Research Projects

khurram_riaz (2)

Khurram Riaz

Current PhD Student

Increase Climate Resilience in Coastal Cities using Ecosystem-Based Approach and GIS Digital Twin Solutions

Research Project Summary:

Extreme weather events, coastal erosion, and sea-level rise are critical issues that European seaside cities must address immediately. The science behind these disruptive events is complex, and progress toward climate resilience will need improvements in data collection, forecasting, and understanding of potential risks and consequences for real-world solutions. The Ecosystem-Based Approach (EBA), when combined with smart technology, has the potential to significantly increase climate resilience in European coastal cities; yet, it is not well understood or coordinated at the European level. As a result, IT Sligo is leading the €10 million Horizon 2020-funded Smart Control of Climate Resilience in European Coastal Cities (SCORE) project. SCORE is a co-creation approach developed via a network of 10 coastal city “living labs” (CCLLs) with the goal of rapidly, equitably, and sustainably improving coastal city climate resilience through the use of EBAs and modern digital twin technologies.

SCORE will use citizen science to build prototype early-warning systems for coastal communities, as well as open, accessible spatial ‘digital twin’ technologies that will enable smart, real-time monitoring and management of climate resilience in European coastal cities.

The primary objective of the research, which will contribute its tasks and activities to the SCORE Project, is to:

  • Develop a high-level baseline risk map of extreme climate impacts and sea-level rise based on a semi-quantitative assessment of CCLL exposure and vulnerability.
  • To downscale climate projections in order to provide a dataset of environmental parameters with sufficient temporal and geographical resolution for the project’s CCLL application requirements.
  • To create statistical data analysis, modeling, and testing techniques for estimating the incidence and probability of significant coastal hazards, as well as their evolution trends.
  • Development of an online platform for presenting SCORE findings that is GIS-based and uses open-source technologies.
  • Complement and integrate existing sparse networks of institutional sensors by replacing them with a denser network of low-cost citizen science sensors capable of monitoring a set of important parameters relevant to each CCLL.
  • Developing novel data fusion approaches for quantifying and visualizing the climate resilience of coastal cities


Khurram Riaz is currently doing his Ph.D. in the department of science at the Institute of Technology Sligo. He is involved in the Smart Control of Climate Resilience in European Coastal Cities (SCORE) project, which is being led by IT Sligo and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme. The project (which involves a network of 10 coastal cities and 28 living labs) aims to increase climate resilience in European coastal cities. In order to safeguard coastal and low-lying regions from growing climate and sea-level risk, the ultimate objective is to create, execute, monitor, and verify robust adaption measures for these regions.

Khurram Riaz earned both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. His master’s thesis examined the influence of extreme climate change on droughts in Pakistan’s Punjab province, as well as future possibilities for droughts in the province.

As an added bonus to his academic credentials, Khurram worked for two years as a research assistant at the Research and Development Division of the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Research and Development Division. His involvement in a number of projects over his two-year journey. Whose primary goal was to examine the forecasts of extreme climatic conditions using a various global climate models (GCMs) (CMIP5, CMIP6).

The time has come, in Khurram’s opinion, when climate change is no longer a myth, and he think we need more solid research into it so that in the future we can help people understand how to make ships and sailors safer, farms more productive, and how to prepare ourselves and our world for floods, droughts, and famines, and, more importantly, how their impact can be mitigated.

Profile links:


Published papers:

  • Riaz, K., Ahmad, B., Bukhari, S. A. A., & Khan, T. (2020). Estimating the impact of climate

extremes and their future projections over drought prone regions of Punjab, Pakistan. Climate

Change, 6(22), 212-227.

  • Riaz, K., Aziz, N., & Riaz, H. (2021). Estimating the Extreme Temperature Occurrence Over

Pakistan Using Interannual and Interdecadal Temperature Variation and Teleconnections

During 1901-2018. International Journal, 5(1), 15-24.

  • Burhan, A. K., Khan, A. H., Bukhari, S. A. A. and Riaz, K. (2021). Univariate Statistics of the

RCPs Forced ET–SCI Based Extreme Climate Indices Over Pakistan. European Journal of   Sustainable Development Research, 5(3 ), em0166.

Under preparation:

A Vision of smart coastal cities and climate extreme events management through GIS-based digital twin technology– A systematic literature review