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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information
 

The CSIC 2021 Annual Review, published online today, marks 10 years of CSIC transforming infrastructure through smarter information. Featuring a Foreword by Alison Baptiste, Director Project Delivery at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, and a contribution from Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Julia King, our 2021 Annual Review demonstrates how the collaborative model of CSIC - working with industry and policy towards data-driven insights for resilient, resource-efficient and cost-effective infrastructure - is as relevant today as it was at the Centre’s launch 10 years ago.

In the context of the world’s immediate and pressing challenges of carbon zero, resource constraint and resilience, achieving this vision is increasingly time-critical. 

Alison Baptiste writes: “The Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction is a leading force in technical innovation and importantly it is also driving behaviour change – nudging those of us working in infrastructure to use our influence widely and wisely. This is the decade when we can have the most impact on the 2050 target, ensuring infrastructure built now does not require significant net zero retrofit costs nor lock in high carbon in its operation.”

The decisions we take today about how we embrace and embed digital technology in our new infrastructure, especially as we ‘build back better’ from the COVID crisis, will determine the cost and the ease with which we can achieve net zero. The collaborative work of CSIC recognises this urgency – and the value of smart infrastructure solutions and data-driven insights to enable zero-carbon and zero-waste decision-making. Baroness Brown of Cambridge

Dr Jennifer Schooling OBE, Director of CSIC, introduces the Annual Review highlighting the aim of the Centre as learning from the real performance of our built environment assets and infrastructure systems to inform how we design, construct, manage and operate them. The Review features a range of research projects that shows how CSIC has developed understanding of how to use data and digital solutions to better understand real performance – from individual assets and using information about the assets in a network, to considering the infrastructure needs of our cities, and the role of digital twins in facilitating decision-making. Dr Schooling writes: “These projects all required multi-disciplinary collaboration and industry participation for their delivery, hence yielding insights that cannot be achieved through traditional silo-based approaches.”

Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Julia King, calls for digital technology to underpin the transition to net zero and for government, industry and universities to work closely together to realise the potential of digital innovation: “The decisions we take today about how we embrace and embed digital technology in our new infrastructure, especially as we ‘build back better’ from the COVID crisis, will determine the cost and the ease with which we can achieve net zero. The collaborative work of CSIC recognises this urgency – and the value of smart infrastructure solutions and data-driven insights to enable zero-carbon and zero-waste decision-making.”

Looking ahead to the next decade, Professor Mark Girolami, Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair at the University of Cambridge, Academic Lead for CSIC and Director of the Data-centric Engineering Programme at The Alan Turing Institute, writes: “As CSIC looks to the next 10 years, we will continue to seek inspiration, challenges and insight by collaborating across the various engineering sectors and their associated sciences and disciplines. CSIC will remain at the vanguard of synthesising models and data which will ultimately deliver value to infrastructure construction and operation and support better and sustainable services on which society depends.”

  • To read the CSIC 2021 Annual Review online please visit Issuu or download a PDF from our website.
  • To read previous CSIC Annual Reviews, please visit our Newsletters and Annual Reviews page

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