The growing use of technology in the engineering and construction industry is very evident, and this is driven by tougher market conditions and demand from clients for better value, reduced cost and more innovation.

Innovative technologies are currently being used to mitigate the risk involved in complex engineering projects. These technologies are often referred to as digital engineering, and has proven to make a big difference in major projects.

For this reason, the ICE London Civil Engineering Awards recognizes excellence in digital engineering.

The 2016 award winner, London Underground Limited, a subsidiary company of Transport for London (TFL) responsible for operating the London Underground train network.

Their project involved replacing the tunnel lining over a 215meter section of the Jubilee Line. The complexity and challenging demand to keep the train line fully operational made the project much difficult to execute.

Applying digital engineering, a combination of Building Information Management (the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models of the infrastructure’s architecture, structure, and associated services) and Virtual Design and Construction (modelling software and techniques to design and evaluate possible construction processes).

The project team were able to visualise and understand how to better undertake the tasks. You can say this is some sort of digital prototyping technology that enables engineers to integrate data about a potential design, construction and function of an infrastructure to see the most efficient methods of delivery and operation.