In 2018, Professor Mark Girolami was appointed Lloyd’s Register Foundation / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Data-Centric Engineering. The Academy’s Research Chairs and Senior Fellowships scheme strengthens the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research for five years, co-sponsored by an industrial partner.
Professor Mark Girolami is the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where he supervises PhD research students and leads his research teams and groups. As Programme Director for Data-Centric Engineering at The Alan Turing Institute he leads a large group of over 120 research staff on the £60 million-valued programme.
As Research Chair in Data-Centric Engineering, Professor Girolami is leading a five-year project to explore how big data can be incorporated into engineering practice. This includes the development of new data-centric techniques to monitor the safety of physical structures such as railway bridges.
The availability of data from every aspect of human life has enabled the artificial intelligence revolution. It is transforming the engineering sciences and the practice of engineering. Professor Girolami’s work sits at the interface of applied mathematics, statistical science and the engineering disciplines where data is being used to improve the safety, resilience and efficiency of engineering systems.
New technologies, new processes and new business models are emerging from data-centric methods and applications. From trains to power stations, food distribution to airports, today’s infrastructure generates large amounts of important information and data. Managing big data can transform the world of engineering, its patterns and trends can help improve the safety of essential infrastructure.
Professor Girolami has laid out the potential impact of his teams’ research. He says “From self-sensing intelligent railway bridges that can inform us of changes in their condition, to how we manage city living, especially in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic, and on to connecting cars to the power grid, these will all be impacted by the data-centric engineering revolution.”
The Academy’s Research Chairs scheme aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of the industrial partners.