Loughborough EngD saves £2m/year for UK road maintenance

LU_CICE - 150px square.jpg(2 May 2018) - The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has highlighted the economic impact of EngD research undertaken at Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE). Research undertaken by Dr Christian Christodoulou is estimated to have saved over £2m through improvements in ongoing highway maintenance programmes.

The EPSRC published its Impact Report 2016-2017 in March 2018. This highlights the vital role that EPSRC-funded research plays in the UK innovation landscape. The research excellence EPSRC supports attracts investment from businesses in many high value industrial sectors, ranging from knowledge-driven 'discovery research' to research that is closer to translation into social and economic benefits (typical of EngD projects). This helps maintain the healthy pipeline of ideas and inventions at different stages which is critical for future innovations.

As an example, the Impact Report (p.27) highlights the financial benefits arising from one engineering doctorate project undertaken at CICE, saying:

Research at Loughborough University's EPSRC-funded Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering has provided unique and previously unknown evidence regarding the long-term performance of corrosion management processes and strategies for maintaining reinforced concrete bridges. As well as influencing changes in British and European standards for concrete repairs, the research findings have provided the basis for changes in the asset management strategies of Highways England, the UK Government and The Highland Council. Potential cost savings resulting from the research carried out by EPSRC-funded engineering doctoral student Dr Christian Christodoulou, have been estimated at over £2,000,000 per year through improvements in ongoing maintenance programmes.