Dr Jennifer Schooling OBE, Cambridge: Development in Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Dr Jennifer Schooling, OBE, FICE, Director of the Cambridge Centre of Smart Infrastructure and Construction


The increasing ability of data means that we are now in a position to monitor and understand our infrastructure and cities as never before. But what data should we collect? How should we manage and analyse it? How do we decide where to invest limited resources into sensing systems, novel technologies and data analytics? These questions and others like them have been at the heart of research at the Cambridge Centre from Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) for the last decade. Jennifer will present some of the projects CSIC has delivered with industry partners which demonstrate the potential that data has to transform the way we plan, design, deliver, manage and operate our infrastructure systems.


Dr Jennifer Schooling was appointed the Director of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction in April 2013. Jennifer is passionate about changing the way the infrastructure and construction industries view data, to become a vital asset in its own right, and as an engineering tool for tackling the key challenges facing our industry, including climate change, resource constraint and resilience. She is a member of the Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) and the Infrastructure Client Group’s Digital Transformation Task group (DTTG). She was on the steering group for the ICE State of the Nation Reports in 2017 and 2020. Jennifer is founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Smart Infrastructure and Construction Proceedings journal (ICE). She also serves on BSI and ISO committees developing standards for digitalisation in the built environment. She was awarded the OBE for services to engineering and digital construction in 2019, and was the recipient of the 2019 ICE President’s Medal.

Since joining CSIC, Jennifer has secured £8M in grant funding from EPSRC and Innovate UK for the Centre, including an additional five years’ core funding awarded to enable the Centre to expand its valuable work.

Prior to joining the Centre Jennifer worked for Arup, the global engineering consultancy, for six years. There she led the firm’s Research Business, delivering research strategy development to aid clients in targeting their investments to improve their productivity and competitiveness. During her work managing complex interdisciplinary research projects for clients she developed a strong understanding of the demands placed on our infrastructure and the challenges of extending the design life of existing assets – of which more is being demanded all the time. Jennifer was also Arup’s Research Relationships Manager for the UK, working with staff and academic partners to develop strong collaborative relationships and managing the firm’s research investments.
Before joining Arup, Jennifer spent seven years working for Edwards Vacuum (then BOC Edwards) as a manager for New Product Introductions, leading a cross-disciplinary team to design and bring into production high speed turbo-molecular pumps for the semiconductor and scientific industries across the world.
Jennifer has a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Cambridge.
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