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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information


We are delighted to announce that the CSIC 2021 Distinguished Lecture is now available to watch on YouTube. The lecture was presented by Prof Jim Hall, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risk at the University of Oxford. Titled 'The data revolution in global-scale analysis of climate risks to infrastructure systems', Prof Hall’s lecture considered impacts of extreme events, like flooding and hurricanes, which can lead to systemic impacts by disrupting supply chains, industries, and communities.



Prof Hall is a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology and is Expert Advisor to the National Infrastructure Commission. He is Chair of the Science Advisory Committee of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He was a member of the UK independent Committee on Climate Change Adaptation from 2009 to 2019.

Taking a data-driven and global view of climate risks to infrastructure systems, the powerful CSIC Distinguished Lecture demonstrated not only the risk to assets but, because of the interconnected nature of our infrastructure systems, the potential cascading effect on our networks and associated services. Prof Hall made the case for quantifying risk in order to plan, design and manage more resilient systems.

Outlining the work of his research group and partners to develop a global analytical capability for looking at systemic climate risks to infrastructure, Prof Hall presented a framework that combines natural hazards, networks capturing the interconnectivity of infrastructure, analysis of the exposure of these assets and their vulnerability to hazards when they occur, the services they deliver and the wider economic impact of failure.

Prof Hall said: “We are in a remarkable position now, being able to do this type of analysis on an extraordinarily wide scale because of the recent proliferation in globally-available data sets and the computational capability to analyse these data sets.” Concluding the lecture Prof Hall said: “This work is intentionally open and accessible. This is really important as it builds trust and helps to build capacity within the many countries that we are working in so that more people can do this type of analysis themselves. A much wider group of people can become engaged in these really crucial questions about the risks to and resilience of these systems on which they depend and become engaged in a more democratised version of decision-making.”

Watch Prof Halls CSIC 2021 Distinguished Lecture on the CSIC YouTube channel here.

• Prof Hall's group at the University of Oxford is at the forefront of risk analysis of climatic extremes and their impacts on infrastructure networks and economic systems, from local to global scales. He led the development of the National Infrastructure Systems Model (NISMOD), which was used for the UK's first National Infrastructure Assessment and for analysis of the resilience of energy, transport, digital and water networks in Great Britain. Prof Hall conceived of, and now chairs, the UK's Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI). His systems analysis methods have been applied worldwide, including in Argentina, China, Curacao, St Lucia, Tanzania and Vietnam.


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