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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information
Robert Mair and Giulia Viggiani - CSIC industry partner party 2019

CSIC hosted its annual partner party at its new home in the Civil Engineering Building on the West Cambridge Campus, which was officially opened by Andrew Wyllie CBE, President of the Institution of Engineers on the same day.

The party, which was attended by many representatives from CSIC partner organisations including Highways England, HS2, TfL, Mott Macdonald and Bentley Systems, featured a number of fast-paced presentations showcasing a range of CSIC projects from research assistants and students, while fizz and canapés were served.

Professor Lord Robert Mair, Head of CSIC, welcomed guests and acknowledged the valuable support CSIC receives from partner organisations and members of the Steering Group. Highlighting the role CSIC plays in bringing focus to world-leading research to transform infrastructure and construction through smarter information, Lord Mair said: “This summer CSIC hosted the International Conference for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (ICSIC) attracting experts, researchers and speakers from all over the world, which reflects the increasing interest in this dynamic field. Research and investment in our infrastructure and infrastructure services, which are so important to citizens, is crucial for the economy and society.”

This year’s presentations, which are all available to view of the CSIC YouTube channel, were introduced by Dr Jennifer Schooling OBE, Director of CSIC, who said: “I am delighted to welcome our partners to CSIC’s new home at the Civil Engineering Building which is designed as a collaborative research space. Collaborating with our partners enables CSIC to accelerate the implementation of research outputs delivering value by improving margins, reducing costs and extending the productive life of assets. Our partners are key to success and by working together we are helping to establish the UK as a leader in smart infrastructure.”

CSIC presentations, which were followed by a Q&A session, included:

  • Vibration monitoring of trams – Paul Fidler
  • A new vibration-based approach for monitoring bridge scour – Kasun Kariyawasam
  • Application of unsupervised learning in urban energy efficiency – Mingda Yuan
  • New insights into heritage assets: smart sensing of masonry arch railway bridges – Sam Cocking
  • Developing a dynamic digital twin in building and city levels: using West Cambridge site as a case study – Dr Qiuchen Lu

The event was also an opportunity for partners to see the new Civil Engineering Building situated on the West Cambridge Campus, which houses the National Research Facility for Infrastructure Sensing (NRFIS) and has 12 world-class, state-of-the-art laboratories focusing on a variety of civil engineering disciplines, including sensor development, structures, geomechanics and construction.

NRFIS is part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure & Cities (UKCRIC) portfolio of research and innovation facilities funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The multi million pound collaborative space is designed to enable University researchers, industry and other academic institutions to work together on joint research programmes in the application of advanced sensor technologies to the monitoring of the UK’s existing and new infrastructure to enable better decision-making.

“The opening of NRFIS marks a significant contribution to the UK infrastructure research community which is key to designing, building and maintaining infrastructure which is resilient, adaptable and sustainable,” said Professor Lord Robert Mair. “NRFIS is a facility where academia and industry can engage in protecting and growing the country’s infrastructure base and supporting the UK to be a leader in the field of smart infrastructure.”