We are delighted to be able to share with you UKCRIC's latest Annual Review, which covers the period 2018-19. The review includes case studies, facts and figures from the past year, as well as updates from the Infrastructure Laboratories, DAFNI and the Urban Observatories.
Letter from the Convenor
It has been a year of achievement for UKCRIC, as we passed, with flying colours, a major Gateway review by our funder, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who commented particularly on our strong commitment to the overall goal of collaboration. And in the 2019 Times Higher Education Awards, our Urban Observatories were shortlisted for Research Project of the Year: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
We are delighted to have been joined by The University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University, extending our reach into Scotland. Their membership is based on the huge investment and opportunity of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, which will see colleagues helping shape infrastructure decisions that will benefit the communities they serve.
We have had positive engagement with the proposed East-West (Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford) Arc development. UKCRIC Management board member Jim Hall’s Multi-scale InfraSTRucture systems AnaLytics (MISTRAL) modelling was presented at a well-attended event at the ICE in London in November 2019. A genuinely inspiring research brainstorming workshop was held in Birmingham in August 2019, which saw the concept move from a railway to a system that has the potential to improve people’s lives, and led to East West Rail commissioning four scoping studies from UKCRIC universities to help shape their thinking.
Our infrastructure laboratories across the UK are in various build stages, and continue to make good progress. The National Research Facility for Water and Wastewater Treatment at Cranfield launched in Summer 2019. The National Research Facility for Infrastructure Sensing in Cambridge, and the National Infrastructure Laboratory in Southampton both opened in September. The National Distributed Water Infrastructure Facility at Sheffield came on stream in October. I write this from my study at home, one week into a soft lockdown in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the US baseball player Yogi Berra is reported to have said, ‘it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future’. But it’s likely that this continuing event will change the way we view and interact with infrastructure in our daily lives. Our urban observatories gather real-time data on how people use cities and infrastructure. Deploying our full range of expertise and facilities for observation, experimentation and modelling, UKCRIC is well placed to develop research and knowledge that will help ensure our future infrastructure and city systems are relevant to the new world order that emerges.
Professor William Powrie,