Two infrastructure research projects on asset management technology and nanoscale flow systems have been awarded combined grants worth £8.6M by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Researchers from Edinburgh and Warwick universities will seek new design techniques for flow systems at the nanoscale, with potential applications for transport, energy and climate resilience. Among its potential applications, this work will aim to change flow systems to improve fuel efficiency of marine and air transport, which would in turn reduce carbon emissions. It will also investigate smart nano‐structured coatings that enable ships to more easily move through water, using less fuel.
The University of Oxford will build on work by a consortium of seven universities to generate multi-scale modeling of infrastructure assets to inform future decisions on infrastructure development. The aim is to create modelling based on asset performance at a large scale that will enable “what-if” analysis of proposed investments and cater for future uncertainties such as population growth, climate change and new technologies.
EPSRC said of its awards: “One will push the frontiers of systems research to understand how best to plan, design and invest in modern, sustainable and resilient infrastructure services. The other will aim to gain previously unachieved design capabilities through modelling flow dynamics at the nanoscale.”
Chief executive professor Philip Nelson added: “These programme grants will firstly 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.
“Secondly they will boost our scientific knowledge of how flow occurs at the nanoscale so we can model systems more accurately and apply this knowledge to technical innovations.”