Skip to the content

Eight projects to use DAFNI platform to model resilience against extreme weather


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


Thunderstorm over houses
Image source: Becket

Eight projects to strengthen the UK’s resilience against severe weather events have received shares of £1.4 million to use computational modelling on the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) platform.

The funding has been awarded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) scientific computing department’s Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis.

STFC said the projects will involve analysis and scenario planning and their outputs will be used by policy makers, local authorities and private sector companies. They will be focused on issues including reducing the risks of road closures, energy failures, sewer flooding, water and food shortages, as well as protecting underground infrastructure such as water pipes and electrical cables.

The organisations added that the funding highlights the importance of fortifying the UK’s natural and built environments and underscores the critical need to combat potential losses arising from the growing impacts of climate change.

The projects are as follows:

  • Richard Milton from the University College London is working on a model named QUANT, created by Professor Michael Batty, which simulates the pattern of land use and transportation for Great Britain. This will be able to generate ‘What if’ scenarios and predict impacts that enable stakeholders to test various plans, and to demonstrate how AI can be used in the process.
  • A project on uncertainty qualification and sensitivity analysis for infrastructure, led by Francesca Pianosi of the University of Bristol, will integrate into DAFNI a generic methodology to analyse the propagation of uncertainties and enable better model construction, validation, and use for decision making under uncertainty. The methodology will be tested and showcased on pilot applications in the water and energy systems sector.
  • Raghav Pant, principal investigator from the University of Oxford, aims to deliver an open source modelling framework on the DAFNI platform for stress testing interdependent network resilience against flood and storm events.
  • The Flood Infrastructure Resilience Model (FIRM), led by principal investigator Richard Dawson of Newcastle University, simulates how people and organisations respond to the effects of flood infrastructure failure before, during and after extreme weather events.  The model can be used to assess different strategies to minimise threats to lives and infrastructure during a flood. The project will recode FIRM and make it available to the community on DAFNI.
  • Addressing the reliance of a water resource model for England and Wales on commercial software. The model has been developed by Anna Murgatroyd, principal investigator from the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Environment Agency and Ofwat and, is part of the National System Simulate Modelling (NSSM) project.
  • Resilience scenarios for integrated water systems (RIWS), developing a resilience assessment to address the challenges of water systems and the environment. Led by Ana Mijic of Imperial College London, this addresses a critical knowledge gap in resilience scenarios for integrated water systems for various stressors.
  • Development of a platform on DAFNI, underpinned by the CityCAT Urban Flood Model to understand and simulate urban drainage. This will help consultants, industry professionals, and researchers to design and assess strategies for mitigating overflow spills and flooding caused by rainfall. The project is led by Vassilis Glenis from Newcastle University.
  • Xilin Xia of the University of Birminghamm, in collaboration with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the British Geological Survey, are developing STORMS - Strategies and Tools for Resilience of Buried Infrastructure to Meteorological Shocks - to understand the potential impacts of extreme weather events and climate change on underground infrastructure.

Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI facility lead and leader of the Open Data Systems Group at the STFC scientific computing cepartment said: “We feel that the successful projects together explore a range of research challenges in infrastructure resilience that will provide the momentum to deliver the Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis on DAFNI. I look forward to working with these exciting projects over the next two years.”

Kristine Zaidi, associate director for the Arts and Humanities Research Council and lead for the Building a Secure and Resilient World theme, commented: “The eight projects announced today will help communities of all sizes improve their ability to prevent and respond to threats from extreme weather occurrences.

“By working across disciplines and improving access to robust evidence and information, we can strengthen the UK’s resilience. I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will have on a wide range of sectors.”

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.