Infrastructure KE Fellowship (Enhancing the resilience of infrastructure to climate change & extreme weather using automated monitoring technologies)

Lead Research Organisation: NERC British Geological Survey
Department Name: Engineering Geology

Abstract

Key components of the UK transport and utilities infrastructure networks were built more than 100 years ago. This is particularly true of geotechnical assets (i.e. cuttings and embankments) within the rail and canal networks, and earth dams within the water utilities network. These structures were often very poorly constructed compared to modern engineered infrastructure earthworks. Materials were typically selected on the basis of availability, rather than suitability - consequently many of these structures are deteriorating, and require considerable resources for maintenance and remediation. This was clearly demonstrated this year with extreme rainfall causing numerous earthwork failures and major disruption to critical UK infrastructure.

Current monitoring approaches are very often inadequate for predicting slope failure events. They are overly reliant on meteorological data and surface observations, such as manual walkover, aerial photography, or site investigation (i.e. boreholes and trial pits), which do not adequately quantify (spatially or temporally) subsurface processes that occur as "precursors" to slope failure. Instead, failure is typically identified after it has been initiated, which, in many cases, is too late to implement low cost preventative interventions. There is a growing recognition by geotechnical asset owners that emerging low cost ground sensing technologies (e.g. geophysical ground imaging; new ground motion, pore pressure and moisture sensors; intelligent networks; wireless communications) could provide automated monitoring of the internal condition of assets at unprecedented levels of spatial and temporal resolution - thereby providing early warning of potential slope failure and enhancing the resilience of their networks to environmental risks. This is exemplified by Network Rail's new policy of increasing the number of small scale 'refurbishment and maintenance' interventions, and fewer high cost 'renewal' interventions, which will be underpinned by the significantly increased use of remote monitoring technology.

However, there are a number of major barriers to the uptake of these novel technologies by industry. These include limited industry awareness, caution in adopting novel technology, and lack of case studies validating and demonstrating new technologies for slope monitoring applications. Some of the emerging technologies also require specialist input that is currently available within the research community, but which existing geotechnical monitoring consultancies and contractors cannot yet provide. This is particularly true of some of the geophysical ground imaging technologies, which require complex workflows to derive information relevant to asset owners. An additional challenge is the need to interface new workflows and data streams with current industry standard information delivery systems so that the resulting data is accessible and intelligible to end-users and beneficiaries of the technology.

This project will therefore seek to engage both researchers and industry stakeholders to overcome these barriers to the uptake of automated condition monitoring technologies. I will seek to (1) understand current industry monitoring practices, (2) identify key emerging monitoring technologies that could be applicable for slope monitoring, (3) consider approaches for near-real-time analysis and delivery of remotely streamed monitoring data, (4) raise awareness amongst asset owners and service providers of new technological monitoring solutions, (5) produce a series of guidance documents detailing emerging technologies. To achieve this I will build on my links to industry and academia already established through a series of collaborative infrastructure research and innovation projects funded by the research councils (NERC and EPSRC) and a government development agency, and my participation in EU COST Action TU2012 ('Impact of climate change on engineered slopes for infrastructure').
 
Description Engagement with a range of industry stakeholders has established end-user drivers and applications for subsurface monitoring technologies.
A range of emerging innovative monitoring technologies have been identified as being potentially beneficial to stakeholders - information relating to these technologies has been disseminated through workshops, conferences, one-one meetings and articles
Exploitation Route My work on the fellowship is contributing to commercialisation plans for key subsurface monitoring technologies, which has now resulted in a formal collaborations with industry and the first commercial deployment of PRIME technology.
Opportunities for the deployment of innovative monitoring technologies in developing countries have been realised - in India, Zambia and Malawi.
A number of new proposals for funding have arisen from the fellowship.
Sectors Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Transport

URL https://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/tomography/PRIME.html
 
Description Infrastructure asset owners, consultants and specialist monitoring contractors have been provided with the opportunity to explore a range of new and emerging asset monitoring technologies - through end-user focussed workshops and meetings. The fellowship has also been used to facilitate the development of geophysical monitoring technology for landslide hazard assessment in India, in partnership with in-country researchers.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Transport,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Environmental Risk to Infrastructure Innovation Programme
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N012933/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 07/2016
 
Description Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme
Amount £205,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P00914X/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 06/2018
 
Description Global Challenges Research Fund
Amount £5,141,662 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P02095X/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 12/2021
 
Description AMRITA - India 
Organisation Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
Country India 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Reconnaissance trip in advance of installation of landslide monitoring system.
Collaborator Contribution Hosting project staff and collaborating with the installation of new landslide monitoring technology.
Impact Too early.
Start Year 2017
 
Description ARUP 
Organisation Arup Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact Ongoing - project just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ATKINS 
Organisation WS Atkins
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact Ongoing - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description BGS-CIRIA workshop July 2015 
Organisation CIRIA
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Co-convened a workshop entitled 'Subsurface monitoring technologies for proactive infrastructure asset management'.
Collaborator Contribution Co-convened a workshop entitled 'Subsurface monitoring technologies for proactive infrastructure asset management'.
Impact Workshop and report.
Start Year 2015
 
Description CNR-IMAA 
Organisation National Research Council
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Shared experience of landslide characterisation and monitoring. Hosted a visit by researchers from CNR-IMAA.
Collaborator Contribution Shared experience of landslide characterisation and monitoring. Hosted a visit by researchers from BGS.
Impact Too early.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Canal & River Trust 
Organisation Canal & River Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Advice and expertise on the stability of geotechnical assets. Information on new and emerging technology that will be potentially beneficial to the partner.
Collaborator Contribution Steerage of technology development project. Provision of test site for technology demonstration. Provision of data and information. Health and safety advice and support for technology installation at demonstration site.
Impact New geophysical monitoring instrument (PRIME). New demonstration site on operational railway. New monitoring data arising from the test site. Conference papers.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Environment Agency 
Organisation Environment Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Steering group member, provision of test site, site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description HS2 
Organisation High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just starting.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Highways England 
Organisation Department of Transport
Department Highways Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member, provision of test site, site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ITM Monitoring 
Organisation ITM Monitoring
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Kier 
Organisation Kier Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member. Pilot site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description National Grid 
Organisation The National Grid Co plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member, provision of pilot site, site support and logistics.
Impact On-going - project has only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Network Rail 
Organisation Network Rail Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Advice and expertise on the stability of geotechnical assets. Information on new and emerging technology that will be potentially beneficial to the partner.
Collaborator Contribution Steerage of technology development project. Provision of test site for technology demonstration. Provision of data and information. Health and safety advice and support for technology installation at demonstration site.
Impact New geophysical monitoring instrument (PRIME). New demonstration site on operational railway. New monitoring data arising from the test site. Conference papers.
Start Year 2013
 
Description RSSB 
Organisation Rail Safety and Standards Board
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Scottish Canals 
Organisation Scottish Canals
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Advice and expertise on the stability of geotechnical assets. Information on new and emerging technology that will be potentially beneficial to the partner.
Collaborator Contribution Steerage of technology development project. Provision of data and information.
Impact New geophysical monitoring instrument (PRIME). Conference papers.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Transport Scotland 
Organisation Transport Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Project leader.
Collaborator Contribution Project steering group member.
Impact On-going - project only just started.
Start Year 2016
 
Description University of Parma 
Organisation University of Parma
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sharing expertise and experience in landslide and slope stability monitoring. Hosting visits by partners - including trips to field sites.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing expertise and experience in landslide and slope stability monitoring. Hosting visits by partners - including trips to field sites.
Impact Too early.
Start Year 2016
 
Title Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation System 
Description A new low-cost low-power geophysical ground imaging and monitoring instrument. The IPR for the system is owned by BGS. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Commercial monitoring work using the new system has been undertaken.
 
Description CIRIA/NERC-ERIIP Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A showcase of NERC-funded innovation projects that take the outcomes of existing research and translate these into industry-relevant information and tools to help UK infrastructure identify environmental risks, assess their impacts on infrastructure and develop solutions. This webinar will focus on the risks posed by geological hazards to infrastructure. I presented on PRIME technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ciria.org/CIRIA/Navigation/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=E17701
 
Description COST Action TU1202 - Workshop: 'Emerging Technologies for Monitoring Engineered Infrastructure Slopes', Ljubljana, 22nd to 23rd October 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I convened this workshop in order to explore the state-of-the-art in infrastructure asset monitoring across Europe. Presentations on emerging geotechnical asset monitoring technologies and methodologies were given by specialists from across Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Energy Networks Association - Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk to Energy Networks Association Working Group, Horseferry Road, London, to discuss PRIME technology in relation to flood risk to energy networks. Audience include National Grid and representative of most of the UK energy supply companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Geophysics for Critical Infrastructure, Meeting of the Geological Society, Nottingham, 16th July 2015. Talk title: 'Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation: automated time-lapse resistivity imaging for the assessment and management of infrastructure earthworks' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk given on PRIME technology at Geological Society meeting. The purpose of the talk was to disseminate knowledge and information about the new developed PRIME geophysical monitoring technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.bgs.ac.uk/news/diary/gci-programme.pdf
 
Description Ground Engineering Instrumentation and Monitoring Workshop - Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation given to an audience of civil engineers.

Chambers, JE, 2016. The management and delivery of subsurface information from non-invasive ground imaging systems. Ground Engineering Instrumentation and Monitoring 2017, Asset Condition Monitoring Workshop, London, 15 March 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting of the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum, BGS, Nottingham, 3rd March 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was involved in hosting the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum (GAOF) at BGS on 3rd March 2016. GAOF comprises representatives of the major UK geotechnical asset owners including Network Rail, London Underground, Scottish Canals, Canal and River Trust, Highways Agency and Scottish Transport. GAOF requested to hold their meeting at BGS so they could review the PRIME technology and visit the PRIME test site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Infrastructure Monitoring Session: 3rd International Workshop on Geoelectrical Monitoring (GELMON), Vienna, 24th to 26th November 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I co-convened this session in order to explore the development of geoelectrical monitoring technologies for infrastructure monitoring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited attendance at the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum, CIRIA Offices, London, 07/02/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to attend the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum to discuss a new project set up by CIRIA called 'Deterioration and degradation modelling of infrastructure assets'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2017
 
Description Invited keynote lecture at the 4th International Workshop on Geoelectrical Monitoring, Vienna, 23/11/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chambers, JE, Wilkinson, PB, Meldrum, PI, Uhlemann, S, Gunn, D, Kuras, O, Inauen, C, Swift, R, Merritt, A, Whiteley, J, 2017. KEYNOTE LECTURE: Geophysical characterization, monitoring and early warning of slope failure: a review of methodological developments at the Hollin Hill landslide observatory. GELMON 2017 - 4th International Workshop on Geoelectrical Monitoring, 22-24 November, Vienna, Austria.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited lecture at the Institute of Civil Engineers, London, 26th November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited lecture at an event designed to promote PRIME technology to the civil engineering and geotechnical communities. The event was entitled 'Priming the industry: an innovation in earthworks monitoring' and consisted of the lecture followed by a discussion between an invited panel of geotechnical specialists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ice.org.uk/eventarchive/priming-the-industry-an-innovation-in-earthworks-m
 
Description Invited presentation at Geotechnica 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation given to geotechnical specialists/practitioners/consultants/contractors.

Chambers, JE and Gunn, D, 2015. Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation. Geotechnica 2015, Leamington Spa 8 July 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited presentation given at the EAGE Near Surface Geoscience 2018 'Geophysics in Support of Infrastructure Planning' Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chambers, JE, Meldrum, PI, Wilkinson, PB, Uhlemann, S, Swift, R, Inauen, C, Kuras, O, Abbott, S, Butler, S, Whiteley, J, Kendall, JM, 2017. Monitoring the condition of infrastructure earthworks and slopes using low-cost low-power autonomous electrical resistivity tomography technology. EAGE Near Surface Geoscience 2018, Workshop - Geophysics in support of infrastructure planning, Malmo, Sweden, September 2017. (Invited Presentation).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited presentation to the NERC Knowledge Exchange Network 'Seeing inside the subsurface - an introduction to the Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation System', Portsmouth, 25/05/18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk given to NERC KEN.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk 'Remote condition monitoring of geotechnical assets: an introduction to the Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) System', given at the Arup offices, London, 21/03/17. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk given to the geotechnical staff at the Arup offices in Bloomsbury, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk at the British Dam Society 20th Biennial Conference, Swansea University, 13-15 September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk entitled "Experiences in the use of PRIME", given within the "Remote Monitoring" session of the conference. The talk was intended to provide civil engineers engaged in dam infrastructure monitoring with information on a new monitoring technology (i.e. PRIME).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at the British Dam Society 20th Biennial Conference, Swansea University, 13-15 September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk entitled "Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME): remote condition monitoring of earth dams using a novel low-power autonomous ground imaging system", given within the 'Innovative Technologies for Improving the Management of Dams and Reservoirs' session of the conference. The talk was intended to provide civil engineers engaged in dam infrastructure monitoring with information on a new monitoring technology (i.e. PRIME).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote at World Canals Conference 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chambers, JE, 2016. Remote condition assessment of canal earthworks using novel geophysical monitoring technologies. World Canals Conference (Keynote), Inverness, 19 September 2016.

Talk given to a mixed audience of engineers, volunteers, government (including cabinet member of Scottish Government).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://wccscotland.com/speakers/
 
Description Knowledge Exchange Workshop No. 1 - Subsurface monitoring technologies for proactive infrastructure asset management, 1st July 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I convened the workshop with the following objectives: (1)To provide infrastructure asset owners, managers and consultants an opportunity to explore emerging technologies and discuss their requirements for subsurface asset monitoring in the medium to long term; (2) To facilitate engagement with the R&D community to ensure that monitoring technology development is fit-for-purpose and steered by end-user requirements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description NERC ERIIP Brokerage Event - Invited Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited presentation on 'Innovation Success' relating to the NERC ERIIP PRIME project. Given to a mixed audience of industry and academics.

Chambers, JE, 2016. The Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME). NERC Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme brokerage event. London, 8th March 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Overview of KE Fellowship - presented to the NERC Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme (ERIIP) Board, London, 16/01/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to provide an overview of my KE fellowship to the ERIIP board.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description US Transportation Research Board - Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine - Transportation Research Board Webinar. The goal of the webinar was to provide training to (1) recognize geotechnical related applications using electrical resistivity, and (2) understand how to use electrical resistivity to assess site variability and assist in the rapid site characterization for transportation project delivery. The audience was approximately 350.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.trb.org/Calendar/Blurbs/174866.aspx
 
Description Visit to National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA), 5th to 6th November. Talk title: 'The development of time-lapse electrical imaging for landslide and infrastructure monitoring' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Visit and talk given at CNR, Italy. Purpose of the visit was for knowledge exchange in the area of technologies for monitoring unstable slopes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Visit to the University of Parma 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Visit to the University of Parma to give an invited lecture and to discuss potential collaboration. New links made with a number of academics, postgraduate students and practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017