Dr. Paul D Watson

Academic Lead for Construction & Civil Engineering

School of Engineering

Harris Building, HB318a

+44 (0) 1772 89 3320

Subject Areas: Construction and Surveying, Engineering

Academic Lead for Construction and Civil Engineering heading up a team of 22 academics covering 6 major construction disciplines. Career academic with over 25 years of experience in higher education specialising in Geotechnical Engineering. Research interests include Geotechnical Soils Lab Testing, Coastal Slope Stability, and Geosynthetics. Active Geotechnical Consultant.

Paul is research active in the Centre for Sustainable Development and is a member of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.

Full Profile

Dr Paul Watson has more than 25 years’ experience of working higher education. He started his career as an optimisation process engineer with Thames Water after graduating from the University of London in 1987 (with an upper second in Geological Engineering), before moving back into academia in 1988 studying for a PhD (in Geotextile Filters) at Queen Mary, London. Prior to the completion of his PhD, he joined Kingston University in 1992 as a junior academic in civil engineering, successfully gaining his doctorate in 1995.


  • BSc (Eng) Geological Engineering (Queen Mary, London 1987)
  • PhD Civil Engineering - (Queen Mary, London 1995)
  • PhD Thesis Title: Geotextile Filter Design and Particle Bridge Formation

In 2000, he took the bold step to leave academia and to return to industry, spending 5 years in the mobile telecoms training arena gaining valuable skills in business development and management. In 2005, he moved to the University of Portsmouth in the then Department of Civil Engineering and quickly progressed first to Course Leader in 2008 and then onto Director of Taught Programmes in 2011 for the School of Civil Engineering & Surveying managing a team of 8 course leaders.
Paul then joined the University of Central Lancashire in October 2015 as Academic Lead for the Construction and Civil Engineering team, primarily joining to oversee the start and development of the new Civil Engineering courses. He now leads a team of 22 academic staff teaching a large suite of construction based courses.

His research interests include coastal landslides of the UK, with particular reference to the Isle of Wight; filter and drainage geotextiles; landslides and cess pit drainage; and soils laboratory testing. Latterly his research has moved into the field of ground improvement, encompassing such topics as geotextile strength testing, cement soil interaction, and the remediation of oil contaminated soils.

Research Activities

  • Coastal Landslides of the UK
  • Filter and Drainage Geotextiles
  • Landslides and Cess Pit Drainage
  • Soils Laboratory Testing
Teaching Activities and Responsibilities 

  • Soil Mechanics
  • Geotechnical Engineering & Design

External Affiliations and Roles

  • Active Geotechnical Consultant – expert in Geosynthetics and Slope Stability Analysis
  • External Examiner for Birmingham City University


1. AldaHaini, H., Watson, PDJ, & Giles D, A Geotechnical and Geochemical Characterisation of Oil Fire Contaminated Soils in Kuwait, 12th IAEG [International Association of Engineering Geologists] Congress, Turin, Italy, September 2014.

2. Watson, PDJ, Preliminary Geotechnical Stability Report for "Bowsprit", 21 Princes Esplanade, Gurnard, Isle of Wight, University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd Report No 82322, June 2012.

3. Watson, PDJ & Bromhead, EN, The Effect of Waste Water Disposal on Coastal Slope Stability and the Problem of Climate Change, Int. Conf. on Landslides and Climate Change – Challenges & Solutions, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, May 2007.

4. Watson, PDJ & Pimenta, LR, Site Investigation Report for Little Canada Centre, New Road, Wootton, Isle of Wight – Volume 2 Slope Stability Report, University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd Report No 82103, October 2005.