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Durham University

Department of Engineering


The Sustainable Infrastructure Research Group of the Department of Engineering, in partnership with Indian Railways,

(1 August 2019)

The Sustainable Infrastructure Research Group of the Department of Engineering, in partnership with Indian Railways, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the University of Technology Sydney hosted a joint workshop on the theme ‘Sustainable Railway Infrastructure’ in the Department of Engineering, Durham University on 22nd July 2019.

 This workshop was supported by the Departmental Early Career Research Fund (2019). The workshop was organised by Dr Ashutosh Kumar, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Engineering, and brought together researchers and industry partners from India, Mauritius and Australia as well as Durham, Warwick and Manchester Universities in the UK, to discuss the challenges of providing sustainable transportation infrastructure with resilience against a changing climate. 

The workshop participants were welcomed by Professor Karen Johnson followed by a lecture by Professor David Toll discussing ongoing projects within the Sustainable Infrastructure Research Group. He emphasised the reality of climate change affecting the transportation infrastructure. The outcome of the field monitoring from the EPSRC funded iSMART project was supported by the evidence of many railway and road embankments collapses during the 2012 extreme rainfall events. The invited speaker, Prof. Deepankar Choudhry from IIT Bombay highlighted the importance of dynamic soil properties in modelling the track behaviour under repeated train loading. The next invited speaker Dr Sanjay Nimbalker from the University of Technology Sydney introduced the importance of ballast degradation under repeated traffic loading and discussed the importance of a shift in the critical-state line caused by ballast breakage during the repeated train loading. Dr Xueyu Geng from the University of Warwick discussed the challenges associated with the HS2 project and focused on the importance of information technology to monitor age-related embankment deterioration. The invited speaker from Industry, the project manager of India’s first bullet train project, Mr Raghvendra Pratap Singh, discussed the intricacies of the project and the challenges associated with tunnelling through the reclaimed land of the Mumbai region of India. Dr Arash Azizi and Dr Ashutosh Kumar of Durham University presented the results obtained from field monitoring in Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa and laboratory testing results for an ongoing project ‘Transport Africa’ funded by UK Global Challenge Research Fund. They emphasised the development of a model that can predict the performance of roads and railway embankments when subjected to future climate change using the information collected from field and laboratory testing.

This workshop was followed by a meeting exploring the potential of collaboration for research on transportation infrastructure subjected to changing climatic scenarios for India, Nepal and Mauritius. View larger image 

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