Aug 01, 2017
Last month, colleagues from the Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EERC) in the School of Environment & Life Sciences visited the new Mersey Gateway Crossing between Widnes and Runcorn.
As part of our ICZ partnership with the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust (MGET), the area around the new toll bridge will be a ‘living laboratory’ to monitor saltmarsh changes and effects on grazing cattle.
Professor Philip James, Leader of the EERC said: “For over a decade now we have been working in the Upper Mersey Estuary. Four PhD projects have been successfully completed and three more are currently underway, two of which are supported by i-Case funding.
"One of the aims of the visit was to agree the location for a 5km x1km RAPELD module, the first site in the UK to be part of the international Programa de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade (PPBio). This will offer University of Salford students excellent opportunities to carry out biodiversity surveys and contribute to an international biodiversity monitoring programme."
The team was given a tour of the insides of the bridge, something that won’t be possible once it’s operational in the next few months. They were also able to take a lift to the top of the north tower from which they were able to see the Upper Mersey Estuary and begin locating the sampling points for the monitoring programme. They then visited various parts of the estuary at ground level to examine the sites in greater detail.
Paul Oldfield from the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust said: “We would not be able to do this without the support of the University of Salford. Becoming part of an international programme exceeds our expectations of where we thought we would be at this stage of our development.”
Hat-trick of industry collaboration wins
Colleagues in the school of Computing, Science and Engineering are providing their expertise to boost growth and jobs at three UK-based manufacturers.
Experts in civil engineering, acoustics and spray research have won Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with Farrat Isolevel Ltd, Technocover Ltd and the Carlisle Fluid Technologies Group. The three KTPs are a clear demonstration of our university-wide drive towards initiating industry collaboration.
Partially funded by the government, the KTP programme is an innovate scheme, which for the past 40 years has helped companies to improve their competitiveness and productivity through a three-way partnership between a business, a university and a recent graduate (also known as a KTP Associate).
Prof Sunil Vadera, Dean of the School of Computing, Science and Engineering said: "To win not one but three bids is a huge vote of confidence in the industry-focussed credentials of academics in the School."
So who are the beneficiary companies we’ll be working with?
1) Finishing Brands Holdings is part of the Carlisle Fluid Technologies Group, a global manufacturer of spray equipment for the automotive, aerospace, marine, rail and construction industries. Supervised by Prof Ghasem Nasr and Dr Amir Nourian, this two-year KTP aims to help the manufacturer maximise the atomisation potential of products for increased transfer-to-surface efficiency.
2) Technocover Ltd, based in North Wales, provide security infrastructure for electrical, gas and power installation and factories. The aim of this KTP is to "embed R&D capability incorporating systematic testing and modelling process leading to design and development of new product range". The academic team are civil engineers Neil Currie and Dr Levi Augusthus-Nelson.
3) The third project teams up engineers at Farrat Isolevel Ltd with Prof Andy Moorhouse and Dr Andy Elliott in a bid to develop, implement and validate a cutting edge methodology to predict the vibro-acoustic response of buildings that incorporate vibration control.
Janet Morana, KTP Manager, said: "We are delighted to have been able to announce these three KTPs at a time when the University is setting out a clear strategy to strengthen partnerships and create Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZs)."