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CSIC Annual Lecture 2015 - London’s transport: infrastructure, value and the case for innovation

last modified May 22, 2015 02:59 PM
The key aim of CSIC is to apply innovation and smarter information, emerging from world-leading research at the University of Cambridge, to achieve sustainability in construction and transform the future of infrastructure.

This year’s CSIC Annual Lecture, delivered by Dr Keith Bowers, Principal Tunnel Engineer at London Underground, will present a railway civil engineer’s perspective on innovation in the development of major transport infrastructure systems.

The lecture, on Monday 29 June, will examine the need for change and provide examples of innovation which may hold lessons for the future.

Challenges considered will include how to demonstrate the value of investing in proposed changes, securing sustainability and measuring benefits.

“London in 2015 clearly demonstrates drivers for change. Population in the city has recently grown to its highest-ever level and the locations of employment centres are evolving. This presents both challenge and opportunity for the transport system,” said Dr Bowers.

“Future change will need to be sustainable and clearly related to tangible and measurable benefits. Unfortunately we sometimes find the benefit of future change can be hard to quantify, particularly when it is associated with unfamiliar technology.

“The issues might relate to technical capability, economics or risk but we may also find that human factors, such as trust in the technology, may be significant in determining what is adopted. For example, can we get better at spotting which technologies we should invest in and how do we ensure we maximise the success when we do invest?”

The lecture will be illustrated with examples of historic and recent technology innovations ranging from Roman engineering through spiral escalators and computer-controlled tunneling to future station design in a 4D-virtual world.

Dr Keith Bowers FICE and MIMMM is a member of the CSIC Steering Group. The CSIC Annual Lecture 2015 will be held on Monday 29 June at St Catharine’s College Cambridge at 5.30pm.

To attend please email

This is the third CSIC Annual Lecture; previous lectures can be seen here