The Cities theme activities within the School focus on the area of infrastructure research. We must limit the impact of infrastructure on the environment by making it sustainable; we must also limit the impact of the environment on infrastructure by making it resilient. 

Our research addresses key issues such as new business models for infrastructure, the role of robots and autonomous systems in the infrastructure of the future and recovering resources from waste.

A common thread amongst all this research is understanding the value of infrastructure in the economic, social, environmental and technical domains, and how the value created by the services the infrastructure provides is distributed and appropriated. 

Research areas include:

  • Sustainable and resilient infrastructure: low-carbon materials and structures, materials efficiency, new service and business models for infrastructure provision
  • Resource recovery: design for reuse, extraction of resources from waste, multidimensional value analysis of product-waste systems
  • Smart infrastructure: RFID tracking of components, condition monitoring, infrastructure interdependencies
  • Geotechnics: soil-structure interactions, biological and electrical ground treatment
  • Managing assets and infrastructure: infrastructure asset management, novel procurement methodologies, analysis of megaproject performance
  • Sustainable global development: projects linked with our Water and Health themes.

We have collaborate with a wide range of disciplines and currently have over £10m of RCUK, EU and industrial funding for projects in this area.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, contact the theme lead: Professor Phil Purnell or the deputy theme lead: Dr Raul Fuentes.

We have opportunities for prospective PhD students including a number of studentships. Informal enquiries can be made to the deputy theme lead.