In recent years, simulation has become a key enabling technology that complements, and sometimes removes the need for, costly real-world experiments. Simulations can help to find solutions in com-plex tasks such as urban planning where real-life experiments are too expensive or unrealistic. Recent advancements in computer hardware have opened up the possibility of increasingly complex systems being simulated and optimised. As a consequence, critical decisions and policy-making will increasingly depend on the realism and certainty of such simulations. The simulation & optimisation field seeks to explore and extend the possibilities and boundaries of simulation and optimisation in meeting the challenges of sustainable design and construction in the built environment.
Central challenges include the development of computational models to simulate and optimise urban airflow, acoustics, light and crowd flows. These challenges are addressed using the combined skills of domain experts, architects and civil engineers, and researchers with expertise in mathematical simulation, optimisation and high-performance computing.
These challenges are addressed by creating and evaluating digital tools that give domain experts ac-cess to intuitive and effective high-level user interfaces that encapsulate high-performance simulation engines. The user interfaces are designed and evaluated in close collaboration with potential users (domain experts) and integrated with existing digital tools and workflows. The simulation engines are based on numerical algorithms and implementations from the forefront of international research and beyond.