DAFNI Newsletter, March 2024

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DAFNI Newsletter, March 2024

Man with glasses smiling at camera

Welcome to the DAFNI March newsletter. 

The DAFNI programme is delighted to announce that the sandpit process is complete and both Transport and Energy expert panels have awarded funding to six fantastic projects! I would like to personally thank all sandpit applicants from both Transport and Energy Sandpits. Special mention to our Energy panel members Robin Preece, Catherine Jones and Beth Warnock and not forgetting our Transport panel members George Economides, Melina Kakouratou and William Powrie. 

This week we held another successful DAFNI webinar, which was presented by Dr Jens Jensen, who I would like to thank for the great presentation! The webinar covered the important work that the Climate Demonstrator Resilience (CReDo) project is doing, and explained DAFNI’s role in the project. We have recorded the session, please see the webinar section below. I will be presenting the next April webinar myself, this will cover the challenges and opportunities in data sharing and what research the DAFNI programme is undertaking in this area.  

This month we met with our DAFNI Strategy Board, it was great to catch up with all Board members and update them on our programme objectives and latest work. A main focus area was our new funding programme ‘DAFNI Data Infrastructure for National Infrastructure’ (DINI). I will elaborate more on the funding programme in the April webinar. Thanks to all Strategy Board Members for their support and feedback to the DAFNI programme. We look forward to working with the Strategy Board this year to help steer the long-term sustainability and the evolution of DAFNI. 

This month the DAFNI programme has seen a number of successes, including: the DAFNI technical team working hard on platform developments, the successful funding awarded for both sandpits, the launch of the Scotland and Wales roadshows, more planning for the DAFNI Conference, our new DAFNI Technical event ‘Networkshop’, and progress with our new project ‘Challenges and opportunities to data sharing’.

Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Programme Lead

Stock Image. Man wearing glasses with road network in background

Sandpit update

We are pleased to confirm the sandpit process is now complete. The sandpits were a great success, thank you to all involved, as you were all open to collaborating and hopefully built new networks for future research. 

We plan to make a newsletter announcement once the contractual details of the awarded sandpit projects are complete. This announcement will give more details about the project teams, their aims and what their research output will be on DAFNI and will mean to the community.

Successful Energy Sandpit project

We are pleased to announce that our Energy Expert panel has awarded funding to three excellent projects, focusing on distributed grid resiliencebuilding risk-informed redundancy in energy systems, and DAFNI forecasting services for energy networks.

All energy projects are due to start in May 2024 and will be highlighted at the DAFNI Conference 2024.

person and laptop

DAFNI is running monthly lunchtime webinar series throughout 2024, each month a different speaker is discussing their work using the DAFNI platform. The sessions are 60 minutes: 40 minutes for the presentations and 20 minutes for questions.

We would like to personally thank Dr Jens Jensen for his amazing webinar talk held this month. Thank you to all that joined the Zoom call, we hope you found the webinar as insightful as we did and benefitted from the live Q&A session. Please see here for the recording and Q&A session! 

We have some great presenters coming up in May and June, we will release details of the speakers next month! 

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April webinar

Our April webinar is upcoming – Dr Brian Matthews will give a talk on ‘Challenges and Barriers to Data Sharing’. In this webinar you will learn more about DAFNI’s new programme of work which is funded by the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology. Brian will be presenting on the current issues with data sharing, what our project is aiming to achieve and the scope of our work.  


Banner advertising upcoming Roadshows with DAFNI logo

Coming to Wales & Scotland 

DAFNI is pleased to announce we are planning two big roadshows in Wales and Scotland this year, as the DAFNI programme would like to build our networks and community in these particular areas. Our roadshows involve a DAFNI introduction and platform demonstration, followed by lightning talks from the host area on their current research, which allows all parties to explore opportunities of how we can collaborate. 

We are asking you the DAFNI community to get in touch if your university is located in Wales or Scotland or you have the relevant network contacts, as we are looking to put our plans into action. In addition we are looking for a hosting venue in each location, so please contact us on info@dafni.ac.uk 

Please note, the DAFNI programme team are in the planning stages for further roadshow events, if this is something of interest to you, please contact info@dafni.ac.uk 

DAFNI Conference 2024 with birds eye view of Birmingham and river

Book now for our 2024 DAFNI conference on the 10th of September 2024! 

We are holding early bird prices up until July 2024! From August standard prices will rise from £45 to £60, student prices will rise from £20 to £30 

News from our central team

DAFNI helping to safeguard UK nations against climate change risk

Blog Now Available

Following our February webinar, a blog from Professor Robert Nicholls of University of East Anglia and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research about OpenCLIM is now available. 

The DAFNI platform is a central part of the OpenCLIM project which was designed to support UK-level Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) mandated by the Climate Change Act of 2008. OpenCLIM conducted an integrated assessment of climate risks across five different sectors: heat stress, flooding, drought, agriculture, and biodiversity. They made the results available to policymakers, and the legacy and workflows available to researchers through the DAFNI platform.

    DAFNI platform features and updates

      Our Technical Team have recently added the following new features to the platform:

      • Added a ‘Delete Instances’ button in the Visualisation Catalogue
      • Updated the Privacy Policy in the terms and conditions to allow for sending platform email notifications


      • Decreased the lifetime of PUT urls used for uploading files to DAFNI to 4 hours


      • Fixed an issue where deleted Assets were appearing in the Catalogues
      • Fixed an issue where deleting a Dataset Version and then attempting to upload a new Version was showing an error
        DAFNI technical training

        A great opportunity to get up to speed quickly on DAFNI and to ask our technical experts your burning questions. Highly recommended for those developing a research proposal and are thinking of including DAFNI as the platform of choice for the research.  

        Eventbrite Advertising Training

        Our regular technical training events on DAFNI are available to book via Eventbrite. Next 2024 training events (Wednesdays, 1:30pm):

        • 15 May
        • 10 July 
        • 4 September
        • 30 October 

        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

        person and laptop

         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/
        News from external partners
        Underground pipework
        Get involved now if your work relates to water, gas, electricity, geothermal and telco infrastructure!

        The Geospatial Commission (DSIT) are currently undertaking an exciting new Discovery project, exploring the potential benefits of widening access to the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR). As part of this, they will be holding a half-day workshop on the topic of asset maintenance, resilience, replacement and repurposing in light of net-zero policies and the future impacts of climate change on these systems.

        They would like to invite representatives from the academic sector with a particular interest in these themes, to join the session and help them explore new use cases for NUAR. 

        They have also invited a range of private sector innovators and asset managers from the key utilities and Local Authorities in London, so participating will provide a great opportunity to network and hear about the latest thinking in this rapidly evolving space.

        The workshop will be held in the Ordnance Survey Geovation Hub near Farringdon in the week of the 15th of April.

        If you are interested, please email nuardiscovery@atkinsrealis.com with a very brief description of your research interest and/or fill in this brief form with your thoughts and ideas

        Landscape of fields and bodies of water

        The DAFNI community is invited to the VENTURA project showcase event on Wednesday 24 April 2024. This free event is being run by Imperial College London, British Geological Survey and University College London, the event will showcase digital decision making for water neutrality.

        Keynote speakers: Luke Ridley, DEFRA, Water Science Lead and David Hodcroft, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Infrastructure Team Lead

        🗓️ Wednesday 24 April 2024

        ⏰ 09:30 – 16:00 

        📍 The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5AG

        🌐 https://imperial.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_afJP0Jnaf2mo5xA

        Photo by David Meyer on Unsplash

        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​

        STFC logo
        UKCRIC logo
        EPSRC logo
        28th March 2024