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New 'Innovation and Knowledge Centre' worth a total of £17million awarded to Engineering Department

last modified May 11, 2012 06:15 PM

New 'Innovation and Knowledge Centre' worth a total of £17million awarded to Engineering Department

Funding has been announced for two major new research centres, one of which is to be based at the Department of Engineering. This 'Innovation and Knowledge Centre' (IKC) on Smart Infrastructure and Construction will combine business knowledge with the most up-to-date research to harness the full potential of emerging technologies - ensuring the UK is first to develop this cutting-edge research. The centre is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board, and by industry.

Professor Robert Mair, the Principal Investigator of the grant, says "Much of our infrastructure is more than 100 years old. Resilience against systemic failure of UK infrastructure is significantly weakening through ageing. Infrastructure owners therefore have a strong interest in emerging technologies in sensors and data management, to quantify and define the extent of ageing and the consequent remaining design life of their infrastructure. The application of emerging technologies to advanced health monitoring of existing critical infrastructure assets will address these needs, improve the management of infrastructure and reduce the risk of failure. By providing cradle-to-grave health monitoring, combined with innovative manufacturing processes, these technologies will also lead to more efficient and economic construction of new infrastructure. The IKC will focus on smarter construction and production processes, employing the latest research developments in intelligent sensing and information processing, decision support, manufacturing strategy and reconfigurable building blocks."

The Cambridge IKC will combine research in sensor and data management with innovative manufacturing processes to provide radical changes to the construction and management of infrastructure. The aim is to transform the industry through a whole-life approach to achieving sustainability in construction and infrastructure, covering design and commissioning, the construction process, exploitation and use, and eventual decommissioning.

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