Lauren McMillan – PHD Student at UCL

Lauren McMillan

I’m Lauren McMillan, a PhD Student at UCL. I graduated in 2019 from Durham University with an MEng in Civil engineering, and am now working in the Infrastructure Systems Institute in UCL’s department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. My research is investigating anticipatory & self-healing infrastructure systems, and I have an interest in agent –based modelling methods. As my own research progresses, I look forward to see how existing models on DAFNI can be adapted to suit my own research needs and datasets.

I am working as a DAFNI Champion as part of a consortium of universities researching infrastructure research ontologies. Ontologies give us a structured way of formalising concepts and relationships in infrastructure, and as our infrastructure grows in complexity and interconnectedness, ontologies can allow us to create organised knowledge bases across different infrastructure sectors.

In my work package, I am researching the types of infrastructure research ontology that have already been created, to try and establish what knowledge they offer, the different styles of ontology in use, and which approaches are used in different sectors. I hope to discover any common features or challenges present in existing ontologies, and any gaps across economic infrastructure sectors. To do this, I am conducting a literature search, to get an idea of what research ontologies have been proposed across a range of sectors. The findings from this search will inform a survey, which will be sent out to universities to find out what ontologies they are using in practice. Once I have survey results, I will perform an analysis to establish the extent to which the survey results align with what is seen in literature; are there any new insights or unexpected differences?

It’s also likely this review will encounter some research that overlaps with other work packages researching datasets and ontology scaling issues, so I’m also looking forward to collaborating with champions where appropriate.