University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for December 2016


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a productive and positive year. As there is no official membership to the ARCC knowledge exchange network, I am encouraged to see your continued interest in participating. All stakeholders can fall within the loose definition of ‘the ARCC network’ by participating in ARCC coordinated events and activities.

We have had some big wins in 2016, including the successful Feeling good in public spaces series that concluded last week. You can read the complete resource for the series on the ARCC network website. We have also run a green infrastructure design challenge with CIBSE as part of Green Sky Thinking Week, exhibited at UK Construction Week where there were over 30,000 visitors, and an event to highlight the engineering solutions required to tackle air-quality with CIBSE and IET.

We worked with our academic colleagues to produce So What? Now What? guides for decision-makers to more easily digest the research, we gained a few hundred additional twitter followers, with nearly 50k website page views… and delivered this enews to you 12 times.

If you did not see the feature in The Guardian on 7 December, I recommend you read Climate change: what’s next? This was coordinated by UKCIP and ECI at the University of Oxford, and includes some interesting articles written by our ARCC network members on the challenges facing the built environment and infrastructure, as well as broader allied issues for business, flood resilience, talking about climate change, adaptation, climate finance, and the 1.5 degree target.

From all of us here at ARCC, we wish you a safe and happy festive period with family and friends, both here and abroad.

Roger B Street
Principal Investigator

From the ARCC network

Feeling good in public spaces series

November 2015 to December 2016

Last week we held the final event in our Feeling good in public spaces dialogue series. We’ve examined how people’s senses can be affected by the design of public spaces and building frontages through a series of events incorporating over 50 talks, smell and sound walks, a sensory exhibition and an acoustics lab tour.  Throughout the series we’ve drawn on the findings from EPSRC-funded research to examine how climate change or climate disruption could present challenges for these experiences, and how developments in technology and knowledge could help improve urban resilience.

The series culminated last week in an event on Multi-sensory design – creating healthier public spaces – presentations and outputs are now online. Over 80 attendees from across the built environment industry and academic communities joined us for a sensory journey and formal talks which featured EPSRC funded research from PhD-level – Ed Barsley from the University of Cambridge produced an immersive stand incorporating a soundscape video using Lego figures to explore the soundscapes of existing and adapted flood risk scenarios – to multi-disciplinary projects such as ARCADIA – showcasing a climate impact and adaptation tool enabling visualisation of extent of heatwave impact – as well as projects from the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing cross-council programme including Co-motion and Mobility, Mood and Place.

Overcoming obstacles to high density resilient cities – urban microclimate event

6 January 2017, City Hall, London

Join the CIBSE Resilient Cities Group, special guests and other leaders in the field from industry, government, planning and academia to establish the current state of knowledge and understanding of the various ‘built form’ driven effects on urban performance and resilience, alongside addressing the practice requirements to tackle the unintended local environmental consequences of urban form.

The event will review and debate our current understanding of the interdependent dynamic relationships between high density urban typologies, urban climate, energy management, use of green infrastructure and the health and well-being of urban dwellers. In particular, consideration will be given to the gaps in our knowledge and collective purpose that limit the built environment community’s ability to create more integrated, resilient cities.

The event is free but capacity is limited and registration is essential.

Don’t forget: ARCC report – lessons from coordinating a knowledge exchange network

After being challenged by EPSRC, we undertook our own research in 2016 to capture exactly how to successful coordinate a multi-million pound research programme.  We launched the report in June, and I would like to remind you of its existence, and always encourage you to connect with us if you are working in the academic / industry / knowledge exchange space.

The ARCC knowledge exchange network has continued to maintain its focus on the needs of the stakeholders across the broad remit of the built environment and infrastructure sectors, sometimes in a niche capacity, other times more mainstream.

Eclipse Research partner Dr Ian Cooper undertook the research on our behalf, and wrote a blog exploring this piece of work.

TeddiNet revised website

Our friends at the Transforming Energy Demand through Digital Innovation Network TeddiNet) have revised their website so take a look, they work in a knowledge exchange capacity similar to ARCC to address the challenges of transforming energy demand in buildings, which is a key component of the transition to an affordable, low carbon energy system.

Funding & research opportunities

Heriot-Watt University Postdoctoral Research Associate – Energy Demand and Energy System Modelling

Due 4 January 2017

The Centre for Energy Systems Integration is a new £20M EPSRC consortium project involving Newcastle, Edinburgh, Durham, Heriot-Watt and Sussex Universities. The aim of this project is to understand the complex relationship between energy supply, demand and infrastructure and how this will evolve in the future.

Heriot-Watt is leading on the energy demand work package and is looking for a researcher to investigate how conventional building performance software and energy system modelling can be integrated.

Don’t forget: EPSRC fellowships – closing date 5 January 2017

The Living with Environmental Change theme is currently open to receive fellowship proposals from both postdoctoral and early career researchers. Applications are sought to address the challenge question:

How can our cities, their hinterlands, linking infrastructure, rural surround and the regions they are in, be transformed to be resilient, sustainable, more economically viable and generally better places to live?

There are also other relevant fellowship areas such as Engineering for Sustainability and Resilience in the Engineering theme, so please visit the full listing on the EPSRC website.

City-to-City Learning Exchange

Due 15 January 2017

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) emphasises the necessity to strengthen competencies, management and implementation capacities at different governance levels as a necessary condition to progress in the reduction of disaster risk and associated loss at global, regional, and local level. It emphasises the necessity to empower local authorities and communities in order to face in an efficient manner, the challenges to sustainable development.

As a result, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), with support from the European Commission’s DG-DEVCO, are calling for proposals for city learning exchanges to establish cooperation between local governments through a Making Cities Resilient campaign.

EPSRC/Energy Systems Catapult – whole energy systems scoping studies

Due 19 January 2017

Up to eight studies across the six areas identified in the full call document will be funded, to be used for researcher time, travel, workshops and other engagement activities to further develop consortia and larger programmes of work. Interdisciplinary collaboration and consortia building within applications is strongly encouraged as is partnership and engagement activities with organisations outside of academia e.g. Government, regulators and industry.

Cranfield University – the use of millimetre-wave radar for autonomy

Due 3 February 2017

This three-year PhD study will focus on investigating methods for converting raw millimetre-wave (mm-wave) radar data into useful actionable information for an autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to support navigation, obstacle avoidance and target detection.

Call for papers: International Symposium on Sustainable Refurbishment of the Built Environment

Due 1 February, 2017

The Refurbishment Symposium provides an environment in which thought leaders in industry, academia and the professions across the world can communicate, present research and share best practice in sustainable refurbishment with the ultimate aim to improve standards and reduce emissions relating to the global housing stock.


Imagining the healthy city in Britain

17:00 to 19:00, 10 January 2017, Sheffield

The value of urban natural environments is widely acknowledged and supported by a growing body of evidence and many examples of good practice, and yet there is still a gap between what we know and what we do in practice across the environment, health and social care sectors.

The aim of this seminar series is to move the agenda on to consider how we might adopt a more structural, systemic and landscape approach to utilising the health and wellbeing benefits of natural environments at a city-wide level.

ICIF Infrastructure Grand Challenges event

Change of date and venue – 21 February 2017, London

Join the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) research team, special guests and other leaders in the field from industry, government, regulation and academia for an exhibition of ICIF research, debate of infrastructure grand challenges and key-note presentations from practitioners.

Call for workshop participants – communication, interpretation and use of climate information for development

6–8 March 2017, Cape Town, South Africa

For those holding existing ECR research or academic positions at a research institution either in the UK or in South Africa, this workshop will cover appropriate communication, interpretation and the use of climate information in society, the co-development of climate services, and the use of climate information to enhance economic development and social welfare.

Energy, Climate Change and Complexity Science Conference

19–22 March 2017, Seville Spain

This conference will explore the relationship between all three areas to provide some richer insights both on the research being done and the policy it informs. Speakers will address their presentations towards: What will society, cities, environment, and our way of living look like in 100 years? What decisions would you, as a scientist or policy maker, make now knowing that they would impact the 4th generation and beyond?