Newcastle University has unveiled its newly-refurbished Emerson Cavitation Tunnel at Port of Blyth, as part of its investment in marine engineering.
Relocated from the University’s city centre campus, the cavitation tunnel’s new home at Port of Blyth is twice the size of its former location and includes a number of other experimental facilities to support research into propeller design and biofouling.
Part of the new Centre of Excellence for Marine Hydrodynamics, Coatings and Materials, this latest development builds on the University’s investment in marine science and engineering.
The announcement follows a Government audit into the offshore renewable energy industry in the North of England and Scotland – the Offshore Renewable Energy Science and Innovation Audit (SIA).
Highlighting the area’s world-class research in the field of offshore renewable energy, the report also focussed on the strong collaborations between industry and academia.
Professor Phil Taylor, head of the new School of Engineering, said the investment at Blyth further reaffirmed the region’s role as a global leader in marine engineering research and innovation.
“This new build at Port of Blyth will allow us to strengthen our research capacity and also increase our opportunities for new collaborations and partnerships with marine sector industries, which are so important to the North East economy,” said Professor Taylor.
“Together with industry leaders such as Bel Valves, SMD, Shepherd Offshore and Akzo Nobel, Newcastle University is helping to re-invigorate the sector to become a leader in new and emerging technologies.”
Peter Bowes, technical manager for Newcastle University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “There is an increasing demand to use the tunnel to explore tidal and current turbines, and to investigate foul-release coatings and next generation self-polishing coatings. Our vision has been to assure the next fifty years of operation and service to the marine sector.”
The refurbishment of the cavitation tunnel and expansion of the Blyth marine facility is the latest in a series of major achievements by Newcastle University in marine engineering and technology. In June, Newcastle launched its deep-sea research facility, Tyne Subsea: National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering in Wallsend.
Dr Alan Murphy, reader in Maritime Engineering, added: “It’s a very exciting time at Newcastle University and for our new School of Engineering. In the Marine, Offshore and Subsea Technology group, we’re opening up new opportunities for research, teaching and collaboration with many academic and commercial disciplines, as well as unlocking investment in facilities.”