I currently work as a Research Software Engineer (RSE) and am part of the RSE Team at Newcastle University. 

I have worked on a number of research projects with colleagues in various disciplines at Newcastle University, as well as other partners across the UK and around the world, including the NHS and Turing Institute. Check out my profile page on the RSE Team Website for more information about my work.

Below are details of some of my contributions to various academic and research projects.

Colouring Cities

I have been part of the Colouring Cities Research Programme (CCRP) for a number of years. The CCRP is an international collaboration collecting and sharing data about our buildings. The aim is to enable easier sharing of open data to support various stakeholders in their decision-making processes and to help make progress towards UN Sustainability goals. 

My contribution has been to convert the original Colouring London prototype into a Core Platform that can be used by our partners to create Colouring Cities websites all over the world. I have also been involved with Colouring Britain and in the development of the Colouring Cities Impact Studies Showcase

  • More information about the Colouring Cities project can be found on
  • The CCRP GitHub page containing the project’s source code and documentation is here.

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.


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.]


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 Software Portfolio Page.


Here are some 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 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]
  • “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]

For a complete. up-to-date list, check out my page on Google Scholar.