of household recycling barriers in the United Kingdom. Waste Management and Research . ISSN 1096-3669 (Published online first)
Barendrecht, Marlies H. and McCarthy, Simon and Viglione, Alberto (2021) A comparative analysis of the relationship between flood experience and private flood mitigation behaviour in the regions of England. Journal of Flood Risk Management , 14 (2). pp. 1-12. ISSN 1753-318X
Blazey, Neil and McCarthy, Simon (2020) Communicating impacts in flood warnings and forecasting. Project Report. Environment Agency, Bristol, UK.
Blazey, Neil and McCarthy, Simon (2020) Communicating impacts in flood warning and forecasting [project summary SC150013/S]. Environment Agency, Bristol, UK.
2014 ongoing. Appointed member of the Thematic Advisory Group on flood and coastal erosion risk management research and development for England and Wales. Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.
SVT Foreign News (Sweden); TV interview on risk of pluvial flooding in London Link 14/10/21
Financial Times Weekend (2021) contributor 'How to hold back the tide' article 17/02/21
Invited (2020) Civil Society Advisory Board for project PReparedness against CBRNE threats through cOmmon Approaches between security praCTItioners and the VulnerablE civil society
Invited (2019) Consultant for the project 'Knolwedge creation on ecological hazards in Russian and European local communities' CGES
Invited Chair (2018): Reducing the Risk and Impacts of flooding 2018. Inside Government 25th April 2018 London.
Presentation: Social vulnerability to natural hazards. Association Francaise pour la prevention des catastrophes naturelles (AFPCN). MACIF Paris 24th September 2010.
International editorial board 2011 of Acta geographica Slovenica – Geografski zbornik (ISSN: 1581-6613)
Environmental Research Funders' Forum consultation on future UK flooding research. London 2009.
Welsh Assembly Government (Resilience), Pan Wales Framework for Evacuation and In-Migration. ECC(W) Cardiff 2009.
Defra Expert group workshop on property-level flood resistance and resilience. Defra London 2008.
National media: TV, radio and print in response to national UK flooding July 2007.
European Co-Operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research Concerted Research Action 731: 'Propagation of Uncertainty in Advanced Meteo-Hydrological Forecast Systems'seminar. WSL Zurich2007.
Police National Mobilisation Plan working group in relation to disruptive events, Central Police Training and Development Authority (Centrex) and police Covert & Intelligence Doctrine Team 2006.
World Meterological Organisation working group on the APFM Technical Document No. 4 (2006) 'Social aspects and stakeholder involvement in integrated flood management' ISBN: 92-63-11008-5. Geneva, 2005.