PhD: The Use of BIM and Sensing Technologies In Infrastructure Assets Performance Management

University of Bristol

The project:

With the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) mandated for all public infrastructure projects, many questions arise about how to make the most of the technology in relation not only to the design, but also to the operation of infrastructure assets. As sensors and connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide access to near-real time conditioning data, through this project we will investigate how these technological advances can be leveraged to improve infrastructure management.

In particular we are interested in exploring how they can be linked to BIM and emerging visualisation technologies such as Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) applications, in order to develop novel insights into infrastructure assets performance management.

In summary, the key research questions can be seen as:

  • What are sustainable system architectures to link real time data feeds with BIM models given technological and design constraints (e.g. connectivity, data processing needs, power requirements, design code constraints etc.)
  • How can BIM be complemented with VR/AR technologies to improve understanding of relevant stakeholders by enhanced visualisations of sensing data
  • What are the potential impacts on the design process and the practice of infrastructure asset performance management in general (e.g. economic, operational/business process, social etc.)

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at Please select <Civil Engineering> on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

Candidate requirements: 

We are looking for an enthusiastic student with at least a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in Civil Engineering, Computer Science or Engineering Mathematics.

Candidates will have a good understanding and use of sensing technologies, statistical processing and visualisation of sensor data. Experience in MATLAB coding and 3D modelling with AutoCAD is also desirable.


This 4-year scholarship covers full UK/EU (EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to 1st September 2017) PhD tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at the current RCUK rate (£14,553 in 2017/18).


For informal enquiries please email Dr. Theo Tryfonas, 

For general enquiries, please email

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South West England