David Hester

Member since 2023

Occupation: Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast

I joined the UK young academy to contribute towards ensuring we have a viable world to pass on to future generations.


After graduating as a civil engineer, David worked in industry for a number of years, initially for a building contractor and subsequently as a consulting engineer and bridge inspector. As a bridge inspector, he was cognisant of the fact that we were mostly making decisions based on visual data only, i.e. quantitative performance data (e.g. displacement due to a truck) was rarely recorded for logistical and technical reasons. However, David had a real interest in this, so he did a PhD on bridge Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). SHM is the science of trying to infer the health of a given structure from measurements taken on that structure, with the aim of prolonging the life of the structure.

After his PhD, David was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship in SHM. Since joining Queens University Belfast, he has been working as an investigator on structural engineering research grants worth over £2 million.


  • Climate change
  • Climate change and sustainability
  • Education and skills
  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
  • Public Engagement
  • Public Health
  • Supporting early career researchers
  • Supporting research, industry, and business
  • Sustainability