DPC Innovation Awards 2017: Success for HR Wallingford

Mark Lee, Dredging Group Manager, (center) receives the New Markets Award at the IHS Dredging and Port Construction (DPC) Awards, Image source: HR Wallingford

HR Wallingford has been recognized in two categories of the IHS Dredging and Port Construction (DPC) Innovation Awards 2017 which were held in London on the 29 November 2017. 

The engineering and environmental hydraulics consultancy was shortlisted for both the Innovative Support Services Award for their survey vessel, the ARC-Boat, and the New Markets Award for ‘Field measurements and modelling of the dynamics of sediment plumes from Deep Sea Mining operations’.

The New Markets Award seeks to acknowledge innovation in using novel or existing equipment or technology in a new way or in a new region. This includes carrying out applied research that opens up new market sectors or industry opportunities.

Mark Lee, Dredging Group Manager, said: “We are delighted to be recognized for our innovative work through the New Markets Award. The ground-breaking experiments indicate that, for mining Fe-Mn crusts in the deep water environment in question, the widely held perceptions of very large plume footprints arising from deep sea mining may be incorrect.”

“The results of the bespoke field experiments, modelling and laboratory tests have advanced the understanding of the behavior of sediment plumes in the deep ocean and will ultimately improve our ability to predict, monitor and hence manage, the impacts which may arise from future deep sea mining operations.”

Through participation in Marine E-tech (a NERC-funded research project in the SoS Minerals program, led by the UK’s National Oceanography Centre) HR Wallingford’s monitoring team have undertaken novel studies of the dynamics of sediment plumes in the deep ocean.

Using remotely controlled and autonomous vehicles working in water depths of  more than 1,000 meters, a series of plume experiments were conducted and the monitoring data collected was used to validate and refine existing HR Wallingford plume dispersion models for use in deep water environments.