Atkins backs climate change research

Engineering design consultancy Atkins has welcomed a decision by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to fund critical cross-sector research into how climate change could impact the UK's infrastructure.

The £6.1M funding announcement comes after the Committee on Climate Change’s report, which warned the UK is ill prepared to meet the challenges of extreme weather events.

The Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC), a team of engineers and scientists coordinated by Newcastle University, is to carry out research to ensure a sustainable infrastructure in the UK, which is vulnerable because of its inter-dependence on water and waste, telecommunications, energy and transport.

The range of potential climate change risks will be analysed by the ITRC, which will also identify ways to protect the infrastructure and enable the carbon reduction targets to be met.

Atkins has committed its expertise to ensure the research project is a success.

The company’s climate change consultant, Geoff Darch, is coordinating input from a range of experts across Atkins including transport modellers and energy engineers. He said: “The ITRC will provide a multidisciplinary approach to climate change research and modelling, which is key for a thorough understanding of asset resilience and flood risk to critical infrastructure.

“We need to better understand the greatest risks across all our infrastructure networks, particularly to our long life assets such as water treatment works and the road network, so that we can design more accurate and effective resilience strategies and business continuity plans.

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