The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced a major research grant which is says “will push the frontiers of systems research to understand how best to plan, design and invest in modern, sustainable and resilient infrastructure services”.
The Multi-scale Infrastructure Systems Analytics (Mistral) research will be led by University of Oxford professor Jim Hall and builds on previous EPSRC-funded research in the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC).
ITRC is a consortium of seven UK universities led by Oxford and has a vision for infrastructure decisions to be guided by systems analysis and the new funding will support this aim.
According to EPSRC, when this vision is realised, decision makers will have access to, and visualisation of, information that tells them how all infrastructure systems are performing. They will have models that help to pinpoint vulnerabilities and quantify the risks of failure and be able to perform “what-if” analysis of proposed investments and explore the effects of future uncertainties, such as population growth, new technologies and climate change.
Commenting on the announcement, EPSRC chief executive Philip Nelson said: “This grant will help maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in the field of infrastructure design that takes account of the growing interconnectedness of real and virtual infrastructure at local, national and international scales.”