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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information
TechFest 2019

CSIC’s innovative way of monitoring the health of ageing railway infrastructure won the New Civil Engineer TechFest Rail Visionary award last night in London.

The award recognises organisations developing pioneering ideas and designs to effect major changes in the global rail sector.

Dr Jennifer Schooling, Director of CSIC, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win this award for two examples of our pioneering research monitoring ageing UK infrastructure. I would like to thank our partners for their support in enabling these projects and also to our Research Associate Dr Haris Alexakis and PhD student Sam Cocking for their excellent work.”

The University of Cambridge, Innovative Structural Health Monitoring of Ageing Railway Infrastructure and Smart Monitoring for Condition Assessment of Ageing Infrastructure (a collaboration between CSIC, AECOM, Network Rail and the Alan Turing Institute (ATI)) showcases two bespoke monitoring systems designed for a masonry arch bridge and viaduct, both in Yorkshire. As well as enabling fundamental research into the behaviour of these heritage structures, the detailed monitoring data is also being used to research novel, statistical-based approaches to asset management and structural assessment, through collaboration between CSIC and ATI. Furthermore, at one of these structures, a skewed masonry arch bridge, Network Rail wanted to explore available monitoring technologies to determine systems with the potential to be used on other assets.

CSIC Investigator Matthew DeJong said: “We have been working on new solutions to monitor rail infrastructure for about five years and we are delighted to have won this award. Congratulations to both Sam and Haris and also the CSIC researchers and students who have contributed to these projects in the past, including Sinan Acikgoz, Andrea Franza, Simon Ye, Robert Gayer, Rhiannon Evans and Ian Doughty.”

Read more on the Victorian viaduct project in our 2018 Annual Review (page 17) and more on the masonry arch bridge project in our 2019 Annual Review (page 28).

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