A year on from its launch, the MDX-headquartered London Digital Twin Research Centre (LDTRC) has won another grant from the Newton Fund and held an online workshop with international experts.
At last week's event, industrialists and academics gave updates on research into digital twin (DT) – a key technology for digital transformation, using real-world data inputs, then simulating how a physical object or process will be impacted by different factors to model performance and predict problems.
Talks included LDTRC and partners’ research on infrastructure: including the use of DT modelling to help Vietnam repair Thang Long bridge, saving two months in repair time and millions of pounds in cost, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport. There were presentations on how DT research is helping transformation for industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, and by speakers from industrial firms Buro Happold and Siemens.
More recently, LDTRC has again secured backing from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy-run Newton Fund, for a project on DT research for heritage restoration in partnership with Egypt. LDTRC academics are also conducting research into DT for 6G networks, into a Predictive Campus Twin at MDX, and are participating in knowledge transfer of DT research capability through the Connected Curriculum project, partnering Siemens.
Workshop attendee and speaker Dr Souvik Barat of Tata Consultancy Service Research, who focuses on the development and application of DT technology to large and complex systems, including non-pharmaceutical interventions to control the Covid-19 pandemic, found the workshop “extremely insightful”. Updates from different teams “showed us a path about how to solve tough real problems using DT technology," while a presentation by MDX Dean of Science and Technology Professor Balbir Barn on the gap between social and technical feasibility "opened up several research questions that we all need to focus and explore in the future".
“Further collaboration with London Digital Twin Research Centre will help in advancing the state-of-the-art digital twin technologies and disseminating it to wider spectrum globally,” Souvik added.
Professor Balbir Barn said: "The LDTRC is an important shop window for our faculty to exhibit its national leadership in the area of digital twins. We see it as a core enabler for multi-disciplinary work across the faculty and beyond. Many complex problems can be represented by computational models and this year’s annual workshop has demonstrated the range of opportunities presented by DT technology research".
Director of LDTRC, Professor of Digital Communications Engineering Huan Nguyen said: “Since its launch last year, the Centre has expanded research on DT in multiple directions, from advanced manufacturing, to robotics to built environment, structure and heritage. We are proud to have already made a substantial contribution to efforts to repair the Thang Long Bridge in Vietnam using our developed structural DT model. Our other ongoing projects are very promising and will continue to have impact on other partner countries like India and Egypt in the years to come".