From household to global: simulating national infrastructure to inform decision-making

18 April 2018

Institution of Civil Engineers, London

ITRC-MISTRAL’s unique approach is already changing the way that governments and businesses approach infrastructure investment. This event will use examples from the around the world to show how these changes can transform decision-making.

  • Understanding risk & resilience implications of interdependent infrastructure
  • Using infrastructure to drive economic development
  • Assessing the costs of 5G roll-out scenarios
  • Building a picture of household-level infrastructure demand
  • Assessing the impacts of policy interventions in road transport
  • Infrastructure and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals


The morning programme will provide a series of short, high-level briefings on how ITRC-MISTRAL’s research is being used in government and businesses. These demonstrate how ITRC-MISTRAL, including its National Infrastructure Systems Model (NISMOD), is changing the way we approach infrastructure investment.


Keynote presentation

James Stewart, Vice Chair – Industrial Strategy, geo-politics & Brexit at KPMG/ITRC-MISTRAL Client Group

Planning infrastructure investment in a changing world
James Stewart will provide a global picture, including the link to Sustainable Development Goals, looking at the impact of technology and changing consumer behaviour; and creating alignment between payers, financiers and beneficiaries.

Introduction to ITRC-MISTRAL

Jim Hall – ITRC-MISTRAL Programme lead, University of Oxford


Nik Lomax, University of Leeds

Population, micro-simulation & household attribution
High-resolution projections of people and households, for use in infrastructure demand modelling.

Stuart Barr, Newcastle University

A ‘Big Data’ database approach for the storage, management and analysis of national infrastructure data in the UK, and how computer models of household structure and building stock can be used for improved understanding of infrastructure demand.

Simon Blainey, University of Southampton

NISMOD national transport model
Road network capabilities – modelling the impacts of intervention & interdependencies with other infrastructure systems

Edward Oughton, University of Cambridge

Towards 5G
Assessing the capacity, coverage and cost implications of future mobile telecommunications infrastructure 

Scott Thacker, United Nations Office for Project Services & University of Oxford

Transforming national infrastructure choices worldwide
How national infrastructure systems modelling is being used to support evidenced-based infrastructure development in a variety of countries and contexts


The afternoon programme will be an opportunity to scrutinise the models and tools in depth, with ITRC’s research team as your guides through interactive sessions, visualisations and posters.

More sessions will be added here as details are finalised.

Demonstrations and visualisations

National Infrastructure Commission & ITRC MISTRAL partnership – using high performance computing to scrutinise uncertainty around infrastructure decisions
ITRC-MISTRAL’s NISMOD and the National Infrastructure Commission working in partnership, using the high-capacity computing of the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI).

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) & ITRC MISTRAL partnership – supporting evidence-based planning for sustainable development worldwide
Demonstration of the National Infrastructure Model for International Contexts (NISMOD-Int) – the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and ITRC-MISTRAL partnership

Household & building characterisation for infrastructure demand modelling
A visualisation to show how we create a household-level picture of UK infrastructure demand, and exploring infrastructure interdependencies

The next generation national infrastructure modelling database: NISMOD-DB++
New ways of handling data to fully characterise and understand infrastructure demand at the intra-urban building scale.

A decision-making tool to inform planning of water resources at a national scale: the WATHNET model
Understanding national scale uncertainties in the water sector

Road capacity utilisation and road traffic – modelling the impacts of policy interventions
Looking at the impacts of policy on vehicle demand, inter-zonal travel times and road capacity utilisation in an area in South East England.

Future demand for mobile telecommunications: comparing and costing 5G infrastructure deployment strategies
Exploring how ITRC-MISTRAL’s modelling of future demand, technology and costings can inform government and industry.

Risk and resilience from local to global
We will show local disruption of the electricity grid can have impacts on multiple infrastructures across local, national, and global scales. We will also show the impact of different recovery approaches.


  • National Infrastructure Systems Model (NISMOD): improving performance and scalability
  • SWIMS: Solid Waste Infrastructure Modelling System – a full life cycle analysis & material flow analysis based on environmental impacts & costs
  • Energy demand: socio-technical energy demand simulation with a system-of-systems modelling approach
  • Energy supply: multi-scale modelling of integrated energy supply systems in Great Britain
  • Agent-based modelling (ABM) in ITRC-MISTRAL
  • Economics: understanding  the relationship between infrastructure and productivity growth
  • Infrastructure governance and National Infrastructure Systems Model (NISMOD)

Who should attend?

  • National and local infrastructure planning professionals
  • Infrastructure providers in energy, transport, telecommunications, water and waste management
  • Policy makers and planners working in these sectors
  • Infrastructure analysts and researchers
  • Finance and investment specialists
  • Business consultants, risk analysts