Phil James is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Newcastle University.  He is currently director of the Newcastle Urban Observatory and co-leads the UK National Observatory Programme. His role is the overall management and direction of the observatory programme and generating strategic partnerships with researchers, civic society and industry.His research is at the intersection of Engineering and Computer Science with a recent focus on IoT and environmental monitoring and how we apply emerging technologies to real-world solutions. He is PI on the EPSRC CORONA (City Observatory Research platfOrm for iNnovation and Analytics) project and participates as Co-I in a research portfolio of interdisciplinary research worth over Ł15m.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.