DAFNI Conference 2019

The Royal Society London, 10 – 11 June 2019

Following 2 years of intense development effort, we are delighted to unveil to the wider community the exciting advancements within the facility and how it will relate to and revolutionise infrastructure business and research nationwide.

What is DAFNI?

DAFNI will become the National Platform to satisfy the computational needs in support of data analysis; infrastructure research; and strategic thinking for the UK’s long term planning and investment needs. The platform will support academic research that is aiming to provide the UK with a world leading infrastructure system that is more: efficient, reliable, resilient and affordable. It will achieve this by enabling the research community to conduct research that is able to generate new insights at a higher level of detail and accuracy than ever before.

DAFNI is funded by EPSRC as part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities.

DAFNI Showcase

Programme highlights

DAFNI: The next generation platform for infrastructure planning and research – why it is needed and what it will deliver (Professor Jim Hall, Oxford University)

National Infrastructure Strategy and the National Infrastructure Resilience Study (Sir John Armitt CBE)

Unveiling of DAFNI 1.0 (Samuel Chorlton, DAFNI Project Lead)

Pilot project workshops – hear from the lead researchers (Dr Edward Oughton, Oxford University; Dr Adrián Carro, Oxford University; Marcus Young and Dr Simon Blainey, Southampton University; Nik Lomax and Andrew Smith, Leeds University)

Sir John Armitt

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission

Prof. Jim Hall

Chair of DAFNI Governance Board, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, Oxford University

Samuel Chorlton

DAFNI Project Lead,Science and Technology Facilities Council, UKRI

Nick Cook

Senior Analyst, Tessella (Altran Group)

Philippa Hemmings

EPSRC Strategic Lead for UKCRIC

Jeremy Morley

Chief Geospatial Scientist, Ordnance Survey

Prof. Liz Varga

Professor of Complex Systems at UCL

Matt Crossman

Team Leader, National Infrastructure Commission

Mark Enzer

Chair of the DFTG and Chief Technical Officer, Mott MacDonald

Chris Jones

Research and Development Manager, Northumbrian Water Group

Dan Rennison

Head of Data Insight, Costain Ltd

Dr Edward Oughton

Senior Research Associate, University of Oxford

Dr Adrián Carro

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Oxford

Dr Simon Blainey

Associate Professor in Transportation, University of Southampton

Dr Nik Lomax

Associate Professor of Data Analytics for Population Research, University of Leeds

Dr Andrew Smith

Research Fellow, University of Leeds

Marcus Young

Senior Research Assistant in GIS and Transport Engineering Data, University of Southampton

Prof. Stuart Barr

Professor of Geospatial Systems Engineering and Director of Spatial Analytics and Modelling Lab, Newcastle University

Dr Theo Tryfonas

Reader in Smart Cities, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol

Prof. Daniel Coca

Head of Department, Professor of Nonlinear & Complex Systems, University of Sheffield


DAFNI Showcase

All sessions will be held in the Welcome Trust Lecture Hall unless otherwise stated.

The programme below may be subject to alteration.

Time Session
08:30 Registration & refreshments
Welcome and introduction

– Jim Hall, Chair of the DAFNI Governance Board, University of Oxford

Keynote Presentation

National Infrastructure Assessment & National Infrastructure Resilience Study and how DAFNI will support this.
– Sir John Armitt CBE, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission

Unveiling of DAFNI 1.0

A service for Academia, Government and industry – live demonstration of DAFNI’s capabilities and a first look at the modelling service.
– Samuel Chorlton, DAFNI Project Lead
– Nick Cook – Tessella

Questions and Panel session

Chaired by Jim HallPhilippa Hemmings, EPSRC Strategic Lead for UKCRIC

Samuel Chorlton, DAFNI Project Lead;
Nick Cook, Tessella;
Matt Crossman, National Infrastructure Commission;
Jeremy Morley, Ordnance Survey

11:10 Refreshment break
Keynote Presentations

Update from the Digital Twin Hub and how DAFNI can support practice.
– Mark Enzer, Mott MacDonald and Chair of the DFTG

NWG’s digital transformation and the technical drivers for a National Facility
– Chris Jones, Research and Development Manager, Northumbrian Water Ltd (NWG)

Questions and Panel session

Chaired by Jim HallPanel:
Mark Enzer, Chair of the DFTG and Chief Technical Officer, Mott McDonald;
Chris Jones, Research & Development Manager, Northumbrian Water Group;
Dan Rennison, Head of Data Insight, Costain Ltd

Enabling DAFNI

Setting the scene
– Prof. Liz Varga, Professor of Complex Systems at UCL
– Samuel Chorlton, DAFNI Project Lead

Audience participation – What the community needs?
What future research topics are required to build on from the UKCRIC vision?

13:00 Lunch and networking Opportunity to network and look at Poster Presentations provided by DAFNI Pilots Projects
The Future of DAFNI and recap so far

– Prof. Jim Hall

Introduction to the Pilot Projects on DAFNI

– Samuel Chorlton, DAFNI Project Lead

Highlights from the DAFNI Pilot Projects

Four workshops running in parallel (refreshments served throughout)

Parallel sessions will be repeated during these times: 14:30, 14:50, 15:10, 15:30

Digital Communications Model – Mobile and Fixed
Dr Edward Oughton
University of Oxford

Agent based Housing Model
Dr Adrián Carro
University of Oxford

Automated Demand Forecasting Model for new local train stations
Marcus Young and Dr Simon Blainey
Southampton University

Population Estimation and Scenario Projection model
Nik Lomax and Andrew Smith
Leeds University

Keynote Presentations

The role of the Observatories – the opportunities, future direction and challenges
– UKCRIC Urban Observatories

University of Bristol
– Dr Theo Tryfonas, Reader in Smart Cities with the Department of Civil Engineering.

University of Sheffield
– Professor Daniel Coca, MEng, PhD, CEng, MIEE, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

University of Newcastle
– Stuart Barr, Geospatial Systems Engineering and Director of the Spatial Analytics and Modelling Lab

Closing Remarks

– Prof. Jim Hall, Chair of DAFNI Governors

DAFNI Visualisation Hackathon

A one day intense Hackathon working with data to answer a challenge question set on the day. The day will focus on visualisation and in particular how we can make the data and outputs meaningful to the general public.


Time Session
08:30 Registration and refreshments
Presentation from DAFNI about the day and how it will work

– Samuel Chorlton, DAFNI Project Lead and DAFNI Team

09:20 Group formation
09:25 Selection of “Specialist Equipment”
09:30 Groups split into sub-teams
09:45 Begin hacking
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Hacking
16:30 Presentations of work done in the day
17.15 Judging of the work and prize giving
18:00 Close of the Hackathon


The Royal Society London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
+44 207 451 2500

Interested? We’d love to see you there