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Crispin Cooper

Dr Crispin Cooper


Yr Ysgol Cyfrifiadureg a Gwybodeg

+44 29208 76072
Abacws, Ystafell 4.63, Ffordd Senghennydd, Cathays, Caerdydd, CF24 4AG
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Dr Crispin Cooper is a Research Associate at the Sustainable Places Research Institute and is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the sDNA (Spatial Domain Network Analysis) project. His primary role is to create the next generation of spatial network analysis software, and look for new ways to apply it in research.  To date, he has used sDNA in research on health, pollution, accessibility, community cohesion, carbon footprinting and economic geography. Currently he is focusing on modelling cycle flows for sustainable transport and health.

Crispin's interests lie in the application of information technology to sustainability problems, whether from the perspective of traditional modelling, or through creating tools for networking and public engagement.  He has played an active role in PLACE's external partnerships with Cardiff Council, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and the Canal and Rivers Trust.

















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Crispin's research background was initially in Computer Science; working for the Intelligent Systems group at the University of York he helped to develop microchips capable of evolution, growth, self-repair and learning. During this project he also used genetic algorithm techniques to create models of the human vocal tract which have shown some promise for medical imaging purposes.

Having a long-term interest in sustainable development, he worked as a project volunteer in Uganda during 2006, investigating the theft of money from a charitably founded secondary school in Rakai province, though also teaching during this time.

Crispin completed his PhD at Cardiff University's School of Planning and Geography (formerly the Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning), using high performance computing to visualise and model large quantities of housing market socioeconomic data collected from the UK census and Land Registry.  This was funded by a Richard Whipp studentship.

The sDNA project he has written for PLACE is used by hundreds of researchers and practitioners worldwide.


Crispin delivers workshops on his research and training for sDNA at a variety of sessions open to all students throughout each year.

Crispin has previously taught at Cardiff School of Planning and Geography on a Masters Research Masterclass Course as a guest lecturer and on the GIS labs Masters Couse. He has also previously taught on undergratuate courses, the comparative programming languages seminars and Java workshops in Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics.

As Part of the Sustinability Science Summer School run annually by the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Crispin teaches a session on network analysis to PhD students.


Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University 2011-present

Postdoctoral Research Associate, City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University 2010

PhD City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University 2006-2010

Development Volunteer, Uganda 2006

Software Engineer, Cambridge Silicon Radio, 2006

Research Associate, Department of Electronics, University of York 2003-2005

MA (hons) Computer Science and Physics, University of Cambridge 1999-2002

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

AFHEA 2019

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Data Science Theme Deputy for the Cardiff University & Office for National Statistics strategic partnership.

Reviewer for Transportation Research, Int. Jnl Geographic Information Systems, Jnl American Planning Assoc., Urban Studies, PeerJ, Jnl Transport & Health, Int. Jnl. Sustainable Transportation

Meysydd goruchwyliaeth

I am interested in supervising PhD students with an interest in quantitative modelling of social & economic systems, especially transport. Suitable students may either

  • have a background in the application domain e.g. geography, transport planning, economics, politics, social science coupled with strong quantitative skills and ability (or willingness to learn) programming
  • alternatively come from a STEM discipline such as computer science or statistics

I am also open to supervising MSc Computer Science & Data Science dissertations within my field of expertise. I believe strongly in learning by doing, therefore, for projects that produce good results I aim to co-publish research with students - we have done this for several previous projects e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-55669-8