Following a successful bid as part of the very first EPSRC sandpit we have been researching into how to improve the mapping of buried utility assets. The initial EPSRC project was followed up with a DTI/TSB project and a further EPSRC project which we are currently working on.
The main research output to date has been a method for integrating the very heterogeneous utility records scattered across the scores of utility companies in the UK into a single homogenous format. Records are unified both schematically and semantically, and able to be delivered in real time electronically, rather than the present system which can take weeks to deliver heterogenous largely paper based records.
The research has been carried out collaboratively with companies across the sector, and has been trialled in several locations. One of these is in Scotland, where a second phase trial has been commissioned -- if this is successful a full scale roll-out for actual use is expected.
Through his work on this project Dr Beck has been shortlisted for a RAEng Young Entrepreneur award.
 A.R. Beck, G. Fu, A.G. Cohn, B. Bennett, J. Stell. A framework for utility data integration in the UK. In V. Coors, M. Rumor, E. Fendel, & S. Zlatanova (Eds) Urban and Regional Data Management - Proc. of the Urban Data Management Society Symposium 2007, pp. 261-276 Taylor and Francis.
 A.R. Beck, A.G. Cohn, M. Sanderson, S. Ramage, C. Tagg, G. Fu, B. Bennett, J. Stell, UK Utility Data Integration: Overcoming Schematic Heterogeneity, in Proc. of GeoInformatics 2008.
 G. Fu, A.G. Cohn, Semantic Integration for Mapping the Underworld, Geoinformatics 2008 and Joint Conference on GIS and Built Environment: Geo-Simulation and Virtual GIS Environments. Proc. of the SPIE, Volume 7143, pp. 714327-714327-9 (2008)
 G. Fu, A.G. Cohn, Utility Ontology Development with Formal Concept Analysis. in Proc. Of the 5th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems, pp.297-310, Germany, 2008.
 A.R. Beck, A.G. Cohn, J. Parker, N. Boukhelifa, G. Fu, Seeing the Unseen: delivering integrated underground utility data in the UK Proc. of the GeoWeb conference, Vancouver, July 2009