DAFNI Newsletter, June 2024


DAFNI Newsletter, June 2024

Man with glasses smiling at camera

Welcome to the DAFNI June newsletter. 

Last month we held our first ‘Networkshop’ event which saw the platform users come together to understand each other’s work and provide feedback to the DAFNI programme. The team has been working through the feedback and working hard to update our DAFNI platform roadmap, which we will provide an update on at the conference this year!


The DAFNI Roadshow events covering Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are taking shape, we have been meeting lots of new partners and are excited to hear about the ongoing and new research from all institutions involved. We have decided to make these events public and will be shortly sharing event information, we hope to see you there.

The DAFNI Conference has confirmed its key note speakers for 2024, this information will be released at the start of July. Our key notes provide good coverage across the conference’s themes of “Working Together for Resilient Infrastructure”, we are excited for the community to hear their talks. With conference plans ramping up, we have updated our Cvent page and are now taking bookings for exhibition space, this is free and first come first served basis. If you would like to book an exhibition space, please contact us on info@dafni.ac.uk for more information. If you would like to reserve a delegate place, please register here.

This week we held our first meeting with our new research projects who are covering the areas of Transport and Energy. It is exciting to hear the project achievements so far, their current work schedule and upcoming milestones. All project leaders will be presenting at this year’s conference, alongside the projects from the Building a Secure Resilient World theme. It will be interesting for the community to see how these projects have progressed since last year’s conference. If you would like to understand more about these projects, their research background and aims, please see here

The DAFNI programme is working with many exciting projects at the moment and fast growing our knowledge and capability as a platform! We look forward to July’s successes and upcoming events. Our 10th July webinar will feature speakers from  our three energy sandpit projects, please register here to learn more about this event. We would like to thank Francesca Pianosi and Saskia Salwey for their brilliant presentation on uncertainty analysis in June, we have had great feedback from the community, you can go watch the video here on our website

Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Programme Lead

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

Francesca Pianosi and Saskia Salwey presented their project on ‘Uncertainty Quantification’ on the 12th of June, this webinar clearly covered the project’s background, progress so far and upcoming deliverables and had some great questions at the end from our community, which is fantastic! We recorded the session, if you would like to watch it back, please click here 

In July our webinar will focus on the Energy Sandpit projects – read on for more information and to reserve your place.

Tile advertising webinar showing solar panels
July - an update on our 3 Sandpit Energy Projects

Join us for an update on our 3 Sandpit Energy Projects

Hannah Bloomfield, BRINES

BRINES (Building Risk-Informed redundancy for Net-Zero Energy Systems) is a project led by Dr Hannah Bloomfield from the University of Cranfield along with Professor Sean Wilkinson, Newcastle University and Dr Ji-Eun Byun, University of Glasgow. The project proposes addressing higher variability and higher correlations in weather events, power generation, and demand.

Desen Kirli, D-RES

D-RES (Provision of distributed grid resilience using EVs during extreme weather events) is a collaboration project led by Dr Desen Kirli from University of Edinburgh along with Dr Laiz Souto from University of Bristol.

Project D-RES has a focus on digital twin modelling, which aims to ensure optimal use of existing assets, leveraging their flexibility to ensure energy security and interoperability as the volume of renewables increases and the frequency of extreme weather increases due to climate change.

Kostas Nikolopoulos, ForNet

ForNet (FORecasting Services for Energy NETworks) is a collaboration project led by Professor Konstantinos (Kostas) Nikolopoulos from Durham University. The team is made up of Dr Yang Lu, York St John University and Dr Haoran Zhang, Imperial College London. This project is looking at providing Forecasting services for the DAFNI platform combining quantitative time series methods (Professor Nikolopoulos), judgmental/behavioural methods/adjustments (Dr. Lu) and treatment for extreme events (Dr. Zhang).

Wednesday 10th July at 12pm.

Register Here

August – Break

Data Sharing with UKCRIC's Dr Joanne Leach
Challenges & Opportunities in Data Sharing with Dr Brian Matthews
Stakeholder visualisations tool with David Pritchard of the Environment Agency
Banner advertising upcoming Roadshows with DAFNI logo
Coming to Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland!

Our UK region roadshows tour is due to run from September through to October time, we will be visiting Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We are working hard in the background to finalise the agenda and speakers, and have decided to make these events open to any interested party. We will be sharing our Cvent registration pages very soon! 

The roadshows will take place in the autumn and 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 for collaboration. 

Please get in touch with us on info@dafni.ac.uk if you are based in these locations or have relevant network contacts for us to connect with. Please note, the DAFNI programme team are also in the planning stages for additional roadshow events around the UK, 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
Liz Varga awarded CBE
Liz Varga

Congratulations to Professor Liz Varga (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering), Professor of Complex Systems and director of UCL’s Infrastructure Systems Institute, who has been appointed a CBE for services to critical infrastructure.

She is an international research leader on complex critical infrastructure. 

Liz is a commissioner with the National Preparedness Commission. Her main research interests are 

resilience, decarbonisation, and digitalisation of critical infrastructures so that essential services are reliable, affordable, accessible, and nature friendly.

She uses a range of computational and data science methods to examine infrastructure systems and the systems they co-evolve with so that decision making for planning, operations, and policy can be improved.

Liz is a valued member of DAFNI’s Strategy Board.

Desen Kirli recognised as top engineer
Woman with long hair smiling at camera

Congratulations to Dr Desen Kirli, of University of Edinburgh School of Engineering, who has been recognised as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering by the Women’s Engineering Society.

 Desen holds a Master of Engineering and PhD degrees from the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh.

She is an Elizabeth Georgeson Research Fellow in “Data and Digitalisation for Net Zero” at the University of Edinburgh. 

Desen is leading the DAFNI Energy Sandpit project D-RES (Provision of distributed grid resilience using EVs during extreme weather events).

DAFNI Platform features and updates

During June, the DAFNI technical team have moved our focus to creating a new workflow step type: a parameter sweep. This will be equivalent to looping over parameter sets for a single model step, but with a much higher iteration limit than for a DAFNI loop (which is capped to 50 iterations). 

Work has also begun on creating collections pages: a public space on DAFNI where projects can display their public assets alongside some text about the project. This does mean that our work on developing the underlying software infrastructure to allow us to bring additional datasets like NOMIS onto the platform has been paused for the moment. 

As always, we work on general platform maintenance (such as fixing bugs that have been identified, dependency updates, etc) alongside this feature work.

We run monthly drop-in sessions in which we will be available on an open Zoom call for 2 hours to give you 1-to-1 support with any problems that you may be having on the DAFNI platform. 

No technical question is too big or small. The next three dates for these drop-ins are: 2-4pm 17th July 2024, 2-4pm 14th August 2024 and 2-4pm 11th September 2024. The link for the Zoom call is here.

DAFNI training graphic

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.

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

  • 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

Man and laptop


The DAFNI 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​

3rd July 2024