A new type of professional engineering leader is needed to address the multifaceted challenges posed by a world-wide requirement for integrated and sustainable infrastructure systems to support a population of seven billion and above. The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CDT-SIS) exists to develop a new school of thinking amongst engineers capable of leading the transformation of our national infrastructure from our current sectorized, carbon intensive inheritance to the integrated, low carbon, digitally enabled systems that will be the hallmark of successful economies in the 21st century; and able to apply these skills around the world.
The CDT-SIS adopts a cohort training approach to deliver talented engineers with the diverse skill-set required to meet present and future global infrastructure challenges. This skills we aim to develop comprise:
- Technical expertise relevant to specific infrastructure sectors;
- Wider technical understanding to enable integration and transformative thinking across the sectors;
- Ability to work at the interdisciplinary interface, with understanding of a range subject areas;
- Awareness of environmental context and ability to develop sustainable solutions that address the requirements of environmental legislation;
- Understanding of the societal perspectives and attitudes that frequently result in impediments to progress and sometimes complete impasse;
- Underpinning generic skills in mathematics, research, leadership and management, and multimedia communication with a variety of audiences ;
- International perspective, to be able to translate and adapt thinking from one set of societal or environmental conditions to others.
The CDT-SIS addresses the educational and training step change required of infrastructure professional of the future. Our integrated cohort approach will develop a networked skill base whose capability and influence reach far beyond that of any number of individuals acting in isolation. This cohort approach enables peer-to-peer lateral as well as vertical training to be coupled with long term network development embracing industry and the wider student and academic communities, both in the UK and internationally. The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton provides an ideal base because of the strength and breadth of its engineering and applied science expertise, and its excellent links to industry and academia across the globe. CDT-SIS and the University of Southampton align in their shared ethos of to develop and apply the fundamental science and engineering research needed to address the key problems facing society today, within the context of social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems:
- Captures the spirit and urgency of the growing realisation that our infrastructure systems need to be specified, built, developed and operated in an integrated way;
- Enhances and is enhanced by the large volume of related research currently in progress at Southampton, funded by EPSRC through Programme, Platform and project grants, and by industry through Strategic Frameworks and individual projects;
- Builds on the huge investment in new engineering facilities currently being made by the University (including £120M in the first phase of the Boldrewood Engineering Campus);
- Benefits from and feeds into many well-established major industry links;
- Drives forward over 15 years’ experience in establishing, developing and running successful and innovative doctoral training centres;
- Draws on the national and international academic links established through Southampton’s leadership of and engagement with nearly every major infrastructure-related, cross-university, EPSRC-funded initiative over the past ten years.