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Professor Nik Lomax

Professor Nik Lomax


I am Professor of Population Geography. I am also a fellow at the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and co-Director of the ESRC funded Consumer Data Research Centre. My research utilises existing and emerging data to produce high resolution estimates and projection of population and demographic characteristics.


  • Co-Director of the Consumer Data Research Centre

Research interests

SPENSER - A Synthetic Population Estimation and Scenario Projection Model

As a Turing Fellow, I am PI on the SPENSER project - a synthetic population estimation and projection model which uses dynamic microsimulation. It provides the framework for estimates of population which are dynamic and high resolution (at household level); and a comprehensive set of tools for user customisable scenario projections. The interactive interface allows users to set assumptions for the future (e.g. around economic, policy, health changes) which are translated to underlying demographic constraints (mortality, fertility, migration). The model runs the projection in line with the chosen scenario parameters, providing a principal projection along with confidence intervals. Development of SPENSER is threefold: (1) design of a user-friendly interface for the model; (2) implementation of a dynamic microsimulation model which translates user input and underlying data in to a scenario projection; and (3) experimentation with innovative visualisation of results, to include interactive maps and plots.

The Consumer Data Research Centre

I am a co-Director of the ESRC funded Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC). The CDRC works with consumer organisations to make their data available to researchers. It is also a centre for innovative research in the UK. My current work using CDRC datasets includes work on understanding housing and mobility patterns using Zoopla data and work using health and lifestyle app data to understand people’s activity patterns.

Systems Science in Public Health and Health Economics Research (SIPHER)

SIPHER is a major investment by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) of £5 million for 5 years, with an additional £1.2 million investment from the consortium’s partners. The project brings together scientists across six universities, three government partners at local, regional and national level, and ten practice partner organisations.

SIPHER focuses on understanding the impact of interventions in four policy areas on health, wellbeing and inequalities:

  • Inclusive Economic Growth
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Housing
  • Mental Health

SIPHER’s vision is a shift from health policy to healthy public policy. This means all policy sectors working together to tackle health inequalities and improve the health of the public.


The Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium

Phase 2 - Multi-scale InfraSTRucture systems AnaLytics (MISTRAL)

The ITRC is a consortium of seven leading UK universities, investigating ways to improve the performance of infrastructure systems in the UK and around the world. Our research is helping businesses and policymakers to explore the risk of infrastructure failure and the long term benefits of investments and policies to improve infrastructure systems.

My role in the consortium is to produce very high resolution demographic estimates and projections for sector modelling teams who need to understand current and future demand. A recent presentation I gave on progress in producing High resolution demographic projections for infrastructure planning explains where demographics fits in to the overall MISTRAL strategy.


Predicting the Impacts of Intensification and Future Changes on UK Pig Industry Resilience

PIGSustain is a BBSRC funded research project. We use a systems approach in order to understand how sustainable intensification and predicted climate changes are expected to impact on the pig industry as a whole. We are producing models to predict the impacts of intensification on the health, disease and welfare of the animals: how consumption patterns and retail prices are likely to be affected, how these changes will impact farmers, and how these in turn will impact on the health and welfare of the animals.

My role in the PigSustain project is to produce consumer demand estimates for pork and other products which will inform the research being undertaken across the PigSustain network. Consumer preference will be modelled in response to changing prices, attitudes to the consumption of meat, environmental considerations and changing demographics. The project draws on large scale consumer surveys to inform trends and projection scenarios.

New Ethpop

Evaluation, Revision and Extension of Ethnic Population Projections

The ESRC funded Ethpop project aims to understand and to forecast the ethnic transition in the United Kingdom’s population at national and sub-national levels. The ethnic transition is the change in population composition from one dominated by the White British to much greater diversity. We have produced projections at local authority scale which demonstrate that as the population is growing it is becoming more ethnically diverse. See this presentation for results which show what the size and composition of the UK’s ethnic group populations might look like under a number of Brexit scenarios.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Human Geography
  • MA Planning and Development
  • BA Human Geography

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Spatial Data Science

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
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