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This Month’s Featured Expert

February 2017

David Hughes

Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environment
Queen’s University Belfast

Landslides, Transport, Infrastructure, Climate

Tell us about your background and your current role…

School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. Actively investigating the effect of climate change on civil engineering infrastructure, including the impact on road and rail transport corridors.

With regard to climate change what are the current issues facing your sector/area of expertise?

The impact of climate change on civil engineering infrastructure is a major concern. Rising sea levels and more extreme flooding will have a significant impact on the resilience of road and rail infrastructure. It is likely flooding events will be more common as will landslides and instability of cuttings, embankments and retaining structures right across the transport network.

With regard to climate change, what do you expect the future issues and solutions to be in your sector/area of expertise?

Smart monitoring and real time assessment of the condition of infrastructure will be more widely used and more reliable. This will including remote sensed satellite and UAV (drone) measurements. For example monitoring can be carried out using satellite InSAR and Near Infra Red hyperspectral data to more accurately predict the condition of civil engineering assets.