London connected city

I am pleased to announce this year’s DAFNI Conference, which will be at Imperial College London on 12 September. The focus of this year’s programme will be infrastructure resilience to tie in with the new UKRI programme on Building a Secure and Resilient World

Brian Matthews
The DAFNI new Centre of Excellence is sponsoring a research programme and we hope that we will hear about the new projects at the conference. Look forward to meeting you there!
In this article we also have three articles on the use of equipment within the DAFNI programme which has been installed in university groups:
  • At UCL the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis are using high-end servers to power the QUANT model, looking at the likely effect of large infrastructure projects such as Heathrow’s 3rd runway on employment and population.
  • Newcastle University are using high-end servers to tune geospatial and engineering models suitable for deployment on DAFNI.
  • The Infrastructure Systems Institute, also at UCL are boosting models exploring sustainability, resilience, and productivity in infrastructure and cities.
Finally, we would like to let you know about a new journal paper which has recently been published on DAFNI in the Institute of Civil Engineers’ journal Smart Infrastructure and Construction. This gives us a reference paper which people can cite when referring to DAFNI.
 Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Project Lead
London Skyline
This year’s DAFNI Conference will take place at Imperial College, London on 12  September 2023.

Our speakers will examine the theme of ‘Building a secure and resilient world’.

Click to find out more and register:

News from our central team

CASA uses DAFNI hardware monies to take research in projects involving large quantities of data and model runs to the next level

The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis: CASA’s focus is to be at the forefront of what is one of the grand challenges of 21st century science: to build a science of cities from a multidisciplinary base, drawing on cutting edge methods, and ideas in modelling, complexity, visualisation and computation.

Computer Screens
The DAFNI hardware monies were used to purchase a number of servers and high performance computers as well as headsets and GPU hardware to take research in projects involving large quantities of data and model runs to the next level.
Richard Milton, Senior Research Associate, CASA, UCL, explains, “One project where the new hardware was immediately put to good use is the QUANT project, which is funded by the Alan Turing Institute. Typical QUANT scenarios involve predicting residential demand following the construction of a 3rd runway at Heathrow, or the effect on travel time of a project like High Speed 2 or Crossrail.”

DAFNI hardware boosts geospatial engineering research at Newcastle University

The new DAFNI-funded hardware is being put to good use by users in Newcastle’s geospatial Centre for Doctoral Training and others in the university researching in geospatial and civil engineering fields working on a range of topics from hydrological modelling, to transport accessibility analysis.

Craig Robson
Dr Craig Robson, School of Engineering, Newcastle University, is a lecturer within the Geospatial Engineering group, a member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, Co-Investigator on the OpenCLIM project, and a DAFNI champion. He says, “The new desktop machines will enable PhD students to test and hone their models before deploying them onto DAFNI, the new machines are also available to others in the university researching in geospatial and civil engineering fields working on a range of topics from hydrological modelling, to transport accessibility analysis.”
Desk and computers

DAFNI funds UCL’s dedicated HPC hardware for the Infrastructure Systems Institute

The DAFNI hardware fund has allowed UCL to add considerable computing power to its Infrastructure Systems Institute.

The high-performance computers are proving invaluable for testing and honing models prior to uploading to the DAFNI platform, for using Docker imaging software, and other DAFNI services such as workflows and visualisations.

Liz Varga, Professor of Complex Systems at the Infrastructure Systems Institute in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering at UCL explains how over 25 people in the Infrastructure Systems Institute, including post docs, lecturers, doctoral students, and professors can now run models much more quickly than previously for their research in areas such as sustainability, resilience, and productivity in infrastructure and cities. This can involve using the computing power in areas such as developing discrete choice models, and activity-based modelling. More work is also planned on Digital Twins using the DAFNI hardware.

Click to read the blog:

DAFNI article in Smart Infrastructure and Construction (an ICE publication)

We are pleased to report that the DAFNI: Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure paper has been published in Smart Infrastructure and Construction (Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)).
Research into the engineering of infrastructure systems is increasingly data intensive.
Researchers build computational models to explore scenarios such as investigating the merits of infrastructure plans, analysing historical data to inform system operations or assessing the impacts of infrastructure on the environment.
Journal from page

Models are more complex, at higher resolution and with larger coverage. Researchers also require a ‘multi-systems’ approach to explore interactions between systems, such as energy and water with urban development, and across scales, from buildings and streets to regions or nations. Consequently, researchers need enhanced computational resources to support cross-institutional collaboration and sharing at scale. DAFNI is an emerging computational platform for infrastructure systems research

The article, “DAFNI: a computational platform to support infrastructure systems research” is available at:


DOI: 10.1680/jsmic-2022-007
J-es screenshot

Calling all researchers who are submitting a proposal to Research Councils


DAFNI has been added to the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) grant submission system and you will see us listed as a new facility which can be added to your grant proposal. If your grant application requires novel workflows or you have particular requirements we would advise a conversation prior to submission. This is so we can advise accordingly. Look forward to joining your proposals.


person and laptop

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

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.

DAFNI training graphic
  • 26 July 2023
  • 27 September 2023 
  • 22 November 2023

To attend the event you will need experience of entering code through a command line interface, for more information and to book, please visit:

Technical updates
Current users! Get updates on the latest technical updates and features, visit:
22nd June 2023