Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

Digital Twins - How can they help the South West to decarbonise? online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 12 July 2021
  • 12:00 - 13:30
Digital Twins - How can they help the South West to decarbonise? online

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Could the use of Digital Twins aid and accelerate the net zero transition in South West England? 

Join this exciting workshop to discuss how digital representations of the physical world might unlock new opportunities for the decarbonisation of infrastructure in the region.

The event is open to all, whether you’re an expert or novice.

Please join this free session to help guide the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP)’s learning journey on Digital Twins.


The SWIP Net Zero Integrating Route Map, launched on 13 May 2021, identified the vital role of digital tools in aiding the collaborative learning and modelling that are essential to reshape future infrastructure provision that will underpin net zero in perpetuity.

One such digital tool is the so-called Digital Twin. This is a multi-faceted digital representation of a physical system, which, amongst other capabilities, captures the state of the system and enables simulations and forecasts of its future behaviour, given changes to the system and its environment.

The Digital Twin will inevitably become an essential tool in the kit for SWIP’s proposed South West Collaboratory, a living laboratory that will accelerate learning and collaboration in finding out what works, what doesn’t, and why, as we strive to deliver decarbonisation.

Digital Twins already have a successful pedigree in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors. Research is in progress to adapt this experience to the breadth and variety of systems that comprise infrastructure.

As part of the £138m UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), the Data Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) is launching its digital platform, which will enable the development of integrated Digital Twins. SWIP is partnering with DAFNI to explore what role the platform might play in aiding regional decarbonisation.

This SWIP co-production workshop will be the first step in this exploration. It will:

  • Introduce the Digital Twin concept
  • Introduce DAFNI
  • Flag emerging Digital Twin developments in the South West
  • Consider how Digital Twins might help the many aspects of regional decarbonisation, identifying opportunities, needs and barriers.

The information will feed into SWIP's strategic planning and work programme for 2021-22, which might include a DAFNI-supported exploratory Digital Twin ‘Hackathon' in Autumn 2021.

The workshop will take place via Zoom with attendees working in break-out groups supported by an interactive online tool.


Professor Colin Taylor CEng FICE

Emeritus Professor of Earthquake Engineering, The University of Bristol

Colin Taylor

Colin has over 40 years’ research and practice experience in assessing the impact of natural and other hazards on all kinds of infrastructure systems. His group’s work for EDF Energy, on modelling seismic effects on an Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor graphite core, won the 2017 ICE SW Showcase Award and was selected for the prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2020. He was Bristol lead academic, and a national leader, of the £138m UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC).

He is continuing his UKCRIC related research in the area of Future Cities and Smart Infrastructure, with an emphasis on improving understanding of the nexus between people and physical systems. This work centres on how learning and human behaviour change are shaped by infrastructure systems. He is closely involved with the establishment of the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP), helping to steer SWIP’s decarbonisation activities. In this role, he is championing a systems learning, thinking and practice approach to both characterise the South West decarbonisation challenge and to identify a long term, adaptive development route map to solve the challenge.

Dr Brian Matthews

DAFNI Project Lead

Dr Brian Matthews

Brian leads the DAFNI and Data Science and Technology Group at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). He has over 30 years of experience in R&D development in computing, with a focus on tools, methods and standards for managing accessing research data from scientific experiments. He took a leading role in the development of the data management infrastructure that supports the ISIS Neutron and Diamond Light Sources, and has worked extensively on European programmes on data infrastructures.

He leads the DAFNI team, developing data and modelling infrastructure to support research into national infrastructure, and is co-investigator on projects extending its use including OpenClim and the Centre for Greening Finance and Investment initiative. He is Co-Investigator and Technical Lead on the Physical Sciences Data-science Service, one of EPSRC’s National Research Facilities.

Event venue

United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Barbara Sweet

e: [email protected]