Arup – Embedded Researcher pitch

Interest in climate resilience

At Arup, we have made a commitment to contribute meaningfully to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, creating shared value for our clients and our communities while safeguarding our planet. There are many aspects to sustainable development but action to combat climate change and its impacts is our number one priority.

As stated in the Arup Group strategy we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals by working with clients on aligned projects including, but not limited to, climate action, sustainable cities and resilient communities. One of the six principles which guides our collaborations with clients, our approach to projects, and our investments is to enhance communities’ resilience to climate change and risks. This makes climate resilience a key component in all our business and services strategies and which shapes the delivery of our projects.

Motivation for being involved in the scheme

Arup invests in targeted research and development in the topics of resilience, sustainability, and climate change. A key area of focus is in the investment of digital tools and services that enable us to better address climate resilience challenges. Research, innovation and digital transformation in climate resilience are crucial to our success in addressing the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Our motivation to be involved in the scheme comes from our passion for research and innovation and their application in real life projects. It also arises from the growing demand and opportunity from clients to push the boundaries of what is possible in applying climate resilience insights. We continuously work with our clients and partners to co-deliver state-of-the-art solutions which reflect latest advances in the field.

We have a series of planned and ongoing projects and initiatives aimed at working collaboratively to bridge the gap between climate science, decision-makers and practitioners, with the objective to enable design teams, planners and decision makers to make use of the best climate change information. We are constantly looking to make the most of opportunities to work collaboratively, promote learning internally and externally and expand our knowledge on climate action.

Ideas for research topics or knowledge brokering activities

Our proposed research topic relates to the use of climate change projections to develop robust and tailored indicators which can inform the understanding of future climate hazards and impacts on infrastructure assets and systems. The indicators would extend the use of climate data into design, strategic resilience planning and asset management. They would be used by climate specialists, resilience practitioners and design teams to support a better quantification of climate risks as well as support the definition and development of climate services for infrastructure assets and systems.

Our work in the built environment involves assessing climate hazards, impact and risks to support the development of measures which enhance resilience for a range of projects including infrastructure design, advisory and/or strategy. While general information available from climate change projections is a useful first step for infrastructure owners and operators, there is a growing demand for more sophisticated information as understanding of the particular climate tolerances and thresholds that affect asset performance.

There is currently a gap in the definition, understanding and availability of these climate indicators for specific tolerances and thresholds which can then be used to inform climate resilience actions for infrastructure projects. This gap is especially important in the case of more complex phenomena (i.e. complex combinations of climate variables available from climate models). Hence, there is a need for research to identify the most suitable and robust climate hazard indicators for different sectors, project types, and/or for different geographies.

The suggested research activities would focus primarily on co-developing indicators using available climate change projection data to define robust climate hazard indicators with relevance to, one or more sectors or businesses. It would then explore how these are anticipated to change under different timeframes, scenarios, geographies etc. to demonstrate how these could enhance real life projects.

Get in touch with Arup

Researchers who would like to discuss this Embedded Researcher pitch with Arup should contact Maria Sunyer Pinya on Maria.Sunyer-Pinya@arup.com

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Last updated June 2021

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