Railways and Tunnelling

Seminar Session

Revitalising Rail in the UK continues apace. In this session attendees will learn about a novel drone based system to capture sub-5mm photogrammetric data of rail infrastructure. How a raft of advanced and emerging technologies have been trialled or used on the Crossrail tunnelling project; and how low-cost imaging and data analytics can be used for inspection and management of civil infrastructure.

Download PDF

Session Programme: 14:15 - 15:35

14:15 - 14:35 Tue 22   Theatre 2

Vogel R3D – future of rail surveying

Stephen Wolski, Vogel Technical Consultant, Plowman Craven

A revolutionary new service from the surveying experts at Plowman Craven, Vogel R3D is a unique, UAV-based system which enables the comprehensive surveying of rail infrastructure to a sub-5mm accuracy in a fraction of the time of a traditional survey.

Stephen joined Plowman Craven at the end of 2017, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from roles in the Aerospace and UAV sectors back home in Toronto, Canada. As an Aerospace Engineer with a Masters in Engineering Design, Stephen pursued his flying passion with global leader United Technologies, going on to co-found and develop The Sky Guys, Canada’s leading Aerial Survey provider.  His role at Plowman Craven reinforces the company’s commitment to the use of hi-spec UAVs in the infrastructure and geotechnical fields – combining state-of-the-art aircraft and technical expertise to extract accurate measurement data and an array of programme efficiencies across inaccessible, hazardous or large scale sites.

14:35 - 14:55 Tue 22   Theatre 2

High accuracy train borne surveying of the railway using multiple sensors

Bryce Lane, Commercial Director, Omnicom Balfour Beatty

Dr Jonathan Owen, Expert Engineer, Omnicom Balfour Beatty

Traditional surveying techniques on the railway are costly and dangerous. To perform surveys safely, lines must be closed to traffic so night time surveys are common. Vehicle-borne surveying systems mitigate many risks and constraints by operating in traffic from the safety of a vehicle.

Omnicom Balfour Beatty have developed OmniCapture3D which consists of two high resolution lasers, a calibrated HD camera and a highly accurate inertial positioning system. Improvements in the timing system allow OmniCapture3D video and laser profile data to be used for performing sub-centimetre absolute accuracy measurements.

Bryce has nearly 20 years experience in the rail industry including roles in finance, construction, safety and systems engineering and information management. He has worked on numerous asset implementation, surveying and inspection projects from both client and supplier side and has worked for Omnicom Balfour Beatty since 2012 in a Business Develop and Account Management role.

Dr Jonathan Owen began working for Omnicom Engineering in 2001 after completing his PHD in Applied Mathematics. He has been instrumental in developing Omnicom’s world class surveying and positioning systems. As part of a team he has developed a set of geospatial mapping tools sitting above an Oracle database which allow network infrastructure owners to view and manipulate their linear and fixed asset data as well as manage services provisioned over these assets.

14:55 - 15:15 Tue 22   Theatre 2

Innovations in a tunnel environment

Ravi Kugananthan, Project Engineer - Tunnels and Platforms , Liverpool Street, Crossrail , Laing O'Rourke

The presentation explains the cutting edge technologies that were employed to assist construction of the platforms at Crossrail Liverpool Street Station. From 3D printing that  provided a scale prototype of the platform installation which was used to brief the workforce  to high-resolution video drones that were used to record visual surveys of inaccessible locations. The Platform and Tunnels team also trialed augmented-reality headsets with a view to streamline provision of quality assurance.

Ravi is a Project Engineer for Laing O’Rourke working on Crossrail , Europe’s largest infrastructure construction project . With 14 years career experience in construction including landmark projects as London Heathrow Terminal 5 & Terminal 2 . Is a specialist in design and implantations of bespoke lifting solutions for (DfMA) Design for Manufacture and Assembly Precast concrete components .  Heavily involved in innovative construction methodology and technologies including augmented reality. Recently conceptualised and initiated trial of drone technology within the tunnel environment  focusing on visual high level inspection and high resolution point cloud surveying.

15:15 - 15:35 Tue 22   Theatre 2

Smart inspection and asset management of civil infrastructure – deep learning in computer vision

Yung Loo, Senior Engineer, Arup

Fabio Panella, Civil Engineer & UCL PhD Student, Arup

Arup, in collaboration with University College London (UCL), is investing in research and development of low cost photographic inspection systems, image processing and data analytics. The use of computer vision and deep learning as accessible imaging technology has enabled significant quality, cost and safety improvements to be made to conventional routines of inspection and management of civil infrastructure assets. This talk will identify the range of new services being utilised by Arup in this area, provide case studies across tunnelling projects, and current research as part of an Arup-UCL PhD studentship. Significant benefits in understanding and maintaining assets can be passed onto stakeholders.

Yung Loo is a senior engineer in Arup’s London Infrastructure Group. He leads Arup’s global tunnels digital skills network and is a chartered engineer with experience developed across the design, planning and management of major underground civil infrastructure projects.

Fabio Panella is a structural and geotechnical engineer, graduated in Civil Engineering from University of Sannio, Italy. He is a research engineer at Arup, undertaking a PhD at University College London (UCL) in applied photogrammetry for civil engineering. The focus of the research project is tunnel monitoring, and non-destructive innovative techniques in detecting defects within underground structures.

Related talks within other seminars that may also be of interest:

Instrumentation and Monitoring Seminar Session

10.30 Wed 23 Theatre 2

Automated patch scanning and data integration drive better monitoring solutions

Matthias Gropp, Head of Monitoring, Murphy Surveys

Murphy Surveys Monitoring Department provides sensor equipment and manual monitoring services.Using examples from actual and past projects we will show our multi-technology approach to monitoring design, where sensor integration allows faster and more accurate data interpretation and increases the overall solution resilience and reliability.While modern software platforms allow results comparison, Murphy Surveys is working to bring the integration to a deeper level where the data are integrated from the computation stage to produce better results including GNSS data trends to improve Robotic total station networks where stable points are not available.

Other Instrumentation and Monitoring Seminars »

UAVs Seminar Session

12.00 Tue 22 Theatre 1

Direct geopositioning with low cost drones

Lewis Graham, President/CTO, GeoCue Group Inc

Mapping by drone is a cost effective solution for collecting geospatial data, from simple orthophotos to complex differential volumes. With the exception of simple visualisations such as video, all mapping products need accuracy. This presentation will define accuracy and review the requirement of various products. The range of options in to achieve such accuracies will be presented and the importance of camera calibration will be discussed. Direct geopositioning using low cost drones reduces and sometimes eliminates the need for ground control points. A series of real world mapping projects will demonstrate how direct geopositioning can be used to reduce on-site time and overall project cost.

Other UAVs Seminars »

UAVs Seminar Session

12.20 Tue 22 Theatre 1

Addressing the supply chain: the true ROI of UAV survey services

William Tompkinson, Principal, Insightful Dimensions

Reasons for utilising UAV surveys are discussed in terms of speed, accuracy and sensor choice. However, this can be a very short-term and insular view to whether UAV surveys are bringing benefit to customers. There is typically little discussion of the implications on supply chains. Drawing upon experiences of Canadian UAV survey company, Sumac Geomatics, in undertaking monthly volumetric monitoring contracts, this presentation will expand the scope of how we assess the impact of these activities. It will illustrate how when monitoring stockpiles, there can be technical decisions made by the UAV provider that will directly influence supply logistics and just-in-time strategies.

Other UAVs Seminars »

Smart Cities Seminar Session

14.05 Wed 23 Theatre 1

Case Study 1: analysis of crowdsourced data from a distributed network of cyclists in Manchester

Philip McAleese, CEO, See.Sense

Like many major cities around the world, Manchester (UK) has had to contend with increased levels of urbanisation and population growth as people move to the city. With this trend expected to continue, the city’s transport infrastructure is facing increased strain as a rapidly expanding population navigate their way through the urban environment. It has therefore become a top priority to understand patterns of mobility to improve the transport network and maximise living standards. See.Sense, in collaboration with researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, is working with CityVerve, to build a more connected and mobile city through the use of sensor technology to identify its rapidly changing transport needs.

Other Smart Cities Seminars »

Smart Cities Seminar Session

14.35 Wed 23 Theatre 1

Case study 2: does a smart city have to choose between standardisation and innovation?

Richard Woodling, Managing Consultant, Smart Practice, Ordnance Survey

What makes a city smart? A consistent theme is that it involves considering a city as a whole, rather than as a number of separate systems. For instance, making choices about transport, green spaces, air quality and health in a joined-up way can help make a city a more attractive and liveable place to live and work. However, cities are diverse. There is no one-size-fits-all formula which a city can adopt to make it smart.

Other Smart Cities Seminars »

Earth Observation and Satellite Applications Seminar Session

14.50 Tue 22 Room B

GeoMOVE: merge regional geological parameters with measured ground motion for the transport sector

Claire Roberts, Remote Sensing Consultant, CGG - NPA Satellite Mapping

Ground instability is present in many areas of the UK and can be due to natural geological processes such as shrink-swell clay or activities such as groundwater pumping and old mine workings. Conventional surveying techniques are capable of measuring surface movement and on-site monitoring networks can be installed in regions influenced by ground motion. However, it is not practical or cost-effective to install a large regional scale in-situ measurement network. Satellite imagery makes this possible and combined with geological information has led to the development of a unique source of regional ground stability data (1:50,000) called GeoMOVE (Geological Motion Observations & Velocity Evaluation), a targeting tool that identifies.

Other Earth Observation and Satellite Applications Seminars »

Smart Cities Seminar Session

15.05 Wed 23 Theatre 1

Panel Discussion

The Panel, ,

Julie Alexander, Director Urban Development & Smart Cities, Siemens

Miranda Sharp, Director of Innovation, Ordnance Survey

John Twitchen, Consultant, Env23


What do communities want and how do modern built environment professionals embrace the changing digitally enhanced design landscape to lead the smart city revolution?


This session will be facilitated by Antony Oliver, Editorial Consultant and Infrastructure Specialist who will put various questions to the panel whilst encouraging the audience to participate as well.



Other Smart Cities Seminars »

Utilities Seminar Session

15.20 Tue 22 Theatre 1

Smartphone surveying within Costain

Richard Bath, Surveyor, Costain

The Smartphone Surveying project highlighted a significant application of photogrammetry to imagery captured by a smartphone. This presentation will show how this project was an inexpensive solution for capturing detailed accurate geospatial data of work in progress.

Other Utilities Seminars »

Coastal / Inshore Seminar Session

15.40 Tue 22 Theatre 3

Mobile LEAN Geomatics for rapid coastal above and below ground data capture including marine bathymetry

Rollo Rigby, Director, Severn Partnership

Great Western Railway Dawlish to Teignmouth, how LEAN Geomatics provides above, below and marine data sets allowing civil infrastructure design to hold back the sea.

Other Coastal / Inshore Seminars »