Academic Profile

Scott Allan Orr is a Honorary Research Associate at the School of Geography and the Environment. Previously he was a doctoral candidate and researcher within the Oxford Rock Breakdown Laboratory (OxRBL) and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Physical Geography at St Catherine's College, Oxford. He is currently working with Historic England to produce guidance on moisture measurement and monitoring in historic buildings and building materials. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and part of the Management Group of the Council on Training in Architectural Conservation (COTAC).

Scott holds a BASc in chemical and environmental engineering from the University of Toronto, where he contributed to projects incorporating environmental monitoring and urban spatial distribution of atmospheric aerosols. From 2014 to 2018 he was a member of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage, and Archaeology, undertaking an MRes and DPhil at University College London and the University of Oxford, respectively. This project was undertaken in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland and the Consarc Design Group, a leading heritage conservation architecture firm based in Belfast but working throughout the UK. In 2016, Scott was a visiting researcher at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in Berlin.

Current Research

Scott's current research within the area of heritage science is highly interdisciplinary, considering built heritage as complex chemical systems to better understand their physical change in response to environmental change. A significant component of his aims to inform policy development and practical aspects of heritage conservation and management of the built environment. To date, he has primarily explored two streams of research:

  • The use of non-destructive techniques to monitor the presence and movement of water within historic stone masonry;
  • Improving metrics and assessing future climate risks to the historic environment from wind-driven rain.

In what can be considered 'critical heritage science', Scott also explores data fusion algorithms to combine qualitative information and perceptions (e.g. heritage value, human comfort) with quantitative information, to improve decision making processes with heritage conservation. This includes emphasizing the importance of appropriate and innovative data handling and visualization techniques, to improve communication between heritage stakeholders.


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Selected Publications

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