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What does digital engineering mean to HS2?

October 08, 2020 / PBC Today

HS2 is the first major infrastructure programme to adopt digital engineering, with BIM at its core, at the very earliest stages of the project to allow future benchmarking to be delivered over the entire lifecycle – and in real time. Head of digital engineering Dr Sonia Zahiroddiny explains how it works. Digital engineering within HS2 is an umbrella term used to describe the application of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Geographic Information System (GIS) and wider information modelling and management processes to enable a collaborative and efficient collection, sharing, integration and visualisation of engineering and asset data. HS2 is too big and too complex to be managed using traditional static and document-based ways of working because we will be creating and need to manage large amounts of data. It is vital that the project’s data is of a high quality, plus it needs to be accessible and can be visualised in the wider context of the programme to support better decision making. From its very earliest days, HS2 has been committed to utilising digital engineering, with BIM at its core. This is not only to fulfil our obligations as a publicly procured project but also to go beyond the government’s mandate to transform the way the industry has traditionally designed and constructed infrastructure projects. By doing so, we are following the example of manufacturing, aerospace and other advanced sectors that have used the latest trends in technology to revolutionise their ways of working.