Data set to improve engineering through new programme at Imperial College London

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  • Author: Statistics Views (source: Imperial College London)
  • Date: 02 March 2017
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of Getty Images

Investigating how data can make infrastructures safer, the Alan Turing Institute-Lloyd’s Register Foundation data-centric engineering programme will focus on fundamental research and real-world problems, from improving airplane safety to stabilising bridges. The new programme at Imperial College London will be led by Chair of Statistics at the Department of Mathematics Professor Mark Girolami.

thumbnail image: Data set to improve engineering through new programme at Imperial College London

Professor Girolami is already partnering with Professor Lord Robert Mair at the University of Cambridge on a project using data from sensors placed on bridges and viaducts, starting with London Bridge. The project will develop statistical methods to identify trends and changes in the structures’ integrity.

Professor Girolami is developing three challenges that the new programme will tackle. The first looks at ensuring infrastructure, from transport and water supply to buildings themselves, remain resilient and robust. The second concerns monitoring complex systems for safety purposes and the third will look at how data can be exploited in the engineering design process.

Imperial researchers will be seconded to the Turing Institute, which is based at the British Library, and the programme will involve collaborations with industry, government and other academic institutions to make a real-world impact on engineering challenges. The programme also aims to establish a training programme to make sure the next generation is trained in statistical techniques that will allow them to make the best use of the wealth of data.

Upon his appointment, Professor Girolami said: “It is a great honour and a huge opportunity to establish a new discipline that rests on a collaboration between mathematics, statistics, computing and engineering. The main vision is for engineering to enhance the safety of people and of property.”

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