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Arup is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom which provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm is present in Africa, the Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and has over 10,000 staff based in 92 offices across 37 countries. Arup has participated in projects in over 160 countries. Wikipedia.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2015

The growth of cities, impacts of climate change and the massive cost of providing new infrastructure provide the impetus for this proposal entitled Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety (TRUSS) which will maximize the potential of infrastructure that already exists. If flaws in a structure can be identified early, the cost of repair will be vastly reduced, and here an effective monitoring system would allow identifying the optimum time to repair as well as improving structural safety. But safety is difficult to quantify and requires a deep understanding of the uncertainty associated to measurements and models for the structure and the loads. TRUSS will gather this understanding by bringing together an intersectoral and multidisciplinary collaboration between 4 Universities, 11 Industry participants and 1 research institute from 6 European countries. The consortium will combine and share expertise to offer training at an advanced level as new concepts for monitoring, modelling and reliability analysis of structures are emerging all the time. TRUSS will make knowledge of structural safety grow by incorporating these emerging technologies (hi-tech monitoring and manufacturing, computing, etc.) into the training programme and it will support job creation by enabling a wider talent pool of skilled and accredited engineering graduates with business, entrepreneurship, communication, project management and other transferrable skills. The training programme will be structured into taught modules combined with original research supported by secondments that will expose 14 fellows to both academia and industry. While developing tools that will reduce uncertainty in structural safety and improve infrastructure management, TRUSS will lay the basis for an advanced doctoral programme that will qualify graduates for dealing with the challenges of an aging European infrastructure stock, thereby enhancing their career prospects in both industry and academia.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MG-8.1b-2014 | Award Amount: 998.24K | Year: 2015

Launching a European long-term ambition and initiative to increase the overall performance of multimodal transport infrastructures, the REFINET CSA intends to 1) create a sustainable network of European and international stakeholders representatives of all transport modes and transport infrastructure sectors, 2) deliver a shared European vision of how to specify, design, build or renovate, and maintain the multimodal European transport infrastructure network of the future along with innovative processes so as to enhance the effectiveness of the sector, and 3) elaborate a Strategic Implementation Plan with a comprehensive set of prioritised actions to made the REFINET vision a reality as well as providing private and public decision makers with a set of up-to-date recommendations and guidelines (including good practices and lessons learnt) for strategic actions and required levels of cooperation between all stakeholders. REFINET will consider two complementary scenarios, namely maintenance and upgrading of existing transport infrastructures, and development of new transport infrastructures. REFINET will contribute to create a European-wide consensus on where to focus in terms of research and innovation to improve the productivity of the assets (reducing maintenance costs, extending the life span) and reduce drastically traffic disruptions of transport flows from inspection, construction and maintenance activities, and to accommodate increasing/changing traffic demand. Thus, REFINET will pave the way to enhanced technology integration and transfer and mass-market development for innovative materials, components, systems and processes supporting the pan-European generalisation of advanced multimodal infrastructures, handling the demand within various industrial sectors and help match the EU-2020 Strategy, and achieve goals of main stakeholders. The REFINET consortium is made of 8 partners from 5 European countries (Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, United Kingdom).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2013-5 | Award Amount: 11.03M | Year: 2013

STREAMER is an industry-driven collaborative research project on Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) with cases of mixed-use healthcare districts. Such districts are the best real examples of neighbourhood with integrated energy system consisting of mixed building types (i.e. hospitals and clinics; offices and retails; laboratories and educational buildings; temporary care homes, rehabilitation and sport facilities). The energy use of 1 healthcare district could exceed that of 20,000 dwellings. In almost every European city there is at least one healthcare district making a huge impact on the whole citys energy performance. STREAMER aims at 50% reduction of the energy use and carbon emission of new and retrofitted buildings in healthcare districts. Healthcare-related buildings are among the top EU priorities since they play a key role for a sustainable community, but their energy use and carbon emission are among the highest of all building types. Take for instance a typical hospital building that is part of the healthcare district. It uses 2.5 times more energy than an office. In the EU, there are some 15,000 hospitals producing 250 million tonnes of carbon per annum. The EeB design complexity is extremely high; and therefore, both holistic and systemic approaches are crucial. STREAMER will resolve this by optimising Semantics-driven Design methodologies with interoperable tools for Geo and Building Information Modelling (Semantic BIM and GIS) to validate the energy performance during the design stage. STREAMER will enable designers, contractors, clients and end-users to integrate EeB innovations for: 1) building envelope and space layout; 2) medical, MEP and HVAC systems; and 3) building and neighbourhood energy grids. STREAMER results will be validated in the 4 real projects involving the Implementers Communities. The outcome will be used to extend the standardisation in EeB design and operation, open BIMGIS (IFCCityGML), and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 668.22K | Year: 2016

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme encourages uptake of renewable heat technologies in the UK to support the ambition of 12% of the heating coming from renewable sources by 2020, and solar energy is one of the forms of renewable energy that has great potential. The amount of solar radiation incident on the roof of a typical home exceeds its energy consumption over a year. However, the longstanding barriers to the utilisation of solar thermal energy technology lie in the noticeable miss-match between energy supply and demand. The Heat-STRESS project aims to deliver the maximum benefits of solar thermal energy by means of short-term (diurnal) and long-term (seasonal) thermal energy storage and thermochemical heat transformer technology to significantly reduce energy demands for individual and/or multiple residential buildings, such as a local community or multi-storey development. The concept proposes to significantly advance phase change material (PCM) storage and thermochemical technology in a holistic system such that it has the potential to provide both a technically and economically viable solution. With sensible heat storage systems, the storage volumes required will be large and difficult to integrate into existing domestic dwellings. The latent heat storage has higher energy density than sensible heat system, and thermal-chemical thermal storage has much higher energy density than latent heat. Moreover, thermochemical sorption technologies seldom suffers from long-term heat loss and provide a preferable option for solar seasonal energy storage, i.e. using excess solar heat collected in the summer to compensate for the heat supply insufficiency during the winter time. One of the significant advantages of a thermochemical sorption system is that it is inherently an integrated heat pump and energy storage system. It is a pure heat-driven heat pump cycle and the heat source can be the seasonally stored solar energy, which would provide the potential to avoid electricity or gas use and off-peak grid loading resulting from the deployment of integrated air and ground source heat pumps, electric boiler, gas boiler and storage technology currently being developed. The thermal transformation provides the opportunity to upgrade heat, which may be suitable for domestic heating, so that it can provide higher temperature domestic hot water. The Heat-STREES project is aiming at a new high level of cutting-edge technologies despites with lower Technology Readiness Level. It should be envisaged with long-term vision: one of imperative measures to realise decarbonisation and to cut energy bills is to avoid the conventional generated electricity and gas consumption due to the continuously increasing demands, aggravating energy poverty and the forthcoming strengthened carbon taxes. In order to tap all appealing potential of thermal-chemical sorption and PCM thermal storage to make contribution for a better advanced world, more immediate collective efforts from both academia and industries is required to address important research issues.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 866.29K | Year: 2015

Composite materials and advanced structures are predicted to be major drivers for the growth and competitiveness of UKs value-added manufacturing economy. Maintaining and further enhancing the current national competitive advantage has been identified as a government strategic priority. This fellowship will contribute toward this goal by considering engineering structural design and composite materials in a different light. When conceiving structures, it is common practice to rely on well-established design principles and robust analysis tools. This may be for several reasons, but the lack of experience with different approaches is probably the most important. Exploring the opportunities that are available outside the designer comfort zone is a risky, expensive and time-consuming gamble that engineering companies can rarely afford to take. History shows several examples of structural designs that, despite being at the forefront of current material technologies, missed out on remarkable engineering opportunities. The Iron Bridge, across the river Severn near Coalbrookdale, is probably the most famous case in point in Britain. Completed in 1779, the bridge was the worlds first to be made of cast iron and is renowned for being substantially overdesigned, having been conceived following rules for wood rather than metal constructions. Composite materials are a modern example. One of their most remarkable features is the versatility that allows engineers to design not only a structure but also its constituent materials. However, partly due to their excellent specific stiffness, there is often the tendency to use them to replicate the well-known behaviour of isotropic materials, thus missing the opportunity to exploit many of the benefits that they could potentially provide. Owing to the colour of carbon fibre composites, this modus operandi is known as the black metal approach. In a similar way, structural design is normally limited to linear regimes. In other words, structures are often designed to be stiff and exhibit small displacements, i.e. to respond linearly to the applied loads. Under these circumstances design methods are well established and based on decades of experience. This is indeed the engineers comfort zone. Designers usually avoid large displacements because they may cause unwanted shape changes and trigger the transition to nonlinear regimes, potentially leading to catastrophic and often sudden, uncontrolled failure. However, if we could learn to control such behaviour, it could actually be exploited for a benefit. The aim of this proposal is to explore the possibilities given by nonlinear responses in structural design. The principal objectives are the development of a new generation of adaptive/multifunctional structures working in elastically nonlinear regimes and the creation of novel paradigms for structural efficiency. The ambition is to harness the possibilities presented by composite materials and to deliver new design principles by removing the barriers imposed by the current practice of restricting structures to behave linearly. Imagine aircraft wings or wind turbine blades tailored to be lighter and still meet the requirements imposed at different operating conditions, thanks to nonlinear stiffness characteristics; buildings whose structural response is compliant only if subjected to extreme earthquake loads, so as to prevent catastrophic failure; or a bridge whose stiffness increases in case of strong winds preventing detrimental aeroelastic instabilities. This is my vision. This is what the elastic properties of composite materials can offer, if we move away from the black metal approach.

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