I currently work as a Research Software Engineer and am part of the RSE Team in the Digital Institute at Newcastle University.

I have contributed to a number of research projects with colleagues in various disciplines at Newcastle, across the UK and around the world. Below are details of some of my research contributions.


In 2017, I completed a PhD entitled “Real-time Simulation of Rail Vehicle Dynamics”. This research involved building a real-time rail dynamics simulation tool using NVidia’s PhysX physics engine and other technologies from the video games industry. Some more details about the simulation tool are included on my Portfolio Page.

Visualising Uncertainty

For several years, I worked with Prof Nick Holliman, Newcastle University’s Professor of Visualisation, on a project to explore new ways to automate data visualisation and to visualise data in different ways, focusing on uncertainty. I developed the software to create the visualisations using Blender and Python, then went on to develop a more user-friendly pipeline involving the integration of our tools with Microsft Power BI and the Azure Cloud Platform. [Our paper on the tool we developed is listed in ‘Publications’ below.]


BESiDE (Built Environment for Social Inclusion in the digital economy) was “a multidisciplinary research group.   Led by Professor Vicki Hanson, we included researchers from Computing, Design, and Healthcare at the University of Dundee and from Computing at Newcastle University.” I worked with the team to develop some software to evaluate and improve care home environments for older adults living in residential care. [Our paper on the platform is listed below.]


Here is a list of the publications that I have contributed to.

  • “Visual Entropy and the Visualization of Uncertainty”  – Nicolas S. Holliman, Arzu Coltekin, Sara J. Fernstad, Michael D. Simpson, Kevin J. Wilson, Andrew J. Woods  [link]
    A paper describing our tools for visualising uncertainty.
  • “A Platform for the Analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Data about the Built Environment and Its Users” – Simpson M, Woodman S, Hiden H, Stein S, Dowsland S, Turner M, Hanson VL, Watson P [link]
    A paper describing the platform we developed for the BESiDE Project.
  • “Utilisation of Video Game Physics Techniques in Real-Time Simulation of the Wheel-Rail Interface for Predicted Derailment of Rail Vehicles” – Dr Mike Simpson, Dr William Blewitt, Dr Gary Ushaw, Dr Graham Morgan [link]
    A paper based on some of my early PhD work.