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Prof Jim Hall

Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

February 2011 to August 2020

AIM: To enable decision-makers to access and visualise information that tells them how infrastructure systems are performing, through:

  • Models that help to pinpoint vulnerabilities and quantify the risks of failure
  • An ability to perform ‘what-if’ analysis to explore future uncertainties, e.g. population growth, new technologies and climate change.

The UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) provides concepts, models and evidence to inform the analysis, planning and design of national infrastructure (NI). Our initial programme developed the world’s first national infrastructure system-of-systems model, NISMOD, which has been used to analyse long-term investment strategies.

Our new programme – Multi-Scale Infrastructure Systems Analytics (MISTRAL) – builds on the model to develop an integrated analytics capability to inform infrastructure decision-making across scales, from local to global.

MISTRAL will extend the ITRC’s infrastructure systems analysis capability:

  • Downscale: from national networks to the UK’s household and business level, representing the infrastructure services required and multi-scale delivery networks
  • Upscale: from the national perspective to incorporate global interconnections via telecommunications, transport and energy networks
  • Across-scale: to other national settings outside the UK, where infrastructure needs are greatest and where systems analysis is a business opportunity for UK engineering firms.

Through MISTRAL, we aim to change how strategic infrastructure planning, investment and design decisions are made:

  • MISTRAL’s national infrastructure system analytics will inform decisions by governments, utilities and regulators at a range of scales in the UK
  • Our national infrastructure database will become a shared national resource and a focal point for research and industrial collaboration
  • MISTRAL’s systems analytics will be used in infrastructure planning and design around the world
  • We will engage a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, in understanding infrastructure performance and choices.