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ICE Strategy Sessions: Systems-thinking: re-envisioning infrastructure as a platform for human flourishing?

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12 May 2020

This event has now ended

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This event is the latest in the ICE Strategy Session series. It will advocate a people-focussed, system-based view of infrastructure providing a platform for human flourishing.

With the ongoing digital transformation of the infrastructure industry, civil engineers have the opportunity of delivering huge benefit for the ultimate customers – the people for whom infrastructure exists – and £7bn/year to the UK economy alone. There is an opportunity to address not just the transformation of the way we deliver new assets, but also the way we operate, maintain and use existing assets to deliver better outcomes for the end-users.

In this event Infrastructure Client Group Digital Transformation Task Group chair Mark Enzer will set out the vision, describing how bringing digital and physical assets together creates cyber-physical systems – smart infrastructure. v

Enzer will set out how making better use of asset and system data is central to this vision because better decisions, based on better analysis of better data, lead to better outcomes. As part of this, we must recognise digital assets, such as data, information, algorithms and digital twins, as genuine ‘assets’, which entails valuing and managing them effectively.

Complex interconnected systems require a competent tool set to help manage them. Digital twins have been used successfully in the manufacturing industry for this purpose and they promise to release similar value in infrastructure. Likewise, the UK’s National Digital Twin, envisaged as an ecosystem of connected digital twins, has the potential not just to mirror, but also to help manage the system of systems that is our national infrastructure.

The City of Helsinki is already advanced on this journey. It has a stated intention of being a leading digitalisation city in the world and has made digital twin models of the Kalasatama area, where the City offers high-quality 3D models as open data to all operators and collaboration partners. The City’s wish is that these city model platforms would further the diverse product development, research, education and innovation activities in the field and contribute to increasing the understanding of the great potential of digitalisation in city development.

In this event we will hear from project manager Jarmo Suomisto who believes that if similar figures to the 10% cost savings found in other industry sectors through use of digital twins can be exploited by urban developers, then cities could be built for 250 million people “for free” using the savings.

We will then hear from Sensat founder James Dean who will describe how intelligent use of data is being used to massively streamline project delivery for Highways England and even assist with investment prioritisation by identifying accident blackspots.

Finally, Michele Furlan, Machine Learning Engineer at Qualis Flow, will explore the power of AI and encourage delegates to consider where smart use of data can unleash the creative power of civil engineers.

For more information please contact:

ICE Events team