£1.4 million awarded to boost UK infrastructure resilience against climate change

£1.4 million awarded to boost UK infrastructure resilience against climate change
UKCRIC Communications, Marketing and Events Manager (UCL)
24 August 2023

There is an urgent and increasing need to protect the UK’s natural and built environments from a surge in population growth, and severe weather events such as extreme floods and droughts caused by climate change.

On 24 August 2023 the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scientific Computing Department Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis announced that £1.4 million has been awarded across eight UK-based projects to boost UK infrastructure resilience against these types of events.

Using computational modelling on UKCRIC's Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI), these eight projects strive to strengthen UK’s resilience against severe weather events and other complex challenges, reducing the risks of road closures, energy failures, sewer flooding, water and food shortages, as well as protecting underground infrastructure such as water pipes and electrical cables.

For example, a project from the University of Oxford is addressing the concerns around England’s water supply as traditional water resource management is no longer sufficient to address such complex issues.

Another project from University College London has created a model that simulates land use and transportation patterns in the UK, allowing users to run “what-if” scenarios to predict the impact of infrastructures to the land, such as the impact of High Speed 2 on the UK’s urban system.

The funding not only highlights the importance of fortifying the UK’s natural and built environments but also underscores the critical need to combat potential losses arising from the growing impacts of climate change.

The outputs from the Centre of Excellence will be instrumental in providing policymakers, local councils, and private companies with the essential analysis and scenario-planning vital to ensure the UK is resilient against potential future risks.

The researchers who have been awarded a share of the £1.4 million are speaking at DAFNI’s annual conference taking place in the Sir Alexander Fleming building at Imperial College London on 12 September 2023.

In Spring 2023, DAFNI opened the Centre of Excellence with £4 million in funding from the Building a Secure and Resilient World strategic theme at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The STFC Scientific Computing Department delivers the DAFNI programme for UKRI.

"We were delighted with the quality and scope of applications received and it was difficult to choose from the excellent proposals put forward. We feel that the successful projects together explore a range of research challenges in infrastructure resilience that will provide the momentum to deliver the Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis on DAFNI. I look forward to working with these exciting projects over the next 2 years."
Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Facility Lead and leader of the Open Data Systems Group at the STFC Scientific Computing Department
"To build a more secure and resilient world we must put people at the heart of our research. The eight projects announced today will help communities of all sizes improve their ability to prevent and respond to threats from extreme weather occurrences. By working across disciplines and improving access to robust evidence and information, we can strengthen the UK’s resilience. I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will have on a wide range of sectors."
Kristine Zaidi, Associate Director for Arts and Humanities Research Council and lead for the Building a Secure and Resilient World theme

* This news item was adapted from the original UKRI news announcement*