News

NCE-Techfest-Logo-2021

DAMSAT shortlisted for two NCE TechFest awards

Our pioneering DAMSAT technology has been shortlisted in two categories of the NCE TechFest Awards 2021: Technology Leader Trailblazer, and Technology Provider Trailblazer.

Craig Goff, who leads HR Wallingford’s Dams and Reservoirs team and Emerging Technologies sector, said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for these prestigious awards. We believe that DAMSAT has the potential to save thousands of lives. It’s an extremely powerful tool that uses satellite technology to bring together data about the current state of water and tailings dams, so owners and regulators can see from one simple dashboard if there is a problem that needs attention.”

The award winners will be announced at the one-day NCE Tech Festival on 2 December. The organisers say that the awards will recognise and reward those projects, teams and companies doing most to harness technologies that drive the construction and civil engineering industry forward.

The list of all the awards and finalists at: https://techfest.newcivilengineer.com/shortlist

New independent review of reservoir safety in the UK published

A new report published by the UK Government last week has the potential to change the way we think about dam and reservoir safety in the UK.

Prof David Balmforth’s independent review of reservoir safety was commissioned by Defra after the serious ‘near miss’ at Toddbrook reservoir in 2019 (pictured). The report makes a series of recommendations that aim to strengthen and modernise the industry. The report gives us an opportunity to explore developing a new risk-based approach to dam safety, and emphasises the need for owners, engineers, the regulator and Government to work together. It calls for owners to take their responsibilities seriously, and ensure their reservoirs are proactively managed and maintained to minimise the risk of failure. We were delighted to see DAMSAT cited as a remote monitoring solution that can help dam owners to comply with the report’s recommendations.

The full Independent Reservoir Safety Review Report by Professor David Balmforth is available from the gov.uk website.

EMBREA-MUD

Although the failure of a tailings dam can have disastrous consequences, up to this date it had not been possible to accurately simulate them. EMBREA-MUD is a model developed by HR Wallingford with the aim of filling the gap that arose during the development of DAMSAT when the team was analysing the potential impacts associated to the failure of tailings dams.

The model is a two component breach modelling tool that simultaneously takes into account outflows of both water and mud (i.e. tailings). The model can also represent erosion of dam material by both water and tailings, erosion of tailings by water as well as the dynamic forces between water and tailings layer.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan of HR Wallingford presented a paper about EMBREA-MUD in INCOLD 2021. The paper aims to describe the details of the EMBREA-MUD model and its application to a number of test cases including the well-known case of Mount Polley.

The paper can be downloaded from our Resources page.

Symposium INCOLD 2021

The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to promote the exchange of knowledge and information about dam engineering. ICOLD leads the profession in setting standards and guidelines to ensure that dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable. ICOLD currently has more than 101 National Committees and nearly 10,000 individual members around the world.

ICOLD holds an Annual Meeting where representatives from member countries discuss technical, economic and administrative issues. In addition, every three years the Committee organises a Symposium where novel topics related to dam engineering are presented and discussed.

Due to COVID-19, the Congress scheduled for 2020 in New Delhi (India) has been postponed to April 2023. However, The Indian National Committee on Large Dams (INCOLD) has organised a Hybrid Symposium (virtual and physical) about Sustainable Development of Dams and River Basins, which will be held between the 24 and the 27 February.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan of HR Wallingford will present on Wednesday 24th and Saturday 27th two papers related to the EMBREA and EMBREA-MUD tools, which were used to simulate the failure of the dams included in DAMSAT. The presentations will be available to ICOLD delegates and can be accessed via the following link.

For more information about the event, please visit the INCOLD 2021 web page.

Space to Connect 2021

Space to Connect is an annual event organised by the UK Space Agency to promote the use and application of innovative satellite technologies for different sectors. This year, Dr Kavitha Muthu, HR Wallingford’s Earth Observation Business Development Leader, was invited to participate in a panel about inclusion and diversity in working environments.

During her intervention, Kavitha shared her experience of how the space sector has the ability to attract, develop and retain talented professionals while at the same time can promote diversity and social inclusion.

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