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  1. until
    Join us to celebrate the launch of the Infrastructure Client Group Annual Digital Benchmarking Report 2021 on 15 June 2022 at 9:00 BST by REGISTERING HERE. The ICG Report, powered by the Smart Infrastructure Index, surveys asset owners and operators who jointly represent over £385bn worth of capital assets and over 40% of the national infrastructure and construction pipeline. After Mark Enzer, former Head of the National Digital Twin Programme, Centre for Digital Built Britain, introduces the report, Andy Moulds and Anna Bowskill, Mott MacDonald, will uncover the results of the latest research into the state of the nation for digital adoption and maturity. This will be followed by a panel of industry thoughts leaders and practitioners, chaired by Melissa Zanocco, Co-Chair DTHub Community Council, sharing their views and best practice case studies from the ICG Digital Transformation Task Group and Project 13 Adopters including: Karen Alford, Environment Agency – skills Matt Edwards, Anglian Water – digital twins Sarah Hayes, CReDo – Climate Resilience Demonstrator digital twin Neil Picthall, Sellafield – common data environments Matt Webb, UK Power Networks – digital operating models Will Varah, Infrastructure & Projects Authority – Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030 REGISTER to find out how much progress has been made at a time when digital transformation is a critical enabler for solving the global, systemic challenges facing the planet. For any questions or issues, please contact Melissa Zanocco: melissa.zanocco@ice.org.uk Please note: We plan to make a recording of the event available. Please note that third parties, including other delegates may also take pictures or record videos and audio and process the same in a variety of ways, including by posting content across the web and social media platforms.
  2. Join us to celebrate the launch of the Infrastructure Client Group Annual Digital Benchmarking Report 2021 on 15 June 2022 at 9:00 BST by REGISTERING HERE. The ICG Report, powered by the Smart Infrastructure Index, surveys asset owners and operators who jointly represent over £385bn worth of capital assets and over 40% of the national infrastructure and construction pipeline. After Mark Enzer, former Head of the National Digital Twin Programme, Centre for Digital Built Britain, introduces the report, Andy Moulds and Anna Bowskill, Mott MacDonald, will uncover the results of the latest research into the state of the nation for digital adoption and maturity. This will be followed by a panel of industry thoughts leaders and practitioners, chaired by Melissa Zanocco, Co-Chair DTHub Community Council, sharing their views and best practice case studies from the ICG Digital Transformation Task Group and Project 13 Adopters including: Karen Alford, Environment Agency – skills Matt Edwards, Anglian Water – digital twins Sarah Hayes, CReDo – Climate Resilience Demonstrator digital twin Neil Picthall, Sellafield – common data environments Matt Webb, UK Power Networks – digital operating models Will Varah, Infrastructure & Projects Authority – Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030 REGISTER to find out how much progress has been made at a time when digital transformation is a critical enabler for solving the global, systemic challenges facing the planet. For any questions or issues, please contact Melissa Zanocco: melissa.zanocco@ice.org.uk Please note: We plan to make a recording of the event available. Please note that third parties, including other delegates may also take pictures or record videos and audio and process the same in a variety of ways, including by posting content across the web and social media platforms.
  3. I am excited to announce the launch of the Infrastructure Client Group Annual Digital Benchmarking Report 2021 on 15 June 2022 at 9:00 BST. I hope you can join us by REGISTERING HERE. The ICG Report, powered by the Smart Infrastructure Index, surveys asset owners and operators who jointly represent over £385bn worth of capital assets and over 40% of the national infrastructure and construction pipeline. After Mark Enzer, former Head of the National Digital Twin Programme, Centre for Digital Built Britain, introduces the report, Andy Moulds and Anna Bowskill, Mott MacDonald, will uncover the results of the latest research into the state of the nation for digital adoption and maturity. This will be followed by a panel of industry thoughts leaders and practitioners sharing their views and best practice case studies from the ICG Digital Transformation Task Group and Project 13 Adopters including: Karen Alford, Environment Agency – skills Matt Edwards, Anglian Water – digital twins Sarah Hayes, CReDo – Climate Resilience Demonstrator digital twin Neil Picthall, Sellafield – common data environments Matt Webb, UK Power Networks – digital operating models Will Varah, Infrastructure & Projects Authority – Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030 REGISTER to find out how much progress has been made at a time when digital transformation is a critical enabler for solving the global, systemic challenges facing the planet. You can access the reports from previous years by registering on the Project 13 Network and then clicking here in the Library: 2018, 2019 and 2020.
  4. While there is a lot of discussion around ethics in technology, and growing interest in these pages in ethics and digital twins, there is a significant gap that needs to be addressed. This is the gap that exists between ethical principles and ethical practice. Kirsten Lamb noted in her discussion on this site back in March that, "The Gemini Principles set out the need for digital twins to be ethical and secure, but ... this can be surprisingly difficult to ensure." This is a problem that challenges a lot of areas of application for digital ethics, most notably in AI and automation (how do you make an AI "fair"?), with obvious implications for digital twins. There are numerous different approaches being trialled to bridge this gap. To date, one of the most successful is an ethics by design approach. This considers the design process for a digital twin and then identifies different ethical issues that arise at each stage of the design. While it doesn't give a convenient tick box approach to ethics (and probably never will or should, given the complexities of the challenge) it breaks down an approach to ethical development into more manageable chunks. Rather than saying "a digital twin should respect privacy", it encourages developers to consider the impacts of their digital twin on privacy at specific stages of the develpment process. To that end, Sopra Steria has published a report on operationalising digital twin ethics in travel and transport. This sets out an ethics by design approach to developing digital twins. It breaks down the development cycle and raises key considerations at each of the stages. Please do not think that if you don't work in travel and transport then this isn't for you! Context is always going to be important in determining ethical issues with digital twins (as noted here) but there can still be learning across contexts. An operationalisation approach in travel and transport can still inform an operationalisation approach in farming, for example, or finance. The key message is getting the ethical issues beyond abstract requirements at the start of a project, and to bake them in to an approach that sees ethical reflection as a fundamental part of the development life cycle. If you would like to discuss ethics and digital twins further then please do get in touch.
  5. We all want the built environment to be safe and to last. However, minor movements over time from forces such as subsidence can impact how well our assets perform. It can also make connecting and modifying assets harder if they have shifted from the position in which they were built. If the assets are remote or hard to access, this makes tracking these small movements even more difficult. The latest instalment from the Digital Twin Journeys series is a video showing the construction and built environment sectors what they need to know about remote sensing and using satellite data, featuring the Construction Innovation Hub-funded research by the Satellites group based at the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds. Using satellite imaging, we may be able to detect some of the tell-tale signs of infrastructure failure before they happen, keeping services running smoothly and our built environment performing as it was designed over its whole life. You can read more from the Satellites project by visiting their research profile. This research forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge. It was enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, of which CDBB is a core partner, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).
  6. Interesting Question: What is one difficulty that you’ve encountered while trying to create a Digital Twin? Context: We’ve heard that creating a Digital Twin can be a bumpy road. Various challenges can get in the way no matter what sort of Digital Twin you’re trying to set up or why. We’ve noticed in various conversations on the DT Hub that there is a wide range of these challenges, from technical or cultural to those related to resources or supply chains, and so many more. We’d like to hear about your experiences, so please share them with us here. Just a few guidelines before you start: One example at a time please - no lists! However, multiple posts are welcomed Please cite the industry you’re talking about Please: Your posts need to be pithy: · Give each post a title that sums up your blocker · Limit each post to 100 words or so, or supply a short summary at the top if you can’t. · Please include an image, it helps your post stand out We encourage you to like, or vote, on each other’s posts if you agree with them, your facilitator Joao and the DT Hub/ 100%Open are looking forward to reading your input. Thank you.
  7. When we travel by train, we expect that we will arrive at our destination safely and on time. Safety and performance of their service network is therefore a key priority for Network Rail. Our latest video in the Digital Twin Journeys series tells the story of how researchers have inherited two intensively instrumented bridges and are transforming that high volume and velocity of data into a digital twin showing the wear and pressures on the bridges, as well as other information that can help the asset owners predict when maintenance will be required and meet their key priorities. Remote monitoring has several benefits over using human inspectors alone. Sensors reduce the subjectivity of monitoring. Factors such as light levels, weather and variations in alertness can change the subjective assessments made by human inspectors. They may also be able to identify issues arising before visual inspection can detect them by monitoring the stresses on the bridge. A human inspector will still be sent to site to follow up on what the remote sensing has indicated, and engineers will of course still need to perform maintenance. However, remote monitoring allows the asset owners to be smarter about how these human resources are deployed. One important insight for Network Rail is based on more accurate data about the loads the bridges are experiencing, and the research team have developed a combination of sensors to make a Bridge Weigh-In-Motion (B-WIM) Technology. As shown in the video, a combination of tilt sensors, bridge deformation and axle location sensors to calculate the weight of passing trains. As the accuracy of weight prediction data is impacted by changes to ambient humidity and temperature, sensors were added that detect these factors as well. Accelerometers were added to calculate rotational restraints at the boundary conditions to improve the accuracy of weight predictions and cameras were installed so that passing trains can be categorised by analysing the video footage.   The digital twin of the Staffordshire Bridges centres on a physics-based model for conducting structural analysis and load-carrying capacity assessments. The site-specific information, such as realistic loading conditions obtained by the sensors, will be fed into the physics-based model to simulate the real structure and provide the outputs of interest. A digital twin replica of the structure will be able to provide bridge engineers with any parameter of interest anywhere on the structure, including in non-instrumented locations. All of the sensors on these bridges produce a high volume of data at a high velocity. Without data curation, we could easily be overwhelmed by the volume of data they produce, but the research team is learning to narrow down to managing the right data in ways that provide the right insights at the right time. Working with Network Rail, this project will demonstrate the use of real-time data analytics integrated with digital twins to provide useful information to support engineers and asset managers to schedule proactive maintenance programmes and optimise future designs, increasing safety and reliability across their whole portfolio of assets. You can read more from the Staffordshire Bridges project by visiting their research profile. This research forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge. It was enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, of which CDBB is a core partner, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). To see more from the Digital Twin Journeys series, see the homepage on the CDBB website.
  8. Sheikh Fakhar Khalid of Sensat presents a Feature Focus about automation enabled digital twins for the DT Hub's regular Gemini Call.
  9. Digital twins enable asset owners to use better information at the right time to make better decisions. Exploring the early stages of a digital twin journey – understanding the information need – are Staffordshire Bridges researcher Dr Farhad Huseynov and Head of Information Management Henry Fenby-Taylor. Network Rail manages over 28,000 bridges, with many being more than 150 years old. The primary means of evaluating the condition of the bridges is through two assessment programmes; visual examination and Strength Capability Assessment. Every conceivable form of bridge construction is represented across Network Rail’s portfolio of assets, from simple stone slabs to large estuary crossings, such as the Forth Bridge. Managing a portfolio of this diversity with frequent and extensive assessments is a considerable challenge. Condition monitoring The current process for condition monitoring involves visual examination by engineers and takes place every year, along with a more detailed examination every six years. The visual inspection provides a qualitative outcome and does not directly predict the bridge strength; it is conducted to keep a detailed record of visible changes that may indicate deterioration. The load-carrying capacity of bridges is evaluated every five years through a Strength Capability Assessment, conducted in three levels of detail: Level 1 is the simplest, using safety assumptions known to be conservatively over-cautious (i.e. 1-dimensional structural idealisation). Level 2 involves refined analysis and better structural idealisation (i.e. grillage model). This level may also include the use of data on material strength based on recent material tests, etc. Level 3 is the most sophisticated level of assessment, requiring bridge-specific traffic loading information based on a statistical model of the known traffic. Understanding the information and insights that asset owners require helps shape what data is needed and how frequently it should be collected – two essential factors in creating infrastructure that is genuinely smart. During the discussions with Network Rail, the research team found that Level 3 assessment is only used in exceptional circumstances. This is because there is no active live train load monitoring system on the network; hence there is no site-specific traffic loading information available for the majority of bridges. Instead, bridges failing Level 2 assessment are typically put under weight and/or speed restrictions, reducing their ability to contribute to the network. This means that there is potentially huge value in providing Level 3 assessment at key sites with greater frequency. Digital twins for condition assessment The Stafford Area Improvement Programme was setup to remove a bottleneck in the West Coast Main Line that resulted in high-speed trains being impeded by slower local passenger and goods trains. To increase network capacity and efficiency, a major upgrade of the line was undertaken, including the construction of 10 new bridges. Working with Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Volker Rail and Network Rail, a research team including the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC), the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) and the Laing O’Rourke (LOR) Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology at the University of Cambridge is collaborating with Network Rail to find a digital twin solution for effective condition monitoring. Two bridges in the scheme were built with a variety of different sensors to create a prototype that would enable the team to understand their condition, performance and utilisation. Both bridges were densely instrumented with fibre optic sensors during construction, enabling the creation of a digital twin of the bridges in use. The digital twin’s objective is to provide an effective condition monitoring tool for asset and route managers, using the sensor array to generate data and derive insights. Identifying challenges and solutions Meetings were held with key stakeholders including route managers and infrastructure engineers at Network Rail to learn the main challenges they face in maintaining their bridge stock, and to discover what information they would ideally like to obtain from an effective condition monitoring tool. The team liaised closely with the key stakeholders throughout to make sure that they were developing valuable insights. Through discussions with Network Rail about the team’s work on the two instrumented bridges in the Staffordshire Bridges project the following fundamental issues and expected outcomes were identified: A better understanding of asset risks: How can these be predicted? What precursors can be measured and detected? A better understanding of individual asset behaviour Development of sensor technology with a lifespan and maintenance requirement congruent with the assets that they are monitoring How structural capability be calculated instantly on the receipt of new data from the field Development of a holistic system for the overall health monitoring and prognosis of structures assets Realistic traffic population data in the UK railway network. (Can this be predicted with sufficient accuracy for freight control and monitoring purposes?) To address these issues, the team instrumented one of the bridges with the following additional sensors, which, combined, produce a rich dataset: Rangefinder sensors to obtain the axle locations. A humidity and temperature sensor to improve the accuracy of weight predictions against variations in ambient temperature. Accelerometers to calculate rotational restraints at the boundary conditions and therefore improve the accuracy of weight predictions. Cameras to categorise passing trains. Data from these sensors feeds into a finite element model structural analysis digital twin that interprets the data and provides a range of insights about the performance of the bridge and the actual strain it has been put under. Applying insights to other bridges Significantly, information from the instrumented bridge sites is relevant to adjacent bridges on the same line. Having one bridge instrumented on a specific route would enable Level 3 assessment for other structures in their portfolio and those of other asset owners, including retaining walls, culverts, and other associated structures. Just as the new bridges relieved a service bottleneck, digital twins can resolve procedural and resource bottlenecks by enabling insights to be drawn about the condition of other assets that weren’t instrumented. This is a valuable insight for those developing their own digital twins, because given that one bridge is instrumented it follows that where trains cannot have diverted course, then any other bridges along that same stretch of track will be undergoing the same strain from the same trains. This insight will enable teams implementing sensors to be able to efficiently implement a sensor network across their own assets. One of the outcomes of the Staffordshire Bridges project is development towards a holistic approach for the overall health monitoring and prognosis of bridge stocks. Such changes improve workforce safety by reducing the requirement for costly site visits while maintaining a healthy bridge network. You can read more from the Staffordshire Bridges project by visiting their research profile. This research forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge. It was enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, of which CDBB is a core partner, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). To keep up with the Digital Twin Journeys project, check out the Digital Twin Journeys home page.
  10. Something (hopefully) of interest to share. A colleague at the University of Bristol, Dr Maria Pregnolato, was in Westminster this week as part of the Sense about Science event, talking to parliamentarians about how Digital Twins can predict when infrastructure fails. With others, Maria is exploring how DTs can increase the resilience of infrastructure. One project features a case study using the Clifton Suspension Bridge - more detail is here. This and other work is informing discussions with policymakers as it is seen as important to recognise that the value from DTs will be diminished if a number of Challenges to Implementation are not addressed, including: Compelling definitions and unclear processes Standardising protocols for data management Supporting engineering companies in the digital transition. It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of others.
  11. Visual intelligence is the ability to capture, connect and communicate information about spaces in real time. Then to instantly transform it through visualisation techniques into accurate, accessible, actionable data useable by anyone that needs. A process embedded in the simple digital twin but enabled by emerging technologies, specifically the digital integration between devices, enhanced by immersive technology and artificial intelligence. Think of visual intelligence as a compass. Without it, a vessel can’t make the most of its assets, is uncertain where it’s headed, how it will be impacted by the environment and how it can reach its destination with maximum efficiency and care for its crew. Businesses have to take certain actions to increase ROI, communicate to and manage disparate teams, automate with confidence, set out clear directions and grow faster. Connected and integrated data translated into visual intelligence enables these actions. It is the compass. Attached are some insight from a few companies who started with a simple digital twin – a connection of data – but who have embraced visual intelligence and what it means for them National Digital Twin presentation (1.1).pdf
  12. Katie Walsh

    Defining Our Digital Twin Challenges!

    Creating Digital Twins can be like sailing in uncharted waters, so how do you handle it when unforeseen challenges rock the boat? Can you even predict what kinds of things will disrupt your journey? We’ve noticed in various conversations on the DT Hub that no matter what sort of Digital Twin you’re trying to set up or why, there is an incredibly wide range of potential disruptions. From technical to cultural, from resources to supply chains, almost every avenue is susceptible to producing a challenge somewhere. Many examples that we’ve already seen have only become apparent once the people developing Digital Twins are up against them in real time, so that’s why the DT Hub has launched this new activity, Defining Our Digital Twin Challenges! We would like to know about the challenges you’ve encountered on your DT journey in order to make the overall roadmap easier to follow. The information you provide will help us to ultimately define our common challenges so we can start to solve them together. This series of thematic workshops, run by the DT Hub, will progress the conversation around the Digital Twin Journey, and surface some of the challenges that organisations are still facing whilst embarking on their journey. Each Challenge will culminate in an Activity, where we will present the specific challenge areas that you have brought to us to a select group in order to provide constructive feedback. The outcome of these workshops will be to share insights from inside and outside the community for the benefit of the community as a whole. You can use this activity Bring out your Digital Twin Challenges to explore your challenges with others, and our crowd facilitator, Joao, will be interacting with you to make sure you get the best experience possible. Joao is a former market researcher, court interpreter and has been a brilliant member of our team for years as a 100%Open Associate. We look forward to your invaluable contributions, and in turn the exponential development of the DT journey.
  13. until
    The London Digital Twin Research Centre would like to extend an invitation to all the Digital Twin researchers and enthusiasts from industry and academia to attend our annual 2021 workshop which is held online on June 4th, 2021. This virtual “Workshop on Transforming Industry and Society with Digital Twins” brings together experts from industry and academia to share their valuable insights regarding the adoption of the Digital Twin technology across different industries, from structural health monitoring, pandemic management, smart campuses through to health and wellbeing. The domains covered in this event provide opportunities and research challenges that the future maturation of digital twin technology demands. The virtual workshop represents an excellent opportunity for networking for Digital Twin enthusiasts to share ideas for future developments in digital twins. Programme Free Eventbrite registration: Link Time/date: 10am-3:30pm on Friday 4th June 2021 DT workshop_June2021.pdf
  14. Is UK civil engineering construction sector using digital twin technologies ? What benefits can it bring to project controls ? What are the challenges affecting adoption of digital twin ?
  15. DRossiter87

    Nationalized Infrastructure?

    Hi all, Today I discovered that we (Wales) have begun to nationalize our rail service with all Transport for Wales routes coming under govt control. Cited in the comments is the need to focus on customers over profit. Considering @Tammy Au's earlier post about Flourishing Systems and re-envisioning infrastructure to put people first, I wondered how people felt about the National Digital Twin and whether nationalization will be seen as an opportunity or barrier? Interestingly now, Wales has nationalized its airport and is nationalizing a lot of its rail... Is Wales best placed for the first truly national digital twin? ?
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyIwEwEfqFA Interesting application regarding the monitoring of people movements for supporting coronavirus management at St Pancras station in real-time. Interesting to hear viewpoints regarding whether or not we fully recognise this as a Digital Twin in not.
  17. Last week, @Peter El Hajj posted this blog with The Rail Safety and Standards Board. In this insightful piece, Peter has taken the idea of the National Digital Twin and applied the concept to the rail sector; citing the Gemini Principles, the work under development within the commons, as well as the National Digital Twin Programme. https://www.rssb.co.uk/Insights-and-News/Blogs/The-Rail-Sector-and-the-National-Digital-Twin
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