Mark Birkin

Programme Director for Urban Analytics at The Alan Turing Institute

Mark Birkin is Professor of Spatial Analysis and Policy in the School of Geography, University of Leeds, and is Programme Director for Urban Analytics and Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute. He has longstanding interests in mathematical modelling of urban and regional systems including geodemographics, microsimulation, agent-based modelling, and spatial decision-support systems.

Mark has a notable track record of collaboration, including ten years as an executive director of Geographical Modelling and Planning (GMAP) Limited. In this time, GMAP developed from occasional consulting projects into a market analytics business with 120 employees and global reach, working with household name partners such as Ford Motor Company, Asda-Walmart, HBoS, Exxon-Mobil and GSK. An ethos of collaboration with external partners in business and the public sector continues in his current role as Director of the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), a national investment within the UKRI DigitalFootprints programme.

He is also PI for the ESRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Analytics which coordinates more than eighty postgraduate research projects in tandem with external partners. Since 2014, Mark has been Director of the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). Having started as a partnership between CDRC and the MRC Medical Bioinformatics, LIDA now supports over 90 projects and programmes with more than £60M of funded research. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 2019, Mark was the recipient to the RGS-IBG Murchison Award for ‘pioneering contributions to urban analytics’.

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