Terra at Aqua: Even in Tough Economic Times, R&D Investments Continue


Dredging forms the basis for many important aspects of our civilised World and is indeed vital to social and economic development, particularly to the construction and maintenance of much of the infrastructure upon which our economic prosperity and environmental well-being depend. The world’s population relies heavily on dredging solutions for creating and maintaining ports for global trade, coastal defence against erosion and flooding, urban development for homes and industry, offshore energy supplies be it oil, gas, or windfarms, as well as for leisure and tourism, such as beaches and cruise harbours.

Dredging can be characterised as a capital-intensive industry requiring significant investments in people, equipment and research and development. This constant attention to an educated, well-trained workforce and to innovative research is the foundation upon which the industry is built. R&D, even in times of economic downturn, remains a core value of the dredging industry.

The articles in this issue of Terra reflect this dedication to R&D. To start, a major cleanup project in Northern Wisconsin, which will continue over many years, is profiled. It demonstrates the high-tech, innovative approaches available to remediate contamination caused by industrial waste in order to restore rivers and waterways to their natural beauty. The two following articles reflect the long-standing cooperation between the maritime industry and major universities. In one case, Stanford University in California has launched a major project examining the effects of climate change on 180 worldwide ports, establishing a system to evaluate what the needs of these global ports will be as a result of sea-level rise and the ability of the construction industries to meet these potential demands.

Whilst Delft University of Technology, Department of Dredging, the Netherlands continues its tradition of research into the high-tech needs of the dredging industry, specifically examining how to improve the efficiency of hydraulic transport through pumps. This R&D represents the industry’s commitment to planning for the future. These efforts are not exceptional – they are in fact typical of the modern-day dredging industry – always looking forward, one step ahead in finding optimal solutions for their clients.

Contents: “Clean Up of the Lower Fox River, Wisconsin, Operable Units 2 – 5” by Richard Feeney, Bastiaan Lammers And Greg Smith; “Will Ports Become Forts? Climate Change Impacts, Opportunities and Challenges” by Austin Becker, David Newell, Martin Fischer and Ben Schwegler; “Hydraulic Transport of Sand/Shell Mixtures in Relation with the Critical Velocity” by Sape A. Miedema and Robert C. Ramsdell. Reviews of Dredging for Development and Facts About Building with Nature.


Source: terra-et-aqua, March 18, 2011