Partnership to investigate innovative inflatable dam technology

The University and Kent-based firm Dyrhoff Ltd have signed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to investigate the development of new technology for inflatable dam engineering.

The KTP was developed by Kent Innovation and Enterprise (KIE) which supports and helps deliver partnership projects with academics across the University.

Providing expertise for this ground-breaking project are Professor Yong Yan and Dr Christos Efstratiou, from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts. They will be sharing their knowledge and expertise in inertial sensor arrays for 2D/3D shape measurement and the application of data analytics and machine learning techniques.

Dyrhoff Ltd has been designing and supplying inflatable rubber dams and pneumatically-operated spillway gates for over 30 years, and to date has completed 184 projects in 27 countries, ranging from run of the river hydropower projects to small in-line sewer applications.

The Dyrhoff team identified the need to develop a system for measuring the cross-sectional shape, height and vibration of inflatable rubber dams and is developing a technology to maximise efficiency by continuously monitoring and controlling rubber dam operating conditions. This technology will be the first of its kind in the sector.

Carole Barron, director of KIE, said: ‘We are delighted to work with Dyrhoff Ltd. This KTP enables our academics to develop innovative solutions and new technologies for this vital, specialist engineering sector, supporting the university’s drive to deliver on the government’s Industrial Strategy.’

A previous KTP between the University and the Dover Harbour Board achieved the highest possible rating from Innovate UK, the UK’s technology strategy agency, after it helped reduce traffic congestion, boost efficiency and cut costs for the Port.

KTPs are a UK-wide government programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK academic knowledge base.