The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has been announced as a member of a £16m consortium which aims to drive innovation across infrastructure projects in the UK
UWE Bristol will receive £1.2m to investigate four key areas to improve efficiency and quality within the construction industry.
These areas include; artificial intelligence data mining, advanced logistics, conversational artificial intelligence and quality assurance.
TIES Living Lab
The TIES Living Lab was recently launched by transport minister, Andrew Stephenson.
TIES Living Lab is a transformative collaboration aimed at harnessing the vast quantities of intelligence that UK infrastructure projects generate in order to drive down delivery times, reduce carbon emissions and improve safety and skills for construction workers.
As part of the initiative, the team of UWE Bristol researchers led by Professor Lamine Mahdjoubi will develop a semi-automated system that can translate costings provided by various parties into a standardised format, such as the international construction measurement standard.
This will allow an improved understanding of costs and performance through benchmarking. The team is also developing a state-of-the-art advanced logistics system based on digital twin technology to revolutionise modern methods of construction and improve productivity.
Dr Mahdjoubi, professor of Digital Built Environment and director of the Centre of Architecture and Built Environment Research at UWE Bristol, said: ‘‘With private and public money tighter than ever, now is the time to examine how efficiencies can be introduced to the infrastructure and construction sectors.
“We must find better ways of delivering high quality, cost-effective projects that also offer social value and are better for the environment.”
Mahdjoubi added: ‘‘For years we have found it difficult to forecast the real cost and time to deliver an infrastructure project while clients have lacked the tools to accurately benchmark tenders and select projects which offer the best value.
‘‘Drawing upon a range of expertise from within UWE Bristol and utilising innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and digital twin, my team and I look forward to being part of the TIES Living Lab project and developing tools and processes which can revolutionise how the infrastructure and construction sectors in the UK operate.’’
Transport minister, Andrew Stephenson, said: “As we begin our green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the need to level-up our country and boost economic prosperity has only increased – and we are determined that we don’t just rebuild, we rebuild smarter.
“The Living Lab is a great opportunity for industry and academics to work together to embrace new, more productive, more efficient and more sustainable ways of delivering transport infrastructure.”