Sector: Information Technology
Newcastle University’s Digital Institute is helping develop a system that detects disaster events in public transport networks, for example fires or terrorist attacks, and helps people evacuate fast. The SAVE ME project is backed by the European Commission and will run until late 2012.
The challenge is to develop a system architecture that gives mass guidance on what the public should do, including alternative evacuation routes for those with impaired mobility. To support the system, there is a need for advanced simulation and modelling tools.
The SAVE ME project is an example of the way that Newcastle University works together with other organisations in order to achieve results. The Digital Institute is in a consortium whose twelve members also include universities in Stuttgart, Basel, Modena and Madrid, plus private sector companies from Italy and Luxembourg.
Professor Philip Blythe from Newcastle University’s Transport Operations Research Group is the project coordinator. In addition, Newcastle’s underground Metro stations are one of the pilot sites where the SAVE ME systems will be integrated and tested. The project has high level support from British Transport Police and the National Fire Service of Italy.
Beyond the SAVE ME project, the Digital Institute plays an important role as a ‘front door’ for potential collaborators who wish to tackle real-world problems using digital technologies.
It brings together academics from the full spectrum of academic disciplines including engineering, medicine, mathematics, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities. In total, these interdisciplinary collaborations have led to more than £50 million in research grants.
The Digital Institute is also able to provide access to a number of facilities in the areas of visualisation, fabrication, motion capture, tabletop technologies and eScience.
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