Professor Lord Robert Mair


Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (Confirmed)

Robert Mair is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Research at Cambridge University, where until recently he was Head of Civil Engineering. He was Master of Jesus College 2001-2011 and Senior Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2008-2011. He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers 2017-18. Prior to his appointment to a Chair at Cambridge in 1998, he worked in industry for 27 years. In 1983 he founded the Geotechnical Consulting Group, an international consulting company based in London. He has been responsible for numerous major engineering projects world-wide, is an international research leader in geotechnical engineering and is a world expert on underground construction in soft ground.

His principal research interests are in the development of innovative engineering solutions for the design and construction of underground space in complex ground conditions, particularly in urban environments. He is Head of the Centre on Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) at Cambridge, funded by EPSRC, Innovate UK and industry to a total value of £22m. CSIC develops new technologies for streamlining construction and for condition assessment and monitoring of ageing infrastructure, with a focus on the development of wireless sensor networks and new fibre optic sensing technology. CSIC has around 50 industry partners and has deployed innovative sensor technologies on around 100 different sites.

He is Chairman of the Science Advisory Council of the Department for Transport. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1992, the Royal Society in 2007 and Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2019. He was appointed an independent crossbencher in the House of Lords in 2015 and is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology.