skip to content

Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information
Big Data – the art of the possible

The latest in a series of CSIC Future Technologies Workshops, Big Data – the Art of the Possible, attracted 50 leading professionals and academics from more than 30 organisations keen to discuss big data in the context of smart infrastructure and construction.

The event, held at the Institute of Manufacturing, was the first of its kind to explore the ways in which big data can be harvested and used to inform and improve infrastructure planning.

CSIC works closely with many organisations at the forefront of their specific areas of expertise and these collaborations produce a range of innovative technologies that shape some of the UK’s most critical infrastructure assets, including highways, energy, train and tube systems. 

The workshop presented an opportunity for CSIC Industry Partners to share knowledge about the work they are involved in, examine their experiences and provide examples of how big data can be used to improve infrastructure design, planning and functionality.

“The aim of the CSIC workshop was to enable Industry Partners and associated organisations to come together informally, exchange experiences and explore ideas. The event took the form of a series of presentations and discussion workshops to enable delegates to look at the main opportunities and challenges posed by big data for their organisation,” said Sandy Yatteau, who leads on Industry Liaison at CSIC. “It was also an opportunity for professionals to begin to unpick the overarching need for standardisation and guidance in this area and to get a sense of the broader direction of travel. 

“Feedback from delegates has been really positive with many remarking on how useful the event was in delivering key information. CSIC’s ability to draw upon both industry and academia enables us to help people stay ahead of the curve.”

During the day delegates were split into groups to tackle a variety of pressing big data questions and the output of this exercise will be compiled and distributed shortly.

A full detailed account of the workshop with PDF presentation slides can be found here.

Presentations included: 

• Dr Philip Woodall, Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge on what is understood by the term big data 

• Dr Krishna Kumar, Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge on CSIC’s work at London Bridge station 

• Dr Navil Shetty, Director and Technical Chair for Asset Management at Atkins on the importance of data in planning for the build and maintenance of infrastructure

• Matthieu Bourdon, Monitoring Operations Manager at Soldate, on strategies for data management and the use of data to manage risk 

• Simon Gregory, Strategy Director at Hortonworks, on the approaches taken to provide integrated data management and handling systems based on the open-source platform Hadoop 

• Dr Olga Feldmann, Chief Transport Modeler at Transport for London (TfL), on the use of personal data, standards around data security and how best to use crowd-sourced data 

• Maria De Ferago, Director of Earth Observation Logic at Telespazio VEGA , on work involving data bounced off satellites, including the Cosmo SkyMed satellite, for use in a number of applications.  

The next in CSIC’s series of Future Technologies Workshops will take place towards the end of the year. For more information contact Sandy Yatteau, Partner Liaison at CSIC, at or call 01223 765924.

Latest news

Read this month’s Smart Infrastructure Blog – ‘Digital change, new technology and opportunity for all’

1 December 2021

The latest Smart Infrastructure Blog, published today, 1 December, is written by Ann Allen, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES), who sets out three challenges to ensure that advances in technology and digital transformation bring opportunities throughout the...

Line of Sight Methodology featured in Infrastructure Intelligence ahead of Digital Construction Week

22 November 2021

An article presenting the CSIC Line of Sight Methodology that sets out a new approach to provide organisations with a line of sight between assets and organisational objectives to enable better outcomes, has been featured in industry publication Infrastructure Intelligence. The article is co-written by CSIC Director Dr...

CSIC Twitter