The bridge of the future

01 December 2021

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is working with the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult to address some of the key challenges which will allow UK road bridges to be designed, built and maintained in a more sustainable way.

The Bridge of the Future programme will create a hub for stakeholders responsible for the construction and maintenance of UK infrastructure, and the enabling supply chain, to collaborate with technology providers to decarbonise the bridges of the future.

The AMRC is part of the HVM Catapult and is working alongside fellow members the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and National Composites Centre (NCC) on the project.

Bridges are a critical part of the UK’s infrastructure, however many are showing signs of ageing and coming to the end of their lifecycle. Some experts believe that existing UK bridges are operating at only a fraction of their actual capacity, which is a result of probability-based design rules and delivery methods. A lack of alternative materials to reinforced concrete is also a limiting factor to reducing our carbon footprint in the repair and development of new bridges.

Bridge of the Future from Manufacturing Technology Centre on Vimeo.

The Bridge of the Future programme aims to:

  • Create a consortium focussed on improving UK bridge infrastructure,
  • Capture requirements and targets with associated timescales,
  • Develop a scope of demonstrator programme to de-risk new approaches at the correct point in time,
  • Work closely with the supply chain and research centres to bring in a variety of expertise,
  • De-risk and deliver deployable technology solutions aligned with UK bridge construction and maintenance plans
  • Enable transfer of best practices to other applications in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

The HVM Catapult intends to create a delivery mechanism where technologies can be developed and proven in an iterative manner and deployed continuously in UK bridges for decarbonisation and modernisation. 

If innovation is a key driver for your business and you are interested in collaborating in the Bridge of the Future programme or would like to find out more, please contact: BridgeOfTheFuture@hvm.catapult.org.uk.

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