Exploring the benefits of a risk based approach to the management and resilience of infrastructure assets.

  • Douglas Clark Thomson

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


The aim of this study is to explore the application of integrated logistics support (ILS) techniques to the design and management of resilient civil engineering infrastructure.

It is recognised that the fast developing discipline of asset management, with its adoption of ILS tools as one of a variety of techniques likely to be useful in enhancing the resilience of assets to service level failures, is a useful vehicle to disseminate these techniques. The main question to be addressed is whether ILS techniques can, when suitably adapted and applied, be of value in improving understanding and efficiency of resilient infrastructure design and maintenance regimes for infrastructure assets.

This has been tackled in three main stages:

Stage 1 of the research assesses the varying maturity of asset management planning across civil engineering infrastructure sectors. Important factors are found to be the attitude and nature of industry regulators and the degree of inter-company regulation.
Stage 2 is a direct comparison of two sectors in terms of their progress in implementation of asset management planning; roads and water. The water sector is further advanced than roads and features and reasons are listed in section 4.
Stage 3 is a detailed ILS application to a case study with a view to identifying and quantifying the added value, including resilience benefits.

The value of the exercise is judged against the 4 objectives below:

1/ To review asset management plans for different infrastructure sectors in order to understand a/ the extent to which risk based asset management is implemented and b/ to explore any difference in the maturity of asset management planning across different sectors. If differences are identified a secondary objective is to explore the reasons why.
2/ To determine whether the application of integrated logistics support (ILS) to infrastructure projects offers a practical tool within the risk based approach recommended in PAS 55.
3/ To compare the results of an FMECA analysis at a system and unit level of detail for the risk based assessment. To assess what level of detail is required for the structural breakdown system in order to allow an effective yet robust FMECA analysis to be carried out.
4/ To determine whether ILS can be applied efficiently to an assessment of the resilience of infrastructure assets.

Objectives 1,2 and 3 have been largely fulfilled, within the parameters of the data available, and bearing in mind the limitations of one case study. Objective 4 will require further monitoring of effectiveness over a longer time span.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
SupervisorRobert Horner (Supervisor) & Mohamed El-Haram (Supervisor)


  • Infrastructure
  • Integrated logistics support
  • Resilience
  • Asset management

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