Resilience describes the ability of a system (or systems) to deal with the impact of unexpected or unplanned events. Resilience capabilities can be both proactive – those capabilities which apply before the onset of an event, or reactive – capabilities which apply after the onset of the event. Typical proactive capabilities are those associated with the ability to predict or forecast unplanned events and to prepare systems to be able to avoid or absorb the worst of the impact. Reactive capabilities are typically associated with the ability of a system to recover or adapt rapidly and effectively.
Research in resilience within the department ranges from work in enhanced predictive sensing in major infrastructure to robust control of aircraft dynamics (control that is resilient to some component failures for example) to tools for assessing the resilience capabilities of industrial operations.
Key questions in this domain are:
- Can the specified material function in extremes of temperature, humidity, etc?
- To what extent can a vehicle control system cope with changing external factors and unmodelled dynamics?
- How can the ability of an organisation to respond to disruptions be measured?
- How can a production system be designed to be resilient to frequent changes?