Digitalization of the road industry - way forward

Digitalization of the road industry - way forward

Digitalization of the road industry - way forward

event Friday, September 22, 2023 schedule 12.00pm - 12.45pm BST
Past event
Past event
event Friday, September 22, 2023 schedule 12.00pm - 12.45pm BST
  • drf
In-person and online | Free
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Science and technology
Seminar Room (1-33), Civil Engineering Building | View details

Join us for a panel discussion featuring Prof Ioannis Brilakis – Professor of Civil & Information Engineering, University of Cambridge, Tim Embley - Group Research & Innovation Director, Costain, Phillip Proctor - Head of Research, National Highways, and Dr Lavindra De Silva, Principal Research Associate (Research Professor) in the Cambridge University Engineering Department. The session will be moderated by Dr Mahendrini Ariyachandra, Digital Roads of the Future Programme Manager.

The discussion will explore how the Digital Roads of the Future initiative (which is supported by two grants, Digital Roads, and Future Roads) will develop a connected physical and digital road infrastructure system by moving away from traditional road management, towards a system whereby the physical and digital aspects are considered together. The central vision of this work involves five key research themes. Digital Twins is all about setting the foundations for road life-cycle management. Smart Materials - being aware of their state and properties, as well as assisting their maintainers & users. Data Science focuses on data-driven insight to inform design, construction, maintenance and operations. Automation and Robotics to support proactive interventions and enable automated routine maintenance. Each of these themes is underpinned by a commitment to Sustainability of human and natural resources, carbon, ecosystems, hazards and life-cycle impacts. The vision is to deliver resilient roads that can measure and monitor their own performance over time.


Dr Mahendrini Ariyachandra


Mahendrini Ariyachandra is the Digital Roads of the Future Programme Manager at Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (2021) in Engineering from University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Science (2016) in Quantity Surveying from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Prior to joining as the DRF Programme Manager, Mahendrini worked as a Lecturer in Construction Management and Engineering at School of Engineering and the Environment at Kingston University, London. She has been in academia teaching Construction Management, Digital Construction and Quantity Surveying core course modules for various postgraduate and undergraduate programmes at the University of Cambridge, British Centre of Applied Studies (Qatar) and University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka).

Professor Ioannis Brilakis

Prof Ioannis Brilakis

Professor Ioannis Brilakis is the Laing O'Rourke Professor of Civil & Information Engineering and the Director of the Construction Information Technology Laboratory at the Division of Civil Engineering of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Professor Brilakis is an author of over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, an Associate Editor of the ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering, ASCE Construction Engineering and Management, Elsevier Automation in Construction, and Elsevier Advanced Engineering Informatics Journals, and the lead founder of the European Council on Computing in Construction.

Tim Embley

tim embley

The Costain Group is a large construction and engineering company based in the UK and formed over 150 years ago. It works across a range of sectors and collaborates with businesses around the world. Tim Embley is the Group Innovation & Research Director with 15 years of experience in leading the company's strategic research portfolio, and industrial research in partnership with UK Universities. He is also Chair of i3P Net Zero Carbon Working Group, several research programme boards, and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering.

Phillip Proctor

phil proctor

National Highways - formerly known as Highways England - is a government-owned company charged with operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major A-roads in England. The Digital Roads programme is at the heart of its long-term vision for the Strategic Road Network. Phillip Proctor is Head of Research, with 21 years of experience in R&D, and skilled in technology transfer. He is Deputy Chair of the IET Transport Sector Committee and currently supervises four research engineers and co-leads a wider team of 45 staff.

Dr Lavindra de Silva


Lavindra is Principal Research Associate (Research Professor) in the Cambridge University Engineering Department. He joined the Department as Research Lead on the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project, after which he took on the role of Programme Director on the Digital Roads of the Future Initiative. Lavindra has spearheaded publications in many of the most competitive venues in Computer Science and Engineering/Robotics, and has helped build numerous systems that were deployed or demonstrated to both SMEs and large organisations such as the European Space Agency. His focus has been on building provably correct, explainable, reliable, and resilient AI-based systems, through contributions to research areas including autonomous (agent) systems, automated planning and verification, controller synthesis, digital twins, and machine learning.

Booking information

Bookings for this event are handled externally. Please contact the event organiser if you have any questions.

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Seminar Room (1-33), Civil Engineering Building
JJ Thomson Avenue 7a
United Kingdom
Location information: