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Sustainably Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (SURIC)

SURIC is a multidisciplinary research group based within the School of Engineering and the Built Environment which is shaped by the three core research themes of Infrastructure & Ecosystem Health, Disaster Preparedness & Response, and Circular Economy. Our vision aligns with the holistic concept of Planet-People-Places and is closely associated with ARU’s overarching research themes, with a particular emphasis on alignment with the Sustainable Futures Research Theme.

Our vision

Our vision is to create a future where communities and their critical infrastructure are sustainably-resilient and adaptable in the face of evolving challenges thus ensuring the well-being of current and future generations. We aim to achieve this by leading transformative research and innovation that empowers communities and practitioners to build safer, more equitable and nature-inspired places, globally.

Infrastructure and Ecosystem Health

This research theme is dedicated to improving the design and operation of built environment structures, infrastructure, and ecosystems. It addresses emerging challenges to foster resilience and contributes to the development of healthier, safer and more adaptable communities.

Our focus spans tunnels, bridges, water and wastewater systems, green infrastructure, healthcare, and buildings. The theme is centered on planning, designing, and implementing inspection, data acquisition, and health monitoring practices, as well as the development of system modelling and risk & resilience assessment methodologies. Furthermore, we integrate cutting-edge technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twin (DT) applications, to elevate infrastructure health monitoring standards, ensuring longevity, efficiency, and providing actionable adaptation and mitigation strategies for a more sustainable future.

In addition to our technical endeavours, we proactively cultivate partnerships and collaboration with a diverse array of stakeholders. This approach ensures the adaptability of our research outcomes, acknowledging the critical role of collaborative efforts in achieving our goals. Additionally, community engagement lies at the core of our theme, ensuring that the community is a key beneficiary of the outcomes derived from our research.

Disaster Preparedness and Response

This research theme is dedicated to cultivating resilient and adaptive communities capable of effectively mitigating the impact of both natural and man-made disasters.

It encompasses a comprehensive set of measures and actions designed to minimize the repercussions of disasters and adeptly manage their aftermath, with a particular focus on flood and earthquake events that can affect structures, infrastructure, and communities. Key components of this theme include emergency planning, infrastructure and building codes, community engagement, recovery and rehabilitation, lessons learned and improvement.

Additionally, this research theme has established partnerships with both national and international collaborators, creating a collaborative platform for exchanging knowledge and sharing experiences. The aspiration is to contribute significantly to the development of flexible and scalable strategies that can be adapted to diverse geographical and socio-economic contexts.

Circular Economy

This research theme aims to promote and advance the responsible and sustainable use of materials within the built environment. The objective of the theme is to see the construction industry adopt and fully embrace circular principles, to minimise resource depletion, to prioritise high value re-use, and to take a holistic approach to minimising greenhouse gas emissions.

Through inter-disciplinary collaboration with fellow academics and industry partners, we work towards integrating circular economy strategies across all aspects of the built environment, with an emphasis on buildings and city infrastructure.

Recent work within this theme includes studies into waste architecture, these recognise that urban waste has become one of the main contributors to global pollution. The concept acknowledges the importance of addressing what is a stigmatised urban issue and encourages the architecture and engineering community to deal with waste, landfills and urban planning with more integration, embracing the opportunities for decentralisation and leapfrogging in developing countries.

We are also involved in research considering how principles of circular economy were integral to historical environments and architectural practice. The aim is to expand our knowledge of historical construction practices, techniques and materials, and to determine which processes and principles are still relevant and should be adopted by the architectural practitioners and construction industry of today.

  • A decision-making support framework for transition to a resilient zero-carbon Healthcare Real Estate (HRE) that delivers high quality healthcare to citizens by 2050 - Zero Carbon HRE 2050, September 2022-25. Funder: THIS Institute, University of Cambridge. [Federica Pascale] SDG#11 and SDG#13. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
  • Sustainable Drainage System Health Monitoring (SuDSHM), 2022 – current. Funder: QR. [Maryam Imani, Reuben Brambleby, Mahdi Maktabdar-Oghaz] SDG#11 and SDG#13. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
  • ARU Peterborough Sustainable Drainage System Laboratory – 2023 onwards. Funder: HEIF. [Maryam Imani, Reuben Brambleby, Mahdi Maktabdar-Oghaz] SDG#11 and SDG#13. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
  • Safe and Inclusive Communities (S&ICs) RII Theme, QR Fund, 2022-2023 (Maria Vogiatzaki, Lakshmi Babu Saheer, Paul Hazelwood)
  • VC Scholarship, PhD SAVE (Smartness Against Violence in Environments) Developing smart urban environments to fight violent knife crimes 2024-2027 (Maria Vogiatzaki, Lakshmi Babu Saheer, Elisa Orofino)
  • Space syntax as a Distributed Artificial Intelligence system: a framework for a Multi-Agent system development. Phase 2: Case scenario implementation via Multi Agent System Design, 2021-24. [Ana Cocho-Bermejo] SDG#3 and SDG#9. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
  • Electricity Gamification strategy for citizen inclusive collaborative sharing. Framework and citizen app development and testing, 2023-25. [Ana Cocho-Bermejo] SDG#7 and SDG#9. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
  • Fortifying AI Resilience: Defending Against Adversarial Threats and Advancing AI Efficacy, 2023-25. [Ana Cocho-Bermejo] SDG#9. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
  • Resilience and Vulnerability-based Decision Support System (RV-DSS): An industry-friendly resilience-based interdependency assessment tool - case study North Argyll – Funder: Natural Environment Research Council, 2017-2018. [Donya Hajializadeh, Maryam Imani] SDG#9, SDG#13, SDG#17. ARU Research Theme: Sustainable Futures
Read more about more projects from suric.

  • Adriana Luciano, Federica Pascale & Francesco Polverino (2023) Italian Age-Friendly House Scorecard (IAHS): A Composite Indicator for Assessing Housing’s Age-Friendliness, Journal of Aging and Environmentdoi: 10.1080/26892618.2023.2275777
  • Platts, P.J., Schaafsma, M., Turner, R.K., Burgess, N.D., Fisher, B., Mbilinyi, B.P., Munishi, P.K., Ricketts, T.H., Swetnam, R.D., Ahrends, A. and Ashagre, B.B., 2023. Inequitable gains and losses from conservation in a global biodiversity hotspot. Environmental and Resource Economics, 86(3), pp.381-405. doi: 10.1007/s10640-023-00798-y
  • Prevelianaki, K., Sherratt, F., Henjewele, C. and Odeleye, N. (2023) Smart societies? The positioning of people within iso smart city standards, Proceedings of the CIB W099/123 Annual Conference – Digital Transformation of Health and Safety in Construction, 21-22 June 2023, Porto, Portugal.
  • Cocho-Bermejo, A. 2023. Space Depth analysis via Agent Based oriented programming. A review and update of Space syntax methodology. International Journal of Architectural computing, IJAC, *pendant publication.
  • Marmo, R, Pascale, F, Diana, L, Sicignano, E, Polverino, F, (2022). Lessons learnt for enhancing hospital resilience to pandemics: A qualitative analysis from Italy. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 81. ISSN 2212-4209. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103265
  • Wanigarathna, N, Jones, K, Pascale, F, Morga, M, Meslam, A, (2022). Cost Benefit Analysis to Appraise Technical Mitigation Options for Earthquake Induced Liquefaction Disaster Events. Financial Management of Property and Construction, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. doi: 10.1108/JFMPC-12-2021-0073
  • Cocho-Bermejo, A. 2022. Cognition and sub-symbolic AI Paradigms: Distributed AI as the ubiquitous future blanket for collective cognitive performance. Arquitectonics: Mind, Land & Society, 2022, n. 33. ISSN: 1579-4431.
  • Cocho-Bermejo, A. 2022. Space Syntax as a Distributed Artificial Intelligence System: A Framework for a Multi-Agent System Development. Formal Methods in Architecture, Springer, pp. 145-173.
  • Cocho-Bermejo, A. Vogiatzaki, M. 2022. Phenotype variability mimicking as a process for the test and optimization of dynamic facade systems. Biomimetics 2022, Vol.7, Issue 3, Ed. MDPI.
  • Giacomo Damiani, 2022. Giles Worsley Rome Fellowship: Learning from Bramante: Donato Bramante’s Geometrical Forms in Renaissance Rome and the Digital Revolution in Architectural Design, Papers of the British School at Rome, vol. 90 (October 2022), 371–2. DOI: 10.1017/S006824622200023X
  • Prevelianaki, K., Sherratt, F. and Henjewele, C. (2022) ISO Standards or Global Indices: Who Decides if a City is Smart? CIB World Building Congress, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, 27-30 June 2022.
  • Marina Batalini de Macedo, Marcus Nóbrega Gomes Júnior, Thalita Raquel Pereira de Oliveira, Marcio H. Giacomoni, Maryam Imani, Kefeng Zhang, César Ambrogi Ferreira do Lago & Eduardo Mario Mendiondo, (2022). Low Impact Development practices in the context of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A new concept, lessons learned and challenges, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 52:14, 2538-2581, DOI: doi: 10.1080/10643389.2021.1886889
  • Giacomo Damiani, The Mathematical-Geometrical Episteme of the Twelfth-Early Thirteenth Century Southern Italy and Its Relationship with Architectural Forms and Concepts of Sacred Space,” in Statusbericht 2019-2021 (Rome: Bibliotheca Hertziana, 2022), 177. URL: https://www.biblhertz.it/3237508/BHMPI_Statusbericht_digital_2019-21.pdf [Article – Research Report].
  • Anaí Floriano Vasconcelos, Ademir Paceli Barbassa, Maria Fernanda Nóbrega dos Santos, Maryam Astaraie Imani, 2022. Barriers to sustainable urban stormwater management in developing countries: The case of Brazil, Land Use Policy, 112, 105821. ISSN 0264-8377. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105821
  • Giacomo Damiani, 2022. Geometrical Bodies as Material Forms: Luca Pacioli’s Summa, Divina proportione, Euclid’s Elements and the Architecture of the Late Fifteenth-Early Sixteenth Century. PhD thesis, University of Kent 2022. DOI: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.95821
  • Jones, K, Pascale, F, Wanigarathna, N, Morga, M, Sargin, S, (2021). Critical evaluation of the customisation process of the UNDRR disaster resilience scorecard for cities to earthquake-induced soil liquefaction disaster events. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering. doi: 10.1007/s10518-020-00993-y
  • Donya Hajializadeh, Maryam Imani, 2021. RV-DSS: Towards a resilience and vulnerability- informed decision support system framework for interdependent infrastructure systems, Computers & Industrial Engineering,156, 107276. ISSN 0360-8352. doi: 10.1016/j.cie.2021.107276
  • Maryam Imani, Md Mahmudul Hasan, Luiz Fernando Bittencourt, Kent McClymont, Zoran Kapelan, 2021. novel machine learning application: Water quality resilience prediction Model, Science of The Total Environment, 768, 144459. ISSN 0048-9697. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144459
  • Biniam B. Ashagre, Guangtao Fu, David Butler; 2020; Automation and real-time control of urban wastewater systems: a review of the move towards sustainability. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology-Aqua 1 December 2020; 69 (8): 751–768. Doi: doi: 10.2166/aqua.2020.074
  • Kent McClymont, Davi Gasparini Fernandes Cunha, Chris Maidment, Biniam Ashagre, Anaí Floriano Vasconcelos, Marina Batalini de Macedo, Maria Fernanda Nóbrega Dos Santos, Marcus Nóbrega Gomes Júnior, Eduardo Mario Mendiondo, Ademir Paceli Barbassa, Lakshmi Rajendran, Maryam Imani. 2020. Towards urban resilience through Sustainable Drainage Systems: A multi-objective optimisation problem, Journal of Environmental Management 2020 Vol. 275 Pages 111173. DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111173
  • Maryam Imani, Donya Hajializadeh, 2020. A resilience assessment framework for critical infrastructure networks' interdependencies, Water Science & Technology, 81 (7): 1420-1431. doi: 10.2166/wst.2019.367
  • Prevelianaki, K., Sherratt, F., Rajendran, L. and Henjewele, C. (2019) Towards an Integrated KPI Framework for Smart Cities, Proceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2019: Constructing Smart Cities, 17th-21st June, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
  • Vogiatzaki, M., Spyridonidis, K. (2022) Xenomateriality: Designing with Hecate. In Architectonics. Mind, Land and Society, Volume 33, Chapter I.4. Universita Polytecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 55-80.
  • Vogiatzaki, M., Spyridonidis, K. (2022) The spirit of Design distilled. In Architectonics. Mind, Land and Society, Volume 33, Chapter I.5. Universita Polytecnica de Catalunia, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 81-106.
  • Cocho Bermejo, A. and Vogiatzaki, M. (2022), Phenotype Variability Mimicking as a Process for the Test and Optimization of Dynamic Façade Systems, In: Biomimetics, 2/85, p. 22
  • Vogiatzaki, M. (2021) Lacaton and Vassal: how this year’s Pritzker prize could spark an architectural revolution
  • https://theconversation.com/profiles/maria-vogiatzaki-1219977/articles April 7
  • Nicolosi, G. M., Bier, H. and Vogiatzaki, M. (2020), Dialogs on Architecture, pp. 59-64, In: Spool Cyber-physical Architecture, Vol 7, No 3, https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/spool/article/view/5493
  • Vogiatzaki, M. Zerefos, S. and Hoque, M T (2020) Enhancing City Sustainability through Smart Technologies: A Framework for Automatic Pre-Emptive Action to Promote Safety and Security Using Lighting and ICT-Based Surveillance, In: Sustainability 2020, 12, 6142; doi:10.3390/su12156142
  • Spiridonidis, C V and Vogiatzaki, M.(2020) Architectural Interregnums, In: Archidoct Vol. 14, February, pp.13-24
Read more about more publications.

Sarath Poyilil-Mohan
Title: A conceptual model for optimizing the Hybrid Urban Systems to achieve net-zero emissions using Nature-based Solutions.
Supervisors: Maryam Imani, Maria Vogiatzaki, Donya Hajializadeh (external)

Mohammad Shafiq Seddiqi
Title: Effective Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Strategies in the Context of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Supervisors: Maryam Imani, Biniam Ashagre

Gloria Osei
Title: Community-driven, nature-based design framework for the regeneration of neglected urban public spaces.
Supervisors: Federica Pascale, Nezhapi-Delle Odeleye, Alison Pooley (external)

Andrew Thompson
Title: Fitness for human habitation: the right to a healthy home.
Supervisors: Federica Pascale, Nadeeshani Wanigarathna, Keith Jones

Douglas Bawuah
Title: NHS Hospital Trusts readiness towards resilience automatization using digital technologies.
Supervisors: Federica Pascale, Nebil Achour, Keith Jones

John Antwi
Title: Structural performance of steel-concrete composite structures under combined actions and fire.
Supervisors: Yingang Du, Mariantonietta Morga, Reuben Brambleby

Ebisinbofa Williams
Title: exploring the value in near miss reporting for construction safety.
Supervisors: Olalekan Oshodi, Binh Le, Ana Cocho-Bermejo

Irina Shaklova
Title: artificial ecosystems for building envelopes.
Supervisors: Ana Cocho-Bermejo, Antonio Moreda

Kane Harris
Title: Urban Re-design and safe communities.
Supervisors: Maria Vogiatzaki, Lakshmi Babu Saheer, Elisa Orofino)

Read more about more researchers.

PhD opportunity

We offer our Engineering & the Built Environment PhD and have also identified a range of innovative research project opportunities for postgraduate researchers.

Contact us

Dr Maryam Imani: [email protected]