Edward Oughton


Research Groups

Edward Oughton

Senior Research Associate


Edward is known for developing decision-support models for digital infrastructure for both industry and government. He carried out one of the first assessments of 5G rollout in Britain. His work includes assessing the capacity, coverage and cost of new digital infrastructure, against the revenue opportunities new services can provide.

Other research interests include the socio-economic impacts of critical infrastructure failure, either from malicious cyber-attacks, or from natural hazards such as space weather. His work draws heavily on areas of engineering, computer science, economics and business analytics.

Edward has worked on a variety of projects with organisations including the UK’s Department for Transport, HM Treasury’s National Infrastructure Commission, the UK Met Office, the Asian Development Bank, Airbus Space and Defence, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, AIG and the Canadian Space Agency.

In 2017 he was nominated by the US Embassy for the International Visitors Leadership Program based on his telecommunications research. Edward holds an MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge.

External Responsibilities

  • Researcher in Residence (5G) at Innovate UK’s Digital Catapult
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Honorary Fellow of the British Antarctic Survey
  • Visiting Associate in Operations & Technology Management, Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Visiting Associate, Systems Research Group, Cambridge Computer Laboratory

Selected Publications


Oughton, E.J., Frias, Z., Russell, T., Sicker, D., Cleevely, D.D. (2018) Towards 5G: Scenario-based assessment of the future supply and demand for mobile telecommunications infrastructure. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.03.016.

Oughton, E.J., Frias, Z., Dohler, M., Crowcroft, J., Cleevely, D. D., Whalley, J., Sicker, D., and Hall, J. W. (2018) The strategic national infrastructure assessment of digital communications. Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance. doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-02-2018-0004.

Oughton, E.J. (2018) The economic impacts of critical national infrastructure failure due to space weather. Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Natural Hazard Science. doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.013.315.


Oughton, E.J. and Frias, Z. (2017) The cost, coverage and rollout implications of 5G infrastructure in Britain. In Press. Telecommunications Policy. doi: 10.1016/j.telpol.2017.07.009.

Hall, J.W. and Oughton, E.J. (2017) Physical infrastructure networks and the fourth industrial revolution. In: World Economic Forum (ed.) Global risks report 2017. Geneva: World Economic Forum, 12th edition.

Oughton, E.J., Skelton, A., Horne, R.B., Thomson, A.W.P. and Gaunt, C.T. (2017) Quantifying the daily economic impact of extreme space weather due to failure in electricity transmission infrastructure. Space Weather. doi: 10.1002/2016SW001491.


Oughton, E. J., and Frias. Z. (2016) Exploring the cost, coverage and rollout implications of 5G in Britain: A report for the UK's National Infrastructure Commission. Cambridge: Centre for Risk Studies, Cambridge Judge Business School.

Oughton, E., Tran, M. and Jones, C. (2016) Digital communications and information systems. In: Hall, J.W., Tran, M., Hickford, A.J. and Nicholls, R.J. (eds.) The future of national infrastructure: a system-of-systems approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.181-203. doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107588745.010.

Hall, J.W., Thacker, S., Ives, M.C., Cao, Y., Chaudry, C., Blainey, S.P. and Oughton, E.J. (2016) Strategic analysis of the future of national infrastructure. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Civil Engineering, 170(1): 39-47. doi: 10.1680/jcien.16.00018.

Thoung, C., Beaven, R., Zuo, C., Birkin, M., Tyler, P., Crawford-Brown, D., Oughton, E.J. and Kelly, S. (2016) Future demand for infrastructure services. In: Hall, J.W., Tran, M., Hickford, A.J. and Nicholls, R.J. (eds.) The future of national infrastructure: a system-of-systems approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.31-43.

Oughton, E.J., Copic, J., Skelton, A., Kesaite, V., Yeo, Z.Y., Ruffle, S.J., Tuveson M., Coburn A.W. and Ralph, D. (2016) Helios solar storm scenario (Cambridge Risk Framework Series). Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies.

Kelly, S., Leverett, E., Oughton, E.J., Copic, J., Thacker, S., Pant, R., Pryor, L. et al. (2016) Integrated infrastructure: cyber resiliency in society, mapping the consequences of an interconnected digital economy (Cambridge Risk Framework Series). Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies.


Oughton, E., Tyler, P. and Alderson, D. (2015) Who's superconnected and who's not? Investment in the UK's information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure. Infrastructure Complexity, 2(1): 6. doi: 10.1186/s40551-015-0006-7.


Parker, M., Acland, A., Armstrong, H.J., Bellingham, J.R., Bland, J., Bodmer, H.C., Burall, S. et al (2014) Identifying the science and technology dimensions of emerging public policy issues through horizon scanning. PLOS ONE, 9(5): e96480. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096480.