Academic Profile

Patrick Thomson is Lead Researcher for the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment's Water Programme. Patrick's research focuses on the use of technology and improved data to drive institutional change and improved public health in the rural water sector.

Patrick invented and developed the first 'Smart Handpump' and leads the continuing technical evolution and operational implementation of the Smart Handpumps research. The research has featured in international media including BBC television, radio and online. The Guardian identified Smart Handpumps as one of the 12 development innovations of 2012 and it was one of 13 projects chosen by the seven UK Research Councils to be highlighted as ground-breaking and innovative research at the RCUK's first 'Research, Innovate, Grow' showcase event in 2015. Patrick's work has been funded by the UK research councils (ESRC and NERC), DFID, UNICEF, the John Fell Fund and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

Prior to studying for an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford in 2010, Patrick worked in international development for over five years, living variously in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and the Caucasus region. He is a Chartered Engineer with an MEng in Engineering, Economics and Management from the University of Oxford.

Current Research

  • Gro for GooD: Groundwater Risk Management for Growth and Development - NERC/ESRC/DFID (2015-19)
  • Insuring against rural water risk in Africa - ESRC/DFID (2013-15)
  • Groundwater Risks and Institutional Responses for Poverty Reduction in Africa - NERC/ESRC/DFID (2013-14)
  • Does Intermittent Quality of Water Supply due to Broken Handpumps influence Diarrhoeal Disease Incidence in Rural Kenya? - Skoll Foundation (2013-15)
  • New Mobile Citizens and Waterpoint Sustainability in Rural Africa - ESRC (2012-15)
  • Pump-priming Mobile Water Science for Global Development Impacts - John Fell Fund (2012-14)
  • Smart Water Systems - DFID (2010-13)

Selected Publications

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