Dr Scott Thacker


Research Groups


Dr Scott Thacker

Honorary Research Associate


Dr Scott Thacker is an Honorary Research Associate of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford and a Senior Analyst at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). His research focuses on understanding the current and future performance of national infrastructure systems, in a variety of countries and contexts globally, with a focus on climate adaptation and sustainable development.

As a member of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC), Scott has developed pioneering methodology and a variety of successful collaborations with practitioners from across government and industry. Examples include: the identification of criticality hotspots with Infrastructure UK at HM Treasury; coordinating analysis for the UK’s first systems-based assessment of national infrastructure needs with Sir John Armitt at the Institution of Civil Engineers; and completing a first-of-its-kind interdependency climate change risk assessment for the UK’s planned £56 billion High Speed 2 rail project.

In his current role with UNOPS, Scott is working to develop and demonstrate a new generation of infrastructure systems-of-systems based methodologies and tools to support countries to identify adaptable pathways to sustainable development. This contributes towards UNOPS’ broader programme of Evidence Based Infrastructure Development, which is being rolled-out in a variety of political and geographic contexts including in post-disaster, post-conflict, and developing economies, rapidly developing city-states, and small island nations from South and Central America, to Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Alongside interaction with infrastructure practitioners, Scott is an active member of the academic community and has published research on the topics of applied infrastructure network risk, climate change adaptation, long-term infrastructure planning, infrastructure for sustainable development, environmental sustainability and complex networks. In 2014, he was awarded the ICVRAM Young Scientist Award for his research into the vulnerability of future electricity networks in the UK. In 2015, he was awarded the Society for Risk Analysis Merit Prize for his work on multi-scale infrastructure systems risk.

Scott holds a PhD in infrastructure systems modelling from the University of Oxford, an MSc in hydro-informatics and water management from Newcastle University and a BEng in civil engineering from Loughborough University.

Areas of research

  • Infrastructure for sustainable development
  • Climate adaptation assessment and planning
  • Infrastructure network risk and resilience
  • Infrastructure systems modelling