Bristol-based CFMS supports landmark HS2 project with innovative digital engineering

HS2 train

The Bristol-based Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), has announced it is working with HS2 to deliver innovative digital engineering projects that optimise the design and performance of the new high-speed rail project.

CFMS, based at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, completed a number of projects last year to optimise earthworks for flood prevention, which resulted in significant savings and improvements, and additional projects are in progress to improve air acoustics and other aspects of the project.

Howard Mitchell, HS2 Head of Innovation, said “HS2 is helping to change the face of British industry and is a great opportunity to drive new digital ideas and skills. Digital design and analysis tools enable us to design and build better first time, optimising efficiency and the operation of HS2.

“HS2 is working with CFMS to harness its world class modelling capability to help improve the design and performance of the project.  We are working together on the optimisation of earthworks for flood prevention, schedule modelling and understanding sound waves around trains and structures, leading to significant savings and improvements across the project.”

Professor Iain Gray, Chairman of CFMS, said: “Technology advances mean more industries can now benefit from tools such as complex simulation and modelling. CFMS pioneered digital engineering in aerospace in Bristol and beyond and is demonstrating the benefits across a range of industries spread across the UK. We are excited to be helping HS2 and the rail industry to adopt these tools and gain efficiency.”

Digital engineering tools, such as advanced simulation, model-based engineering and artificial intelligence can help to improve the design, development and operation of high-value, complex projects such as HS2.

Using its expertise in digital engineering, CFMS created virtual models to predict reservoir breach scenarios. With these digital models, the plans for earthworks to prevent flood damage were verified, resulting in significant savings. Future projects will focus on supporting the development of the HS2 ‘virtual railway’ concept, a core competence to provide essential data to aid decision making and improve services.

CFMS has pioneered new approaches to digital engineering largely within the aerospace and automotive sectors. With the HS2 projects, it is demonstrating the potential of digital engineering to deliver significant improvements in other sectors, including infrastructure, energy and net zero.