Dr Muhammad Irfan

Research Fellow


I support the research and innovation aimed at accelerating decarbonisation in Wales. I apply geospatial science to expedite the adoption of low cost, low carbon, high security, local renewable energy resources. I also design and develop Spatial Decision Support Systems to facilitate decision makers for exploiting new energy systems, while considering key environmental, socio-economic, public health and technical parameters.


I completed my PhD from Cardiff University in 2015 in Geoinformatics Engineering. Later on, I joined the WEFO funded Flexible Integrated Energy Systems (FLEXIS) project in which I have lead a work package (Geoinformatics and Environmental Monitoring). I have also been contributing as a Research Fellow to the UNESCO Chair at Cardiff University for the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment.

Under the umbrella of FLEXIS project, I was part of the following R&D programs aimed at Decarbonisation:

  • “Intelligent Bridgend Energy System Designs” funded by InnovateUK to provide combined electricity, heat and transport services in Bridgend County Borough Council; considering demographic, social and environmental factors.
  • “Milford Waterfront Zero Carbon Area Demonstrator” funded by the Welsh Government to demonstrate first of its kind, net zero carbon zone in the country.
  • “Feasibility Study for The Upper Llynfi Valley Heat Network Project” commissioned by Bridgend

Before coming to Cardiff University, I served as a lecturer of GIS in the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. I taught GIS related courses at undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. Previously, I also worked for World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and developed a strong awareness and concern about saving the environment and biodiversity. While working for WWF, I developed a GIS based Fauna Information System for Pakistan, which was first of its kind and is still being used to help converse the rich biodiversity of the country.


I am involved in the Innovative Future Services (Infuse) program to support staff in local authorities in the Cardiff Capital Region to improve their capacity and capability to accelerate decarbonisation efforts.

Outside of work

I participate in sports and outdoor activities. I have done a lot of tracking in the Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges in Northern area of Pakistan. I also play league Cricket in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Cricket League. A father of two, I like to spend time with my family and try to find a right balance between work and personal life.