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Unit information: Infrastructure Systems Management in 2021/22

Unit name Infrastructure Systems Management
Unit code CENGM0072
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Carhart
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Infrastructure underpins every aspect of modern life. It shapes our economies, environments, and societal well-being. Railways, roads, bridges, airports, hospitals, schools, ports, water and sanitation systems, energy generation and distribution (gas and electricity); its components are varied but fundamentally interconnected.

Infrastructure Systems Management (ISM), when performed effectively, remains invisible to many, but its criticality is highly visible when it fails.

The aim of this unit is to give students an advanced understanding of the sustainable, whole-lifecycle management of infrastructure. It covers the planning, acquisition, design, delivery, operation, maintenance, renewal and disposal of infrastructure projects and programmes. These range in scale from the complexity of interconnected ‘system-of-systems’ to the detail of individual assets. ISM will develop the critical thinking processes which, allied with a deep understanding of needs and performance measurement principles, are required to manage the resilient performance of infrastructure systems.

The ISM unit has three main themes, while also highlighting the role infrastructure plays in both sustainable development and climate breakdown:

  1. Systems Knowledge and Understanding
  2. Context of International Infrastructure 
  3. Leadership and Change management 

Intended learning outcomes

1. Describe, demonstrate and evaluate systems thinking approaches to engineering decision making that recognise uncertainty, complexity, emergence, sustainability, purpose and value.

2. Understand and apply the key principles of asset management, and the engineering activities contributing to effective asset development.

3. Understand, analyse and develop the principles of asset health monitoring and condition-based monitoring, including basic asset and related performance indicators.

4. Identify and debate ethical dilemmas in international infrastructure systems management.

5. Understand and assess the relevant legal requirements governing asset condition including the integrated management systems for health, safety, environment, and quality.

6. Begin to lead change with an understanding of the challenges inherent in making complex systems more efficient, effective and sustainable.

Teaching details

The unit is delivered through a mixture of:

  • Synchronous & Asynchronous Lectures (approx. 42 hours)
  • Seminars (approx. 11 hours)
  • Workshops (approx. 2 hours)
  • Guided Independent Study and Research

Assessment Details

A mid-sessional assessment (30%) provides an opportunity to implement tools and reflect on the issues covered by the first semester. Feedback from this assessment will inform the group project (70%) which offers an opportunity to develop a Strategic Asset Management Plan for an element of an infrastructure system such as buildings, rail, road, marine, energy, water or sanitation based on the principles of the international Asset Management standard ISO55001.

Mid-Sessional Assessment – 30%

The mid-sessional short-form assignment will assess performance against ILOs 1-6. It will comprise a 2000-word individual essay responding to a question reflecting on the material covered across TB1.

Coursework Submission - 70%

The main assignment will be the development of a Strategic Asset Management Plan for a major infrastructure programme or project working in groups. (All ILOs)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CENGM0072).