Human factor to become decisive in future engineering projects
Text by: Ian Walker, Bath University FHEA, Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Bath
Universities of Exeter, Bath and Leicester have launched a new collaborative joint venture to develop facilities for multi-disciplinary research in human factors engineering.
VSimulators allow rapid prototyping of civil engineering projects such as road, highway and railway networks. The facilities will be useful to any members of the FORESEE project designing and/or operating these kind of infrastructures, or anybody interested in civil engineering more widely, if they want to collect data on the human experience of structural motion, or perform controlled tests of how proposed structures are likely to be perceived and experienced by end users. For example, a cheaper and a more expensive version of a structure can be simulated to see whether they are perceived as equal by end users.
Different kinds of situations can be simulated thanks to VSimulators, including some of the extreme events studied in the FORESEE project. This results in evaluation and improvement of an infrastructure’s resilience against those events. For example, while not an earthquake simulator, VSimulators can simulate considerable amounts of building sway such as might be experienced in a tall building or other moving structure.
Further information about VSimulators is available here:
The functioning of society depends on the functioning of multi-modal transport infrastructure networks. These networks are designed and managed to be used to transport persons and goods in specific ways, e.g. within specific amounts of time, and with the probabilities of being hurt or injured being below specified thresholds. When extreme events occur, their ability to provide this service can be diminished. In order for managers to determine how to optimally allocate resources to help ensure that these networks continue to provide acceptable levels of service following the occurrence of extreme events, or provide acceptable levels of service as fast as possible following the occurrence of extreme events, it is useful to be able to measure the service provided by, and the resilience of, these networks.
The guideline proposed in the deliverable D1.1 [Adey et al., 2019] allows managers to do this, taking into consideration the fact that there are many different specific multi-modal transport infrastructure networks, embedded in many different physical and organisational environments, being managed by many different organisations. It sets out the principles and basic steps to be used. The guideline emphasizes that measurement of the service provided by, and the resilience of, multi-modal transport infrastructure requires a clear definition of the transport system to be considered.
Once the transport system is defined, the service to be provided, as well as the measure of service to be used is to be defined. Although impossible to do this specifically for all possible transport systems, a list of possible generic service measures to be used are given in the appendices of this guideline as a starting point for the development of detailed service measures for specific situations involving road and rail transport infrastructure.
When the service is defined at an acceptable level of detail, how resilience is to be measured is to be determined, i.e. through simulations, or using resilience indicators with differentiated or equal weights. The choice of measurement method depends on the specific problem to be addressed, the time frame at disposition and the expertise available to conduct the analysis. If simulations are to be used the user of the guide is directed to two publications that have been written prior to the start of the FORESEE project [Adey et al., 2016; Hackl et al., 2018]. If it is decided to use indicators of resilience, guidance is given within the document as to how the resilience indicators are to be developed for the transport system to be analysed. If it is not desired to measure service and resilience, the percentage of fulfilment of the resilience indicators, can still be used to give indications of resilience.
The deliverable officially started the 20 of September 2019 and was reviewed four times by all the work package partners before being finally approved by the project’s stakeholder reference group at the end of May, 2019. Further work is now required to define how to determine the target values for the service and resilience estimated.
Adey, B. T., Martani, C., Kielhauser, C., Robles, I., Papathanasiou, N., Burkhalter, M. (2019). FORESEE project, Deliverable D1.1: Guideline to measure service provided by, and resilience of, transport infrastructure.
Adey, B.T., Hackl, J., Lam, J.C., van Gelder, P., van Erp, N., Prak, P., Heitzler, M., Iosifescu, I., Hurni, L., (2016), Ensuring acceptable levels of infrastructure related risks due to natural hazards with emphasis on stress tests, 1st International Symposium on Infrastructure Asset Management (SIAM), Kyoto, Japan, January 21-22.
Hackl, J., Lam, J.C., Heitzler, M., Adey, B.T., Hurni, L., (2018) Estimating network related risks: a methodology and an application for roads, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 18, 2273–2293.
Photo: the City Garden intersection in Shanghai, credits by @kejsirajbek
FORESEE project will be presented at the IBTTA Global Summit in Portugal, October 27 - 29, 2019.
The International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA) is the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them. Hosted by Brisa, the largest private road way operator in Portugal and supported by ASECAP, the European Association of Operators of Toll Road Infrastructure, the IBTTA Summit will cover the range of relevant topics affecting the operations and governance of the worldwide tolling industry. Topics will include sustainable and safe mobility, moving from toll road operators to mobility service providers, optimising facility capacity, emerging payment systems, connected infrastructure and sustainable transportation.
The FORESEE project will be presented in SESSION #5: Safety Update: Incident Management, Weather Management from Around the World. The session will address, among others, how weather resilience strategies for highway infrastructure are currently being adopted to address the impact of weather on the transportation system.
More info at the following link: https://www.ibtta.org/events/global-tolling-summit-0
The main goal of the FORESEE project is to make infrastructure more resilient to weather and man-made events. Here we can find a good example of a critical infrastructure exposed to severe disruptions due to extreme weather events such as snow and ice. These disruptions could affect thousands of leisure and work trips. However, to avoid this, Heathrow airport manages its operations with a very robust Winter Resilience Programme that is described in the following link: https://blog.ferrovial.com/en/2013/01/heathrows-winter-resilience-programme-pt-1/
In the transport sector, Europe’s TEN-T policy remains key in preventing obstacles to the free circulation of goods, services and citizens throughout the EU in a growing area without frontiers. It aims to boost economic, social and territorial cohesion between all Member States and their regions. More and more, it has become a transport infrastructure concept that extends to EU neighbours and is part of the cooperation with other areas of the world. Importantly, TEN-T policy is at the same time close to European citizens': enhancing accessibility of their home regions and providing connectivity with distant destinations.
Have your say and find out more here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2018-4706847/public-consultation_en
Created with images by Nick Fewings - "untitled image" • LadyDisdain - "london heathrow airport" • Adrien Olichon - "untitled image"