Multi-Hazard Resilience Estimation and Planning for Interdependent National Infrastructure Networks

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Environmental Change Institute SoGE

Abstract

Large-scale failures to critical national infrastructures (electricity, transportation, water, etc.), due to extreme weather events, have highlighted the need for understanding systemic risks to such infrastructures and their subsequent consequences to society, businesses and industry. The flooding and storms in UK in 2007 and 2013-14 provide evidence of the severity of such problems. Though systemic risks are important, multiple reports, including the Department for Transport's Resilience Review in 2014 highlight the lack of understanding and accountability for a network-of-networks approach to national infrastructures, with limited knowledge of systemic vulnerabilities and risks across interdependent infrastructures.
Hence it is timely to develop system-of-systems national infrastructure models that inform risk assessment and resilience planning. This program of innovation proposes to develop innovative tools to support this development.
The key objective of this program of innovation is to create a spatial analysis toolkit that combines data and models for multi-hazard risk and resilience estimation of interdependent national infrastructure networks. The toolkit will be used to assess and communicate risks to electricity (transmission and distribution), transport (road, rail, air and sea) networks for Great Britain and water (distribution) networks for Scotland.
Through the participation of key stakeholders this program of innovation is translation-focused, has high innovation potential, is timely with high potential impact, provides value for money, and above all is relevant to the industry.
The key stakeholders supporting this program of innovation include ARUP, Department for Transport, HR Wallingford, HS2, and Scottish Water, who are strategic partners with the NERC ERIIC program. Also JBA Group, a key environment consultant is involved. Project stakeholders will harness the innovation from this project to enable better targeting of resources for risk reduction and resilience planning for the critical national infrastructure.

Planned Impact

The NERC stakeholders involved in the program of innovation benefit in several ways. They are as following:
1. Arup - will benefit, through the process of knowledge transfer, by developing a capability in performing system-of-systems based risk and resilience analysis of infrastructure systems at the national scale. This capability will be of interest to their clients and as such, will provide them a competitive advantage in their domain.
2. Department for Transport - will benefit by developing of more comprehensive understanding of the risks of failure of national transportation network systems. The project will provide evidence to target investments in risk reduction and support robust policy making.
3. HR Wallingford - will benefit by developing an application of their combined fluvial and coastal spatial flood risk model with a national, system-of-systems infrastructure risk and resilience model. In doing so, they will develop capabilities within their organization to perform timely and important analyses.
4. HS2 - will benefit by developing a greater understanding of the risks of failure and potential resilience measures that are appropriate for their business. This will provide new evidence to inform decision making of large value investments.
5. Scottish Water - will benefit by developing a more comprehensive understanding of the risks of failure of their asset base. In addition to this, through knowledge exchange, they will develop skills and expertise on this area within their organization.

Outside the NERC ERIIP stakeholder,the partner JBA will benefit from the flood risk assessment emerging from this research as it will showcase the value of JBA models to existing and prospective clients of JBA.

Publications


10 25 50
 
Description The programme of innovation responds to the grand challenge and opportunity for industry partners is to support development of system-of-systems national infrastructure models that inform risk assessment and resilience planning. To this end we:
1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling.
2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks.
3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios.
4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Exploitation Route Our programme of innovation provided a great opportunity to engage with the diverse set of stakeholders to deliver outcomes useful for practice. The impacts of the programme of innovation are measured through partner feedback. We have got overwhelming support from all stakeholders to develop this work and further impacts will potentially emerge from this work. Many of them have expressed willingness in supporting our risk analysis tool and visualisation platform, and subject to licensing constraints, we are keen to explore how this tool could be of use to their requirements. Further commercialisation opportunities might also emerge through such discussions. We are interested in pursuing several such opportunities in the future.
Sectors Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Transport
 
Description Our programme of innovation provided a great opportunity to engage with the diverse set of stakeholders to deliver outcomes useful for practice. The impacts of the programme of innovation are measured through partner feedback. We have got overwhelming support from all stakeholders to develop this work and further impacts will potentially emerge from this work. Many of them have expressed willingness in supporting our risk analysis tool and visualisation platform, and subject to licensing constraints, we are keen to explore how this tool could be of use to their requirements. Further commercialisation opportunities might also emerge through such discussions. We are interested in pursuing several such opportunities in the future.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services
 
Description HS2 desgin guidelines for climate change interdependencies
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact The team was awarded consulting projects by HS2 Ltd whose objective was to assess the possible impacts of climate change on interdependent systems along HS2 - the planned high-speed railway linking London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester. With partners we led the development of a comprehensive methodology to assist civil engineers and designers in accounting for climate change interdependencies when designing the HS2 route. In particular, we developed and implemented methods for describing the interdependencies; created a risk-based approach for assessing the impact of climate change on HS2 interdependencies; and prescribed a methodology for categorising, assessing and prioritising any HS2 vulnerabilities arising from these interdependencies. The outcome of this work has resulted in HS2 Ltd incorporating over evidence in the civil designs process, which is a substantial part of the £42.6 billion cost of the project.
URL https://innovation.ox.ac.uk/university-members/engaging-social-sciences/first-class-ticket-climate-c...
 
Description Microsoft - computing award
Amount $20,000 (USD)
Organisation Microsoft Research 
Sector Private
Country Global
Start 03/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Title Generic systems models and tools 
Description This programme of innovation was able to: 1. Create a generic infrastructure systems methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking. 2. Create initial methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. 3. Outline and create prototype specifications for a web-based analysis tool for geo-spatial risk assessment that provides a novel demonstrative capability from infrastructure systems risk assessment. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The research work of the team has been recognised by the supporting stakeholders as high impact research. It is being used by HS2 Ltd in its climate change risk assessment of interdependent infrastructures. The department for Transport has supported the development of the work via commissioning the team to do a study of single points of failure in transport network, which has policy impacts. Companies such as ARUP, Scottish Water, HR Wallingford have expressed increased interest in using this research. JBA Trust is collaborating with the team on numerous research and consulting opportunities to further the impact of this research. 
 
Description ARUP - Stakeholder partners in project 
Organisation Arup Group
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our contributions in this research were as following: 1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling. 2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks. 3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios. 4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives from ARUP participated in face-to-face meetings with the research team to tell us about their interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment. They also hosted a workshop for us, in their London office, on 'Visualising Infrastructure Risks' where they provided valuable feedback on the visualisation challenges associated with the complex, high-dimensional, but policy-relevant infrastructure risk modelling. In addition, they contributed towards the project developments via email correspondence.
Impact ARUP have expressed interest in using the visualisation tool we have developed. The outcome is yet to be realised.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Department for Transport - Stakeholder partners in project 
Organisation Department for Transport
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Our contributions in this research were as following: 1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling. 2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks. 3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios. 4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives from the Department for Transport participated in face-to-face meetings with the research team to tell us about their interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment. They also participated in a workshop on 'Visualising Infrastructure Risks' where they provided valuable feedback on the visualisation challenges associated with the complex, high-dimensional, but policy-relevant infrastructure risk modelling. In addition, they contributed towards the project developments via email correspondence.
Impact The Department for Transport funded the team to do a project worth about £90,000 on Single Points of Failure analysis of Transport networks. This was a precursor to this NERC project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description HR Wallingford - Stakeholder partners in project 
Organisation HR Wallingford Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our contributions in this research were as following: 1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling. 2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks. 3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios. 4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives from the HR Wallingford participated in face-to-face meetings with the research team to tell us about their interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment. They expressed interest to give us data to do a case study for our project.
Impact The outputs of this collaboration are yet to be realised.
Start Year 2016
 
Description JBA Trust - Stakeholder partners in project 
Organisation JBA Trust
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Our contributions in this research were as following: 1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling. 2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks. 3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios. 4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives from JBA Trust participated in face-to-face meetings with the research team to tell us about their interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment. They also participated in a workshop on 'Visualising Infrastructure Risks' where they provided valuable feedback on the visualisation challenges associated with the complex, high-dimensional, but policy-relevant infrastructure risk modelling. In addition, they contributed towards the project developments via email correspondence. They collaborated very closely in developing the project.
Impact JBA Group, of which JBA Trust is a part, have got involved with our research group on several other projects as a result of this project. Two of these include projects on building a methodology and implementation to understand the HS2 rail system interdependence to other infrastructures and their risks due to climate change impacts.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Microsoft - computing support in project 
Organisation Microsoft Research
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our contributions in this research were as following: 1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling. 2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks. 3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios. 4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Collaborator Contribution Microsoft Azure awarded us with $20,000 worth of computing power on their cloud computing platform Azure, to run our simulation models for multi-hazard modelling.
Impact We are currently utilising the microsoft azure cloud computing service which is resulting in multi-hazard model outputs for this project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Scottish Water - Stakeholder partners in project 
Organisation Scottish Water
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Our contributions in this research were as following: 1. Engaged stakeholders to further the dialogue on the current state and future needs and requirements for system-of-systems infrastructure risk modelling. 2. Established a generic specification for a methodology to help stakeholders to support cross-sector infrastructure thinking, to understand risks across interdependent infrastructure networks. 3. Created methods that inform and improve our understanding of multi-hazard events. Such models can be used to create single and concurrent hazard event scenarios. 4. Created specifications for a web-based system modelling and analysis tool to visualise hazards and critical national infrastructure networks risks. This provides a novel demonstrative capability from systems modelling at multiple scales.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives from the Scottish Water participated in face-to-face meetings with the research team to tell us about their interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment. They also participated in a workshop on 'Visualising Infrastructure Risks' where they provided valuable feedback on the visualisation challenges associated with the complex, high-dimensional, but policy-relevant infrastructure risk modelling. In addition, they contributed towards the project developments via email correspondence.
Impact Scottish Water have expressed interest in using our models and tools for their risk planning. Further outcomes from this collaboration have yet to be realised.
Start Year 2016
 
Title Visualisation platform 
Description The research team have created prototype specifications for a web-based analysis tool for geo-spatial risk assessment that provides a novel demonstrative capability from infrastructure systems risk assessment. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The visualisation web platform of the team has been recognised by the supporting stakeholders as high impact research. Companies such as ARUP, Scottish Water, HR Wallingford have expressed increased interest in using this platform. 
 
Description Presentation - NERC event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact About 120 people are attending the NERC ERIIP industry-academic borkeage event where this project is showcased as an impact case stduy example.
The outcome of this will be to create further collaborations and interests in the research and further funding for possible NERC ERIIP awards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Stakeholder visit - ARUP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 4 people attended the meeting at Oxford to discuss the to learn about ARUP's interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment.
The discussion resulted in increased interest by ARUP in using the visualisation tool being developed by the team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Stakeholder visit - Department for Transport 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 2 people attended the meeting at London to discuss the to learn about Deaprtment for Transport's interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment.
The discussion resulted in increased interest by Department for Transport in supprting the system models being developed by the team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Stakeholder visit - HR Wallingford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 6 people attended the meeting at Wallingford to discuss the to learn about HR Wallingford's interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment.
The discussion resulted in increased interest by HR Wallingford in supporting the development of multi-hazard models in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Stakeholder visit - HS2 Ltd 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 5 people attended the meeting at London to discuss the to learn about HS2 Ltd's interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment.
The discussion resulted in increased interest by HS2 Ltd in supprting the system models being developed by the team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Stakeholder visit - Scottish Water 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 15 people attended the meeting in Dunfermline, Scotland, to discuss the to learn about Scottish Water's interests and expertise in multi-hazard and infrastructure systems risk assessment.
The discussion resulted in increased interest by Scottish Water in supprting the system models being developed by the team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Workshop - Visualising Infrastructure Risks 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This workshop brought together 11 people including the research team and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and ideas on the visualisation challenges associated with the complex, high-dimensional, but policy-relevant infrastructure risk modelling.

Through meeting with infrastructure systems and risk practitioners we were able to gain an overview of the visualisation tools that are currently being used or are needed to synthesise useful risk outputs. We showcased a selection of initial visualisation mock-ups developed by the team and organised our discussion around the challenges of:
• Presenting multi-dimensional outputs
• The spatial and inter-temporal dimensions of the outputs
• Network aspects and failure modelling.

We discuss outputs of this work including:
• Infrastructure network visualisations allowing stakeholders to investigate their own systems
• Visualisation of infrastructure network interdependencies
• Visualisation of vulnerability and risk information
• Visualisation allowing interactive investigation of results by users
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016