UKIERI-DST Partnership Development Workshop

UKIERI logo              DST logo

Highlights of the workshop

  • Presentations by leading researchers, keynote lectures from academic and industry on aspects of resilience, urbanisation and structural design.
  • Group discussion sessions to explore how the knowledge shared within the workshop can be applied to the Indian context
  • Site visit to University of Wolverhampton brand new Springfield campus and National Brownfield Institute
  • Break-out session to explore collaborations between groups and develop research ideas and collaborative research proposals
  • Virtual as well as face-to-face interaction between researchers
  • The four-day workshop engaged researchers from 13 universities from the UK, 4 universities from India and two UK industries.

 Main outcomes of the workshop

  • A number of collaborative research ideas between the UK and India research groups on the topics related to the theme were developed which will be submitted for a suitable funding opportunity.
  • A better understanding of the challenges of urbanisation and resilience in India particularly considering natural and man-made disasters was developed. Various case studies from different regions were discussed to realise the good practices which can then be applied to the Indian context.
  • Provided young researchers with a unique opportunity to interact with mentors and experts from academia and industry.
  • Various links and networks were developed which will help in the generation of future collaborative opportunities.

 Key takeaways from the workshop

The presentations in the workshop were very absorbing and generated a lot of discussion leading to the exchange of ideas among the participants. These presentations covered practically all major aspects of sustainability and resilience which are of interest to the engineering community in general and in particular to the community of Civil and Structural engineers. Over the course of 4 days, many interesting ideas and case studies were presented which highlighted the good practices and strategies adopted for dealing with disasters and mitigating risks. In various discussion sessions, these ideas were extended to the Indian context.

Based on the technical presentations and research interests of the participants, four focus areas were identified on which participants in smaller groups had breakout brainstorming sessions to identify research topics of mutual interest on which research groups from the UK and India can collaborate in order to develop long term partnerships. These focus areas were:

 (A)  Advanced Construction Materials

(B)  Resilient Infrastructure Systems

(C)  Data-Intensive Risk Assessment

(D)  Multi-Hazard Scenario-Based Designs

Twelve projects were identified for possible collaborative activities between UK and India research groups in the short and long term.

Future Research Collaboration on the Advanced construction material (Group A)

Possible research proposals

 (i) Sustainable design of civil structures in India - Develop construction materials with reduced carbon footprints to improve sustainability for both existing and new structures; Development of green concrete using waste material including natural fibres.

Deliverables - Experimental results for new sustainable material; Design guidance for using the developed sustainable material in civil construction.

 (ii) Development of material with energy absorption characteristic for resilient design of structures - with focus on Aluminium components at high strain rates and elevated temperatures.  

Deliverables - Experimental results for various aluminium components; Design guidelines.

 (iii) Future of 3-D printing for resilient and sustainable structures - Identify challenges and prospects of using 3-D printed components in construction; Explore the difference in properties of the 3-D printed material with conventional material.

Deliverables - Gain an understanding of differences in 3-D printed material and conventionally-made material, and its usage in civil construction.


 Future Research Collaboration on the Theme of Resilient Infrastructure Systems (Group B)

Possible research proposals

 (i) Is our critical infrastructure accessible, Social impact prioritization of bridge maintenance - Interdependency of different facilities, cost impact of the bridge failure, develop a methodology for social valuation of the bridge function.

Deliverables - A framework to determine the resilience of the current network based on the social impact of its failure.

 (ii) Building envelop/façade design for structural resilience, energy efficiency and aesthetics – use of smart materials (e.g., shape memory alloys and polymers) and devices (piezo actuators/sensors, MR fluid dampers etc.).

Deliverables - Better understanding of multiple smart material applications for the resilient design of building envelops/facades; Development of improved resilient designs of building envelops and facades.

 (iii) Resilient design of civil structures in India in hilly regions prone to high seismicity - has relevance to the Himalayan region in Northern India requiring review of design codes, construction materials and practices for resilient design of civil infrastructure; Focus will be on residential and school infrastructure.

Deliverables - Improved understanding of design and construction practices for infrastructure in hilly regions of India subjected to seismic excitation; Modifications and improvements in design codes.


Future Research Collaboration on the Data-intensive Risk assessment (Group C)

Possible research proposals

 (i) AI-based rapid risk assessment framework for infrastructure in India - Data collection and labelling; Development of risk assessment framework using AI; Evaluation and validation of proposed framework; Mobile app development.

Deliverables - Build and develop database; Development of Rapid assessment tools/framework and Mobile App.

 (ii) Enhancement of critical civil infrastructure resilience in India via intelligent real-time monitoring - Implementation of various structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques; Understand the challenges associated with real-time monitoring and investigate how to overcome them.

Deliverables - Strategy for real-time monitoring of different civil infrastructure.

 (iii) Data-driven decision-making framework for asset management in India - Identify challenges associated with digital twinning of the infrastructure; Adoption of building information modelling (BIM) and system modelling in the Indian context.

Deliverables - Framework for decision-making process based on data; Mobile App.


Future Research Collaboration on the Multi-hazard scenario-based designs (Group D)

Possible research proposals

 (i) Multi-hazard performance-based engineering of high-speed bridges and enhance the resilience of high-speed railway network - Optimal design solutions; Would require experimental work in the UK + Application of AI technologies in India (including hybrid simulations).

Deliverables - Strategies for resilient and sustainable design of high-speed railway network.

 (ii) Application of smart materials in risk mitigation of civil infrastructure in India – Use of multiple smart materials and devices for the development of smart structures that shall adapt to extreme loads and exhibit resilience.

Deliverables - Better understanding of the use of multiple smart materials and smart devices; Development of improved resilient designs of buildings (e.g., high rise buildings) and structures.

 (iii) Identification and analysis of existing vulnerable built city structures, and development of residual life assessment and retrofit strategies - Study of the vulnerability of high rise buildings, old conventional as well as heritage structures in a city like Delhi under multi-hazard (earthquake, fire, blast, impact loads) conditions; Propose retrofit strategies to improve their life and resilience; Residual life estimation of critical infrastructure.

Deliverables - Vulnerability and residual life assessment of critical infrastructure; Development of retrofit strategies to improve their resilience.


 Workshop Report

A preliminary report of the workshop summarising the proceedings of the workshop can be obtained from the following link: 

Workshop Report