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Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research

Safer infrastructures

How to continuously improve the safety and increase the resilience infrastructure and industries of today and tomorrow.

images shows tall construction cranes against a blue sky with clouds

This is applying cutting-edge discovery science and technical expertise to the engineering assessment of structural integrity and in traditional areas of occupational safety, as well as mapping the way forward to emerging technologies and industries.

It includes concern for how materials, components, joints and structures may fail, including due to degradation over time, and what may be done to address this. It also considers new and more extreme working environments, the new materials used and the development of new techniques to assure resilience. It may also include design and fielding of advanced materials and new manufacturing techniques (such as 3D printing or biotechnology). Work in this theme will inform the regulatory regimes for the technologies and materials of the future.

It will consider how infrastructure can be designed and constructed in a safer way: this may include organisational, cultural and management aspects as well as novel and emerging technological solutions (such as sensors).

It builds on The University of Manchester's expertise in engineering and materials, and links with HSE’s science programme on the UK’s Asset Base and Future Evidence.

Theme leads

  • Meini Su, The University of Manchester
  • David Glass, HSE

Proposals and submissions

  • EPSRC Made Smarter Centre/Hub bid-for cross-cutting research in the area of Digital Manufacturing. Research to cover both technological and societal aspects of the digital manufacturing space.
  • Patrick Manu has secured internal funding from MACE to recruit a PhD to study construction 4.0 and Health and Safety. Akilu Yunusa-Kaltungo, Paulo Bartolo and Clara Cheung are part of the supervisory team.
  • Awarded the joint Manchester-Melbourne Research Fund 2020 to investigate the confluence of industry 4.0 in construction (i.e., Con 4.0) with occupational safety and health (OSH) in construction.
  • Building safety network - EPSRC Network Grant. Neil Bourne, Simon Thurlbeck et al. Collaborative bid led by UoM. Submission date tbc. Proposal development meeting 1 June 2021
  • COVID-19 Secure and Biosafe Air Transport (COSBAT) - Redraft of the unsuccessful Cranfield led UKRI application. Submission date and funder TBC
  • Floating offshore H&S Network - EPSRC Network grant. Submission date TBC. Presented to Supergen ORE H&S meeting in May 2021.
  • Consultancy enquiry from Hudson Contract to look at subcontracting policy in construction sector.
  • Innovate UK Smart Grant - graphene in cement to include H&S and technical aspects.