Resilient infrastructure

Our research develops improved methods for modelling, analysing, monitoring and managing the infrastructure of built environments across the world.

Our research seeks new approaches to address the challenges of planning, designing, delivering, maintaining and operating enduring built-assets in the face of climate change and human-induced threat. It sustains our 50-year pedigree of improving the lives of diverse, marginalised communities around the world, and addresses many of the UN’s SDGs.

In the UK, as the construction sector recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, our research is crucially aligned to the demand to optimise innovation and skills to build faster, more effectively and productively as set out in the government’s National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline.

3D concrete printing

Employing a digital manufacturing approach, our research on 3D concrete printing (3DCP), a technology invented at Loughborough, has shaped the international research landscape of large-scale additive manufacturing for construction.

3DCP research and impacts

Current research is focused on novel reinforcement techniques, material science and the development of robotics for material placement. This work aims to take the first steps towards realising design-for-manufacture tools for 3DCP of structural composites and establish the UK as an international leader in manufacturing know-how and design capability. Impact includes a start-up company, Concrenetics, to embed the technology into the concrete precast industry.

Published research Concrenetics website

Deterioration of geotechnical infrastructure

We study performance of critical lifelines, such as transport links and pipe lines, which are constructed in and on the ground, to understand and detect deterioration processes impacting on safety and the prosperity of nations.

Aerial view of a new suspension bridge above roadworks (A465, Wales)

Climate impacts

Working with UK partners we research the impacts of climate change on infrastructure such as embankments and cuttings that are critical to the safe operation of railways and roads. Outputs are influencing the design and the operation of linear assets, such as HS2. This work includes a collaboration between six universities and the British Geological Survey to undertake world-leading science and create a long-term legacy focused on the geotechnical aspects of these assets.

ACHILLES project website Published research

Listening to infrastructure

We are developing novel acoustic emission (AE) monitoring approaches for a wide range of geotechnical assets, such as buried pipelines, foundations, retaining structures, tunnels and dams. We aim to revolutionise infrastructure stewardship with AE sensing to provide information on the condition of infrastructure and early warning of deterioration in real-time.

Buried infrastructure Published research
Destroyed village after landslide on a dump near Cimahio, Bandung, Java, Indonesia
Indonesian village destroyed after landslide

Real-time landslide monitoring

World-leading research on acoustic emissions (AE) generated by soil movement is being deployed in novel sensor systems that can detect landslides earlier than inclinometers, the standard approach. The patented, award-winning technology offers life-saving, real-time monitoring of unstable hillsides saving lives and protecting infrastructure worldwide.

Research impact

Resilience of structural and geotechnical systems

We address a range of industry challenges, including modelling and design practice for structural systems under extreme loading (e.g. seismic and wind), asset condition evaluation for corrosion damage and performance of rail track.

Bloomberg, London - © Image courtesy of SAS International | sasint
Image courtesy of SAS International

Earthquake-resistant metal ceilings

A three-year partnership with SAS International to design and manufacture novel earthquake-resistant metal ceilings, using a combination of cutting-edge experimental and computational methods to test their seismic performance, has resulted in a unique ceiling bracing system to enhance the safety of built environments in seismic regions.

Knowledge Transfer Project with SAS

Disaster risk management and security

Our research has contributed to new methodologies that support the planning, design and engineering of urban spaces to make them less vulnerable to security threats.

We have developed a range of databases, tools and approaches that can be used, alone or in combination, by urban space stakeholders to create new, safer spaces or to reinforce existing urban infrastructure to make them more secure for people and for the surrounding environment. The range of threats and hazards covered include terror, industrial accidents, crowd control issues such as stampede threat, and natural hazards like earthquakes, flood, landslide and volcanoes.

Boat on river in Vietnam

Valuing the benefits of blue/green infrastructure

We are part of an international project to develop a multidisciplinary, stakeholder-informed assessment framework for the effectiveness of Blue/Green Infrastructure (BGI) to reduce flood risk and improve urban natural capital. ValBGI examines the role of BGI in short- and long-term urban development, with application to the city of Can Tho, Viet Nam. Exploring all simultaneous impacts of BGI is beneficial in providing environmental managers and urban planners with a complete array of information for supporting planning decisions.

ValBGI project

National Facility for Advanced Infrastructure Construction

The University hosts the National Facility for Infrastructure Construction (N-FIC), which is part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC). This £1.3M cutting edge research facility includes a full-scale, automated flexible mould controlled by 100 actuators, and new robotic cells for 3D printing and spraying.

UKCRIC website

Meet the experts

The experts below represent the broad interests of our researchers in resilient infrastructure. We look forward to hearing from you.

Professor Lee Bosher - Professor of Disaster Risk Management

Professor Lee Bosher

Professor of Disaster Risk Management

Professor Richard Buswell - Professor of Building Systems Engineering

Professor Richard Buswell

Professor of Building Systems Engineering

Professor Sergio Cavalaro - Professor of Infrastructure Systems

Professor Sergio Cavalaro

Professor of Infrastructure Systems

Dr Ksenia Chmutina - Senior Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism

Dr Ksenia Chmutina

Senior Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism

Professor Neil Dixon - Professor of Geotechnical Engineering

Professor Neil Dixon

Professor of Geotechnical Engineering

Dr Teresa Lombardo - Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering and Design

Dr Teresa Lombardo

Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering and Design

Dr Alessandro Palmeri - Reader in Structural Engineering and Dynamics Structures

Dr Alessandro Palmeri

Reader in Structural Engineering and Dynamics Structures

Dr Alister Smith - Lecturer in Civil Engineering

Dr Alister Smith

Senior lecturer in Civil Engineering