Urban Sciences Building

‌Our cities of the future will be ever more dependent on the complex relationship between computer systems, engineering, physics and human behaviour.  This relationship between people and the technology we use will increasingly impact all aspects of our everyday lives – from how we power our homes and businesses to how we produce our food. Business, government and industry will rely on integrated technology which could deliver major improvements to our lives but which is also vulnerable to cyber attack and software failure.   The need to understand and bring these different elements closer together in effieicnt, integrated cyber-physical systems (CPS) will be critically important if society is to prosper.  Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science is spearheading international research in this increasingly important field.

The school and its 1,000 students, academics and research groups will move to a new state-of-the-art £58m home in autumn 2017 to take forward its pioneering work.  Based in the university’s Urban Sciences Research Centre on the Science Central site in the heart of Newcastle, the school will lead international understanding of how these different strands can be brought together to make cities safer and better places to live.  The school will adopt a multi-disciplinary, systems-oriented approach to the study and design of CPS, by housing the cyber physical laboratory (School of Computer Science) in a shared space with the smart grid laboratory (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering), and alongside them state-of-the-art facilities for studying human decision-making and two new doctoral training centres in cloud and scalable computing and in digital civics.  Together these laboratories represent a ground-breaking approach than crosses traditional subject boundaries to solve the challenges of engineering CPS, bringing together computer scientists, engineers and experts from a range of other disciplines.   The Urban Sciences Research Centre will be a living laboratory, housing all the university’s academia heading research excellence into creating sustainable cities for the future.
Professor John Fitzgerald: "We are concerned about how the city functions, how the city behaves, how people relate to it. I would hope that people will have confidence in the city, its functioning and its ability to adapt for the long term.  It’s not just about getting us over the next economic crisis, it’s about making us more resilient as a community and technology has a part to play in that."