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Infrastructure & Environment

Strategic Outlook

Scotland's universities undertake internationally leading research in a number of areas across infrastructure and the environment.

Prior to the establishment of the SRPe Infrastructure & Environment Thematic Leadership Group (IE-TLG) in 2018 the National Telford Institute (NTI) was the delivery vehicle for this collaborative theme across the research pools.


Our Sub-Themes align with the grand challenges and opportunities within the Infrastructure & Environment theme and its application sectors. They also align with the strengths and capabilities of Scotland in Infrastructure & Environment, and the opportunities for growth and synergy which can be catalysed via SRPe collaboration across the university research sector and with industry and the public sector. They reflect the challenges and opportunities that exist today and are anticipated for the future based on knowledge of megatrends (e.g. population growth, growing demand for customised products; ageing population and workforce; changing skills needs), technological trends and innovations (emerging and disruptive technologies e.g. the Internet of Things (IoT); digitalisation and scale-up), emerging policies, and opportunities for economic growth and socio-economic impact. 

SRPe's Sub-Themes within the Infrastructure & Environment theme are:

  • Smart Infrastructure

  • Future Construction

  • Building on Nature

Key Underpinning Research & Technology Areas

The key research and technology areas underpinning the Infrastructure & Environment theme are:

  • Smart Sensing and Intelligent Infrastructure and Cities

  • Urban Big Data

  • Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence for Infrastructure

  • Water and Environmental Engineering

  • Subsurface Engineering

  • Structural Engineering and Architectural Technology

  • Robotics in Construction and Wearable Technology

  • Risk, Resilience, Safety and Security Engineering

  • Regulation, Science and Technology Studies

  • Urban Living Laboratories

  • Low Carbon, Modular and Offsite Construction

Thematic Leadership Group

The SRPe Infrastructure & Environment Thematic Leadership Group (IE-TLG) is a national research resource that provides knowledge and expertise to Government and industry, as well as to the wider UK and international research communities.

We promote the value of world-class infrastructure for Scotland, and support the development of the evidence base and implementation plans for the smart, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure that will underpin Scotland’s future.

The IE-TLG membership comprises key experts from across Scotland's leading universities delivering world-class research and development in infrastructure & environment and its underpinning technology areas.

Leadership and membership details of the IE-TLG are provided below:


Professor Luke Bisby
Chair of Fire & Buildings
University of Edinburgh


Professor Rebecca Lunn
Royal Academy of Engineering and BAM Nuttall Research Chair in Biomineral Technologies for Ground Engineering / 
Head of the Centre for Ground Engineering and Energy Geosciences
University of Strathclyde


Professor Garry Pender
Deputy Principal, Research and Innovation
Heriot-Watt University

Professor Chris Pearce
Professor of Computational Mechanics (Infrastructure and Environment) /
Deputy Head of College (College of Science and Engineering) / 
Dean of Research (College of Science and Engineering)
University of Glasgow

Professor Sean Smith
Professor of Construction Innovation /
Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction
Edinburgh Napier University

Professor Rod Jones
Professor of Civil Engineering
University of Dundee

Dr Tom Reynolds
Chancellor's Fellow in Civil Engineeering
University of Edinburgh

Dr Caroline Cantley
Executive Director
Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (SRPe)