Skip to main content

Picture of Beth Barnes

Dr Beth Barnes from our top-rated Engineering department has recently been named in the 2024 Northern Power Women – Future List.

The Future List recognises the influencers and change makers of the future who are already making a difference in their environments and communities.

Pioneering research for the future

A major focus of Beth’s research involves modelling human behaviour during emergency evacuations and disasters.

Her studies have revealed significant flaws in current computational evacuation models, which base human characteristics solely on young, able-bodied men.

This approach underestimates risks for more vulnerable populations.

According to Beth, these models are not well-adapted for climate emergencies. Her goal is to incorporate real-life demographic data to better represent diversity.

This will lead to more accurate predictions, enhanced safety, improved city planning, and more equitable disaster response.

Passion for inspiring next generation

In addition to her groundbreaking research, Beth is dedicated to advancing the engineering field through outreach and education.

She enjoys mentoring students at the university, where she has established a Women's Engineering Society chapter. This group provides support, community, and inspiration to promote diversity in engineering.

Beth is also a co-investigator on a grant creating fellowships to enhance equity in the energy industry workforce. Her passion is ensuring an inclusive future for engineering by empowering upcoming generations.

She was selected as one of the top fifty engineers working on safety and security in the UK by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in their WE50 awards to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.

On being named in the Future List, Beth said: “I was honoured to be nominated for this award by one of our past Postdoctoral Researchers Dr Henna Bains, and to be recognised for the effort I had put into creating a safe and inclusive community for engineers at Durham University by facilitating bi-weekly talks and an annual showcase event featuring inspirational role models from across engineering industries, backgrounds, and career stages.

“I want to create a safer world for all through engineering.”

Beth’s inclusion in the Future List cements her place as an influential voice shaping the future of engineering in the region and beyond.

Find out more

Our Department of Engineering offers a wide range of Engineering pathways, is recognised as ones of the leading centres of research in Engineering in the world and is ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2024. Students benefit from excellent employment opportunities as well as interdisciplinary research and national and international cooperation.

Feeling inspired? Visit our Engineering webpages to learn more about our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes.

This is the image alt text