The University of Nottingham has joined forces with Network Rail to launch an exciting new multi-million pound research programme in infrastructure asset management.
The programme will be headed by a new professorial position in the Department of Civil Engineering at Nottingham, jointly-sponsored by Network Rail and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
A growing number of asset-intensive sectors in the UK and overseas – for example utility networks, power stations, railway and road infrastructure, airports, oil and gas installations, manufacturing and process plants – are adopting the principles of asset management.
The focus of the new research will be to improve the framework for optimising and implementing major decisions on the operation, maintenance, renewal and enhancement of physical assets like these, in order to deliver a safe, economic infrastructure. These decisions drive tens of billions of pounds of engineering expenditure each year in the UK alone and have impacts on outputs of national significance.
Professor Andrew McNaughton, chief engineer at Network Rail, was delighted at the announcement. He said: “The whole area of asset management is still in its infancy and the potential benefits far exceed the considerable gains that have been delivered to date. This investment will enable us to push forward the boundaries of knowledge in infrastructure asset management.”
The research programme will be based within the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC), at Nottingham's Department of Civil Engineering which is headed by Professor Andrew Collop. It will fit in well with NTEC's plans to develop highway asset management.
Professor Collop said: “We are looking to bring together researchers from a range of disciplines to make significant improvements, both in terms of the strategic approach to asset management and the detailed engineering components of the asset management system."
The initial investment from Network Rail and the Royal Academy is in excess of £1.4m with the University committing itself to extra academic staff to complement the new professorial post.
“We are delighted that Network Rail is supporting this pioneering new post,” says Robert Barrett, head of research programmes at the Royal Academy of Engineering. “They are making a very serious commitment in jointly supporting this new research chair which fulfils our aim in bringing together knowledge and experience in Network Rail with academic excellence at the University of Nottingham.”
Notes to editors
Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by the Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation – School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.
More information is available from Professor Andrew Collop, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 951 3935, email@example.com
; or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Network Rail
Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations - the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use. www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk