Areas of expertise

  • Applied Informatics
  • Carbon, Climate and Risk
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Digital Twinning
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
  • Natural Capital
  • Soil
  • Soil Resources


Professor Hallett's research focuses on developing the scientific understanding of environmental risks and challenges relating to land resource management in the natural and built environment and understanding the role and opportunity data science and digital technologies offer in addressing research and development. Professor Hallett's leadership has contributed to securing significant research funding, with work centring on natural ecosystems, agriculture and infrastructure and understanding the impact of a changing climate. His work draws on expertise in environmental big data, analytics, decision support, GIS/remote sensing, software development, 3D data visualisation, virtual/augmented reality, and geospatial decision-support systems applied across four strategic themes: (1) Agricultural and Environmental Informatics; (2) Soil and Land Resource Management; (3) Geohazards and Urban Infrastructure; and (4) Environmental Risk Mitigation and Climate Change. He is widely published and cited internationally and has supervised many PhD students.

Current activities

Professor Hallett's research, development and innovation capitalises on his established networks with the Research Councils, Innovate UK and other universities; industrial networks across the environmental, utility and financial sectors; engagement with Defra, UK ministries and local government and international networks.

Professor Hallett served on secondment as Associate Director, Digital Environment, Infrastructure and Data within NERC. In this role he helped shape and influence a number of digital initiatives including the Environmental Data Service and the Digital Solutions programme. His work contributed to the publication of NERCs first Digital Strategy. Stephen continues his work with NERC as a member of the Digital Research and Infrastructure (DRIG) group.

Professor Hallett is one of the two UKRI/NERC 'Digital Environment Champions' within the NERC 'Constructing a Digital Environment' programme. This work has involved providing leadership for the development and application of digital approaches in environmental science.

Stephen is a Co-Investigator and Governing Board member of the DAFNI project (Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure) within the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure & Cities (UKCRIC), supported by EPSRC, with an interest in data ontologies and digital twinning themes.

Stephen is Director and Centre Champion of the NERC/ESRC 'DREAM' Centre for Doctoral Training in big data and environmental risk ( He is also the Cranfield lead and point of contact for the NERC 'CENTA2' Doctoral Training Partnership (

Stephen also has a responsibility for Cranfield's national Land Information System (LandIS) [Defra SP1608], containing comprehensive soil and related near-earth environmental information for England and Wales (

Stephen is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) teaching on the Cranfield MSc in 'Applied GIS and Remote Sensing'.

Selected research projects across UK and EU funding agencies include: 'SOILL - Startup of the Support Structure for Soil Living Labs' - EU Horizon Europe HORIZON-MISS-2023-SOIL-SGA-01, 'CINITDIEN - Championing INnovation In The DIgital ENvironment' [NE/S016287/1]; GCRF 'Tackling precision nutrient management in developing countries using geospatial and in-field technology: Case study Kenya'; European Commission Joint Research Centre project 'Collection of soil data in SOTER format from 14 Danube strategy countries, at scale 1:250 000' [JRC/IPR/2017/D.3/0002/OC]; Satellites for Food Precision Soil Mapping [NERC NE/P008860/1]; FOWARIM (Fostering Water-Agriculture Research and Innovation in Malta) [H2020-TWINN-2 (692162)]; Optimising Big Data to Drive Sustainable Agricultural Intensification - Soil-for-Life [BBSRC BB/M011860/1]; Enhancing nutrient use efficiency from biosolids for a resilient crop production system [NERC NE/M012794/1]; Community Response to Extreme Weather Events (CREW) [EPSRC EP/F036795/1]; Development of a Horticultural Soil Management Information System (SMIS) [AHDB CP107d/3110107425]; Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium [EPSRC EP/I01344X/1]; Irish Soil Information System [European Environmental Protection Agency STRIVE 2007-S-CD-S1]; Ecosystem Services Databank and Visualisation for Terrestrial Informatics [NERC NE/L012774/1]; Farming Truth [European Space Agency ESTEC A0/1- 6124/09/NL/US].

Stephen is also responsible for Soil-Net ( - an environmental educational resource for school students and teachers, serving soils information to over a million users worldwide. He also leads Cranfield's 'World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue' project (WOSSAC) ( - a unique global environmental archive pertaining to soils and soil resources. WOSSAC was instrumental in Cranfield being awarded the 2017 Queens Anniversary Award for Soil Science.


Over many years, Stephen Hallett has worked with a wide range of clients and research sponsors, including:



Alexander Forbes Ltd.

Anglian Water




British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)

Coastal Partnership East



Environment Agency (EA)



European Environment Agency (EEA)

European Space Agency (ESA)

Hampshire County Council (HCC)

Heath Lambert Ltd.


Innovate UK

Jaguar Landrover

Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

Legal and General Ltd.


Network Rail

Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council


Severn Trent Water

Suffolk District Council

Teagasc, Ireland

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

United Utilities

Yorkshire Water


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers