Urban critical infrastructure systems, such as power grid, water distribution system, transport system, and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) infrastructure, ensure the functioning of our societies, the incapacity or destruction of which would result in debilitating effects on broader defence and economic security. It is well acknowledged and scientifically proven that the functionality and serviceability of critical infrastructure systems can be dramatically affected by climate related hazards, for both the current climate and the changing future climate.

Though current infrastructure systems have been disrupted by weather related events from time to time, they are normally considered resilient to known climate hazards as they were designed, built and operated in compliance with design codes and standards set on historical meteorological data. However, in light of climate change, there is a concern about whether the current system has the ability to withstand the future climate, where the frequency and intensity of weather extremes are likely to surge.

This research project aims to assess the resilience of transport systems under the context of changing climate, with its objective being twofold. Firstly, it explores how changes in the climate system may be reflected in the transport system, given the hypothesis that a degree of change in the climate system does not necessarily result in the same extent of incapacity or malfunction within infrastructure systems. Second, it aims to determine if there is a universal pattern embedded in the network topology of transport systems that can decently predict the system’s resilience to climate induced disruptions.

PhD Candidate: Qianqian Li

Supervisory Team: Qianqian Li, Martin Mayfield-Tulip, Nic Freeman, Craig Robson, Lu Zhuo

Project Status: Ongoing

Project Start Date: 30th September 2019

Keywords: Infrastructure, complex network, resilience, climate change

Funding Scheme: University Post Graduate Research Committee Scholarship