UKCRIC’s Foundational Research and Methodologies Recognised

UKCRIC’s Foundational Research and Methodologies Recognised
01 June 2021

The annual awards for the best papers published in the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers have recognised two streams of UKCRIC’s research. The Richard Trevithick Fund Prize for the best paper in Engineering Sustainability was awarded to teams of researchers – Dr Joanne Leach and Professor Chris Rogers from the University of Birmingham and Dr Adriana Ortegon-Sanchez and Professor Nick Tyler from UCL – who described the application of the Liveable Cities methodology applied to a metro (Leach et al., 2020). This methodology, which lies at the heart of UKCRIC’s approach to making effective systemic change happen, derived from the Liveable Cities programme. More formally entitled Transforming the Engineering of Cities to deliver Societal and Planetary Wellbeing, this programme of research, which also included Southampton and Lancaster Universities, underpinned the case for UKCRIC and is clearly reflected in UKCRIC’s missions.

This came hard on the heels of an announcement that a paper entitled ‘Engineering Sustainable, Resilient and Liveable Cities’ (Rogers, 2018), which combines three of the core methodologies embedded in UKCRIC’s approach, is one of the top five most downloaded open access papers ever published in the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, in spite of it being published later than some of its rivals (see The citation states: “This paper is based on data derived from a portfolio of research programmes, the University of Birmingham’s 2014 Future Urban Living report and the findings from the UK government’s Foresight Future of Cities project. It has been cited 29 times since its publication in 2018. It shows how civil engineers can build better cities through a deeper understanding of the future benefits, resilience and value of their proposed urban infrastructure solutions.”

The second award is the James Hill Prize for the best paper in Municipal Engineering (Metje et al., 2020). This featured the findings from the final proving trial of the Mapping and Assessing the Underworld programme, another precursor to, and evidence of the need for, UKCRIC combining the Universities of Birmingham, Bath, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southampton and the British Geological Survey. The research reported in the paper is a companion to a report and paper on the impact of buried utility strikes (Makana et al., 2016, 2020), which features in the National Infrastructure Strategy (HMT, 2020).  This UKCRIC-wide portfolio of activity on buried infrastructure is therefore informing national practice, governance and strategy, and demonstrates UKCRIC’s potential for delivering advances to the way in which we engineer our infrastructure and urban systems.

HMT (2020). National Infrastructure Strategy – Fairer, faster, greener. HM Treasury, November 2020. ISBN 978-1-5286-2259-2

Leach JM, Rogers CDF, Ortegon-Sanchez A and Tyler N (2020). The Liveable Cities Method: Establishing the Case for Transformative Change for a UK Metro. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Engineering Sustainability, 173 (1), 8-19. [Download free from]

Makana LO, Metje N, Jefferson I and Rogers CDF (2016). What Do Utility Strikes Really Cost? Research Report for the iBUILD Project, University of Birmingham, 84pp.

Makana LO, Metje N, Jefferson I, Sackey M and Rogers CDF (2020). Cost Estimation of Utility Strikes: Towards Proactive Management of Street Works. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Infrastructure Asset Management, 7 (2), 64-76. [Download free from] 

Metje N, Hojjati A, Beck A and Rogers CDF (2019). Improved Underground Utilities Asset Management–Assessing the Impact of PAS128 in Practice. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Municipal Engineer, 173 (4), 218-236. [Download free from]

Rogers CDF (2018). Engineering Future Liveable, Resilient, Sustainable Cities Using Foresight. Civil, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Civil Engineering, 171 (6), 3-9.  [Download free from]

Image credit: Scott Graham via Unsplash