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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I019308/1
Title: Innovation Knowledge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction
Principal Investigator: Mair, Professor L
Other Investigators:
Seshia, Professor A Soga, Professor K Middleton, Professor C
McFarlane, Professor D Allwood, Professor JM Jin, Dr Y
Mascolo, Professor C Heffernan, Dr P B Scholtes, Professor S
Crowcroft, Professor J Cippola, Professor R Echenique, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Arup Group Ltd Atkins Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Capita Symonds Costain GE Aviation
Geothermal International Ltd Highways England Humber Bridge Board
IBM ITM Monitoring Jennic Ltd
Laing O'Rourke Ltd London Underground Ltd Mott Macdonald
Omnisense Limited OpenHub Limited Parsons Brinckerhoff
Redbite Solutions Rolatube Technology Ltd Senceive Ltd
Skanska UK Plc SOLDATA Thales Ltd
Thames Water Plc Toshiba Transport for London
Transport Research Laboratory Limited Transport Scotland Tube Lines Ltd
WSP Civils Zuhlke Engineering Ltd
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2011 Ends: 30 September 2016 Value (£): 4,956,319
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Construction Ops & Management
Energy Efficiency Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Infrastructure is a large part of the UK's assets. Efficient management and maintenance of infrastructure are vital to the economy and society. The application of emerging technologies to advanced health monitoring of existing critical infrastructure assets will quantify and define the extent of ageing and the consequent remaining design life of infrastructure, thereby reducing the risk of failure. Emerging technologies will also transform the industry through a whole-life approach to achieving sustainability in construction and infrastructure in an integrated way - design and commissioning, the construction process, exploitation and use, and eventual de-commissioning. Crucial elements of these emerging technologies will be the application of the latest sensor technologies, data management tools and manufacturing processes to the construction industry, both during infrastructure construction and throughout its design life. There will be a very substantial market for exploitation of these technologies by the construction industry, particularly contractors, specialist instrumentation companies and owners of infrastructure.In this proposal, we seek to create the Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction that will bring together four leading research groups in the Cambridge Engineering Department and the Computer Laboratory (sensors, computing, manufacturing engineering and civil engineering), along with staff in other faculties - the Judge Business School and the Department of Architecture. The Centre will develop and commercialise emerging technologies which will provide radical changes in the construction and management of infrastructure, leading to considerably enhanced efficiencies, economies and adaptability. We propose to create 'Smart Infrastructure' with the following attributes: (a) minimal disturbance and maximum efficiency during construction, (b) minimal maintenance for new infrastructure and optimum management of existing infrastructure, (c) minimal failures even during extreme events (fire, natural hazards, climate change), and (d) minimal waste materials at the end of the life cycle. The IKC will focus on the innovative use of emerging technologies in sensor and data management (e.g. fibre optics, MEMS, computer vision, power harvesting, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and Wireless Sensor Networks). These will be coupled with emerging best practice in the form of the latest manufacturing and supply chain management approaches applied to construction and infrastructure (e.g. smart building components for life-cycle adaptive design, innovative manufacturing processes, integrated supply chain management, and smart management processes from building to city scales). It will aim to develop completely new markets and achieve breakthroughs in performance.The business opportunities in construction and infrastructure are very considerable, not only for construction companies but also for other industries such as IT, electronics and materials. The IKC is designed to respond directly and systematically to the input received from industry partners on what is required to address this issue. Through the close involvement of industry in technical development as well as in demonstrations in real construction projects, the commercialisation activities of emerging technologies will be progressed during the project to a point where they can be licensed to industry. The outputs of the IKC will provide the construction industry, infrastructure owners and operators with the means to ensure that very challenging new performance targets can be met. Furthermore the potential breakthroughs will make the industry more efficient and hence more profitable. They will also give UK companies a competitive advantage in the increasingly global construction market.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk