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National Research Facility for Infrastructure Sensing

Interdisciplinary Centre for infrastructure sensors and instrumentation


A new CSIC short film featuring NRFIS presents the Centre’s vision and work to transform infrastructure through smarter information.

The Cambridge’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) film introduces the collaborative work of the Centre that values data to support better decisions to deliver a safe, more sustainable, economically equitable and resilient infrastructure system – that enables people and the planet to flourish. Following CSIC’s 2021 Annual Review, which marked 10 years of CSIC, the Centre has chosen to showcase its work in a new medium.

The film 'Data, performance, decision-making' features a number of CSIC projects hosted at NRFIS which demonstrate the real-world impact of the Centre’s work. The four projects featured in the four-minute film include: the delivery of the first-ever smart rail bridges in the UK, the co-development of a distributed fibre optic sensing instrumented geogrid (Sensorgrid) for early detection of subsurface ground movement, a risk-informed, data-driven and value-based approach to asset management and digital cities for change.

Opening the film, Dr Jennifer Schooling OBE, Director of CSIC, explains the critical role of infrastructure: “Infrastructure is the bones and arteries of the built environment we all depend on for society to function. When they work well, these interconnected systems of transport networks, utilities are the foundation of a flourishing society, providing a healthy environment for us. But as they age, this becomes more challenging. CSIC is advancing the use of data and digital tools to better understand the real performance of our infrastructure systems so that our infrastructure remains safe and meets the needs of the world we live in today – not just addressing global and time-critical challenges such as climate change but building a sustainable future for people and the planet.

 “With smart infrastructure and data-led solutions, collaborating with our partners, we have an opportunity to build things that don't just protect us from disaster, but which create a better future for everybody. And that’s what our infrastructure systems should be about – helping people, places and the planet to flourish.”

'Data, performance, decision-making', which is directed by film maker Chris Loades, also features Professor Mark Girolami, Academic Director of CSIC, Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and Chief Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute who reflects on the opportunities of digital cities: “Cities are where so much of our infrastructure connects, and where most of us interact with it. Digitalisation of our urban environment creates huge potential to improve our lives, make our cities more inclusive environments and address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Watch CSIC’s short film 'Data, performance, decision-making' at the CSIC YouTube channel here.

Through the University of Cambridge, CSIC is an active member of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and is hosted in the UKCRIC-funded National Research Facility for Infrastructure Sensing (NRFIS).

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