Special seminar about climate change and London underground at UTokyo

We will conduct a special seminar, in which Ms. Sarah Victoria Greenham is invited to make a special talk about climate change and London underground. This event is held at Hongo Campus, the University of Tokyo from 4:00pm-5:00pm, February 13 (Thursday). We hope you will join us for the event and engage in this important conversation. The details are shown as follows. Thank you.


1) Time and day: 4:00pm-5:00pm, February 13 (Thursday), 2020

2) Place: Seminar room of International Project Lab., Third floor, Engineering Building No.11, Hongo Campus, The University of Tokyo (

3) Presentation

– Title: Climate change and the extreme heat related impacts on the London Underground infrastructure

– Abstract:

Rail infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events, and damage to rail networks results in negative socioeconomic consequences such as reduced work productivity due to loss of access to commuting. The world’s oldest subway system, the London Underground (LU), operated by Transport for London (TfL) identified that extreme heat impacts the network now, and is likely to increase in future. However, previous studies are limited to passenger comfort on the deep tube and do not focus on infrastructure or a significant proportion of the network, which is in fact above ground. This research therefore aims to investigate whether causality can be determined between extreme heat events and infrastructure failure on the LU network, in order to understand the risks posed by future climate change and extreme heat events in the United Kingdom. Building on previous research using 2011-2016 data (accepted, awaiting publication), this research synthesises 2006-2018 data in greater depth, from UK Met Office archives, LU environmental observations and LU fault data with UKCP18 climate projections. Statistical tests identify the conditions, sites and assets on the LU most vulnerable to extreme heat and consequently likely to cause maximum disruption to customers in future. Preliminary findings identified a difference in surface level and deep tunnel environmental conditions and thus expect a difference in the characteristics of faults and delays accumulated. Increase in surface temperatures in the future as indicated by UKCP18 are expected to exacerbate these; scenario dependent. Results will provide TfL with quantitative information to support the business case for appropriately designed and placed climate change adaptation activity. This will ultimately help keep London moving, while simultaneously protecting a vital cultural asset to the United Kingdom.

4) Short bio of presenter

Ms Sarah Victoria Greenham is a second-year PhD student at the University of Birmingham, Department of Civil Engineering. Her PhD study is supervised by Dr Andrew Quinn & Dr Emma Ferranti at the University of Birmingham. She holds an MSc in Climate Change and Sustainability from Brunel University London, and a BSc(Hons) in Urban Planning from University College London (UCL). Sarah has worked with industry since commencing her Master’s Thesis in 2018, primarily with Transport for London (TfL), and is currently in Japan for a 2-month research fellowship with JR RTRI’s Heat and Air flow laboratory, funded by an EU project (RISEN). Last summer, Sarah was also in Japan, awarded a research fellowship under the JSPS Summer Program. She spent 2 months on a research and cultural exchange for international PhD students at The University of Tokyo’s International Project Laboratory. She and her supervisors also participate in knowledge exchange sessions between UK-based infrastructure operators (e.g. Highways England, Network Rail, Thames Water), with the aim of sharing climate change adaptation developments and best practices.

5) Charge: free

6) Language: English only

7) Participation: Please contact Ms Tomoko Samukawa ( for joining this seminar, but you can join the seminar even without pre-registration.