Hugh Cushnan

School of Planning Architecture and Civil Engineering
David Keir Building, Stranmillis Rd., BT9 5AG
Room OG.312A


  • September 2000 to June 2008, St. Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon
  • September 2008 to June 2013, QUB, Master of Engineering, Civil Engineering, First Class Honours
  • October 2013 to date, Queen’s University Belfast, PhD research student

PhD Title

Assessing the geotechnical impact of commercial forestry on peatland restoration 


Dr Shane Donohue, Dr Ray Flynn & Dr Alistair Ruffell

PhD Description

My PhD, which started in October 2013, investigates the changes in peat geotechnical properties resulting from forestry and how they affect approaches employed in restoring the eco-hydrology of damaged bog ecosystems.

Peat bogs are an increasingly rare habitat across the EU. Many are now protected under the EU Habitats Directive, which requires protected sites to be restored where they have been impacted by human activity. The programme of research is linked with an existing EU-LIFE funded study, where plantations of commercial timber have been recently cleared, or are scheduled to be cleared from peat bogs. This research employs a multidisciplinary approach, combining measurements of key geotechnical, geophysical and hydrological properties. Work will build on on-going eco-hydrological measurements and will aim to provide a more holistic understanding of the effectiveness of restoration measures on bog ecosystems.

A recently clear-felled area of forest, planted on raised bog which is due for restoration works.

E.R.T (Electrical Resistivity Tomography) measurements been taken during a fieldwork expedition.