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DAFNI Newsletter, December 2023

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We are pleased to share with you the DAFNI Conference highlights video. In addition, we have all our speakers’ individual talks recorded with their presentations uploaded to the DAFNI website, please go and check them out!

The DAFNI programme has been very busy since the conference. New projects are underway and we have been working with them to introduce the project teams to the platform. Additionally, following on from conference feedback and collaboration discussions, we have been actively planning a lot of outreach activities including networking events, roadshows, webinars and next year’s DAFNI conference.

We have a further funding opportunity coming up to further enhance our research in infrastructure resilience and grow our Centre of Excellence! Please see ‘Upcoming funding Opportunities’ below for more information. We also hope to include some additional funding looking specifically at barriers and opportunities for data sharing.

Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Programme Lead

Upcoming Funding Opportunities with DAFNI

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DAFNI is looking to further fund infrastructure resilience projects, specifically in the Transport and Energy sectors. Our announcement of the opportunity will be launched in our December newsletter, please keep an eye out!

The sandpits will be funded through the UKRI Building a Secure and Resilient World theme. DAFNI is also exploring a pilot initiative to address barriers to data sharing, which should also provide additional opportunities for our community. This is an exciting time for the DAFNI programme as we investigate this initiative as well as bringing additional services onto the DAFNI platform.

The sandpits will explore ideas in Transport and Energy in Infrastructure Resilience, as well as exploring challenges and barriers associated with data sharing.

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We have been working with our amazing DAFNI platform users to organise a DAFNI webinar series which starts in January 2024!

The DAFNI programme will be launching a monthly webinar over the lunchtime period, each month we will have a new speaker to discuss their work using the DAFNI platform. The sessions will be one hour, with 40 minutes for the presentations and 20 minutes for questions!
We look forward to hosting the first in the DAFNI Webinar series on 10 January at 12-1pm, this webinar will cover the following:
• Background on the purpose/aims of the sandpits
• How the sandpits will work
• Sandpit dates/times
• Information on the announcement of opportunity
• Q&A

Upcoming confirmed speakers
• 28 February 2024 – Dr Robert Nicholls with a talk on ‘OpenCLIM: Open Climate Impacts Modelling Framework’
• 27 March 2024 – Dr Jens Jensen with a talk on ‘The Climate Resilience Demonstrator’
• April 2024 onwards to be revealed…

News from our central team

Two men using virtual reality systems
DAFNI hardware speeds up University of Cambridge digital road initiative
The DAFNI-funded hardware is being used in the digital road initiative where people from organisations including Landbrook have seen a demo of an inspection of a bridge using the new equipment, including the Huski robot.

    Professor Ioannis Brilakis, the academic lead of the digital roads of the future initiative says, “We have some students using Huski construction equipment and attaching sensors and scanners to scan in a difficult to reach area or where more safety is required, reducing manual work required to move around.”

    Some PhD and Masters students at Cambridge are using the Huski robot, and are using the virtualiser for bridge modelling to inspect the bridge and see in the virtual world what kind of cracks and defects there are.

    The Cambridge University DAFNI hardware has been used to setup the virtual reality systems across four departments. Professor Brilakis, “These virtual reality systems have been used in digital-twin research and education. We created digital twin of an asset or a structure through site visiting and scanning, then developed an immersive environment to simulate the construction and maintenance of the digital twin.”

    Click to read the full blog

      New DAFNI features

      • Added new metadata fields
      • Added dockerisation guide for C++ and f77 models
      • Released the DAFNI CLI python package, source code for which can be found at https://github.com/dafnifacility/cli

      New DAFNI improvements
      • Improved efficiency of calls to get catalogue of Data resulting in slightly faster loading of Data catalogue
      • Improved efficiency of calls to get catalogue of Groups resulting in slightly faster loading of Groups catalogue
      • Added an activity counter to monitor how often API endpoints are called across the DAFNI services
      • Spaces are now stripped from the start and end of the creator field in Dataset metadata when DAFNI sends the metadata to the APIs
      DAFNI technical training
      A great opportunity to get up to speed quickly on DAFNI and to ask our technical experts your burning questions.  Our regular technical training events on DAFNI are available to book via Eventbrite. Next upcoming training events are;
      • 24 January 2024
      • 20 March 2024
      • 15 May 2024
      Eventbrite Advertising Training

      To attend the event you will need experience of entering code through a command line interface, for more information and to book, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/dafni-31793198351

      Placements in STFC – apply AI on real-world applications

      The Scientific Machine learning Group (SciML) within Scientific Computing at STFC are now offering part-time placement opportunities to spend time with the team and learn from the experts to develop your practical and technical skills in AI for Science application. This is an ideal opportunity for data scientists keen to apply ML/AI techniques to enhance their data analysis tasks, or research software or data engineering professionals working within industry or academia, who are keen to learn more about application of AI/ML in science or engineering.

      How to apply

      Please submit your expression of interest form by 5pm, 31st January 2024.

      If you would like to discuss any aspect of this placement, please contact AI4SCIENCE@stfc.ac.uk

      These placements are funded through an EPSRC’s funded project, ‘Blueprinting AI for Science at Exascale (BASE-II)’. For further information, please visit https://ai4science-at-scale.ac.uk/

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       To request your account, please go to the DAFNI website and complete the short questionnaire:

      Technical updates
      Current users! Get updates on the latest technical updates and features, visit: https://www.dafni.ac.uk/dafnilogin/
      About DAFNI

      DAFNI was originally funded by an £8 million EPSRC investment in the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and a £1.2m grant under EPSRC’s Resource Only Strategic Equipment. Its aim has been to become the national platform to satisfy the computational needs in support of data analysis, infrastructure modelling and visualisation, and encourage whole-system thinking for the UK’s infrastructure research needs.

      In March 2023 UKRI awarded £4m to STFC Scientific Computing to establish a national Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis, and move the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) into its new phase.

      Today, the platform supports research that aims to provide the UK with a world-leading infrastructure system that is more integrated, efficient, powerful, reliable, resilient and affordable. It is enabling the community to conduct research that is able to generate new insights at a higher level of detail and accuracy than ever before.

      To find out more about DAFNI, visit: www.dafni.ac.uk​

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      5th December 2023