At 2245 on Saturday 5th December 2015, the primary substation in Lancaster was inundated with flood water from the River Lune following heavy rain as part of Storm Desmond, cutting power supplies to 61,000 properties. Managing the effect of the extreme weather was an operational challenge for Electricity North West, but what was more notable was severe the impact the loss of supplies had on other services across the the city, highlighting the reliance of modern society on a reliable electricity supply.
Since a series of recent floods, resilience has become a hot topic within the utilities sector, and in 2014 BSI published BS 65000 on Organisation Resilience. The Rockefellar Institute have also developed the 100 Resilient Cities programme (of which Bristol and Glasgow) are a part to look at how a city become resilient to a range of challenges.
Do system engineers have a role to play in developing civic resilience, and how could systems engineering techniques be used to enable communities, towns and cities to respond to major shock, natural or otherwise?
This session will start with a some scene-setting, but then open up into an extended discussion-come-workshop to share ideas on what resilience means from a systems perspective, and how this can be applied to a community, town ort city.