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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I016163/1
Principal Investigator: Rogers, Professor CDF
Other Investigators:
Coaffee, Professor J Chapman, Professor L Baker, Professor CJ
Jefferson, Professor I Barber, Dr A Quinn, Dr AD
Chapman, Professor DN Bryson, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BCSD (UK) Birmingham City Council Birmingham Science City
CH2M HILL CH2M Hill (Halcrow) CPNI
Department: Civil Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2010 Ends: 30 April 2012 Value (£): 202,743
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Aug 2010 Cross-Disciplinary Feasibility Account 2010 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The physical infrastructure that facilitates the transport of people, freight, waste and utility services, and thus provides the essential support to civilised life, is under threat from numerous sources: deterioration through (often extreme) ageing, adverse ground chemistry, surface loading or stress relief due to open-cut interventions; severely increased demand; ever changing (different, or altered) demands; terrorism; the effects of climate change; funding constraints and severe natural hazards (extreme weather events, earthquakes, landslides, etc.). Such vulnerability, and the need for resilience in the face of such threats, is recognised widely - see Building Britain's Future17 and the ICE's State of The Nation Report: Defending Critical Infrastructure18 (both 2009), and the aims of the new Infrastructure UK delivery body18. This feasibility study seeks to explore radically different ways of conceptualising, designing, constructing, maintaining, managing, adapting and valuing the physical infrastructure to make it resilient no matter which threats are manifested or how the future develops. In this context resilience refers to the symbiosis existing between infrastructure, management systems and end users.Recent years have witnessed a shift to a more transdisciplinary concept of resilience that integrates the physical (both built and natural) and socio-political aspects of resilience. This change has been crucial because the socio-political and managerial aspects are arguably as important to the attainment of resilience as the physical aspects; resilient engineering also demands a more resilient infrastructural context with regard to the professions and the structures and processes which govern engineering activity.This proposal explores the engineering and social dimensions of resilience research needed to bring about radical changes in thinking and practice for an assured future in the face of multiple challenges. The following represent two core resilience themes at the interface of engineering, spatial planning and social science, from which feasibility studies to address key challenges will emerge via a series of workshops. The tangible manifestation lies in Local Area Agreements - a set of 32 centrally-approved and locally-implemented performance indicators linking engineered solutions, mechanisms for adoption, behavioural adaptation and education.1. Bespoke local utility infrastructures for resilient communities2. The role of transport in societal resilienceThe research team draws from five major research groups at the University of Birmingham, all of whom are addressing core themes of infrastructure and resilience. The team is supported by innovative thinkers drawn from the stakeholder community, both practitioners and policy makers. The primary themes to be studied are the creation of local utility infrastructures and transport to deliver resilience, recognising the UK shift towards enhancing innovation in the public/private sectors and local decision-making and delivery. Our team will deepen trans-disciplinary research by overcoming the tension that exists between the engineering focus on solutions and the social scientists concern with problems by developing realistic solutions to local problems. This requires exploration of the interface between four communities of practice: engineering and physical sciences, social sciences, private firms and local government. The intention is to identify solutions that reduce costs and enhance delivery, but also to identify new projects that have the potential to create innovative products that have commercial value.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk