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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

An Innovation and Knowledge Centre funded by EPSRC and Innovate UK

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Picture Perfect: Photography award for CSIC’s Phil Catton

last modified Mar 20, 2014 02:25 PM

Picture Perfect: Photography award for CSIC’s Phil Catton.

Congratulations to Dr Phil Catton for winning third prize in the Department of Engineering’s annual prestigious photography competition for his image entitled “Mirror Finish”.

Phil is a Research Associate at the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) who has a specific interest in large scale structural monitoring.

The aim of the competition was to show that engineering is not only about fixing machines and building bridges but involves everything from studying objects and processes in microscopic detail to building towering structures – something Phil has captured perfectly.

His prize winning photograph shows researchers from CSIC and engineers from The London Underground using a 3D laser scanner to measure deformations in the London Underground Northern Line station at Euston.

In describing his photograph Phil says: “Tunnels are generally quite solid constructions. The fact that The London Underground has stood the test of time is testament to that.

However, there are still many aspects of geotechnical behaviour that we don't fully understand. For example, there are complex cross passages between the East and West bound 'tubes' of the Northern Line at Euston, which interrupt the regular circular cross section of the main tunnels.

CSIC is developing innovative models to predict behaviour of such complexities.  Prediction of this behaviour first requires a detailed geometrical study of existing structures. Here, the cross passage is being measured using a 3D laser scanner, which will feed in to the models. These models will then predict the health and condition of tunnels for decades to come.”

Jennifer Schooling, Director of CSIC, added: “Phil’s picture perfectly captures what CSIC is about as it shows how new technology is being used  to change the way civil engineers can maintain our country’s inherited infrastructure.

The condition of our transport network has a huge impact on the country’s productivity. The aim of our work here at CSIC is to devise and prove technologies that make economic sense and ensure the health and safety of our transport network system.”

More images and information about the competition can be viewed at

Prize-winning photograph of Euston rail tunnel by Dr Phil Catton
Prize-winning photo: CSIC team in Euston tunnel by Dr Phil Catton