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Dr Crispin Cooper

Dr Crispin Cooper

Research Fellow

School of Geography and Planning

+44(0) 29 2087 6072
1.07, 33 Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3BA
Available for postgraduate supervision


Dr Crispin Cooper is a Research Fellow at the Sustainable Places Research Institute. His software sDNA (Spatial Design Network Analysis) is used by thousands of academics and practitioners worldwide. Crispin has used sDNA himself to investigate health, pollution, accessibility, community cohesion, carbon footprinting and economic geography. Currently he is focusing on modelling pedestrian and cyclist mode choice and 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 including work with Arup, Wedderburn Transport Planning and the Canal and Rivers Trust.


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

Academic positions

Research Assistant, Intelligent Systems Group, University of York, 2003-2005















Crispin has previously taught on Cardiff School of Planning and Geography Masters degrees, as a guest lecturer in the Research Masterclass and running GIS lab sessions. He has previously taught undergraduates at Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics, and prior to that at the University of York Department of Electronics; including courses on comparative programming languages seminars, Java, DSP and microcontrollers. As Part of the Sustainability Science Summer School  (run annually by the Sustainable Places Research Institute ) Crispin teaches a session on network analysis to PhD students.

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.

Crispin completed his PhD at Cardiff University's School of Geography and Planning (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.

His network analysis software sDNA is used by over 2000 researchers and practitioners worldwide, particularly for planning sustainable transport networks, and was subject of a REF Impact case study in 2014 with another in preparation for 2021.


I am interested in supervising PhD students with an interest in quantitative modelling, especially of networks. Suitable students may have a background in the application domain e.g. geography, transport planning or alternatively come from a STEM discipline such as computer science or statistics.