Edinburgh Designs Ltd., (EDL) was spun-out to exploit ERPE research from
the original Wave Power Group. With six staff and an annual turnover
approaching £2M EDL has supplied the equipment and control systems for
wave tanks in 19 countries including the world's largest
computer-controlled wave test facility, the US Navy Manoeuvring and
Station Keeping Tank. They are currently completing the world's first
circular tank, combining waves with currents in any relative direction,
which is operated by the 6 person company, "FloWave" EDL, still run by the
founding staff, it is the world-leading supplier of wave-making technology
for scientific and recreational facilities.
Research carried out at the University of Leeds has led to the
development of a system for predicting severe air turbulence at airports
and elsewhere. The research modelled highly localised `rotor streaming'
turbulence which is too small-scale to predict using today's numerical
weather prediction models. The Met Office now uses the highly efficient
3DVOM computer prediction model, based on the Leeds research, to improve
its operational weather forecasting, especially for providing warnings of
`gustiness' to the public and airports and to highlight risks of
overturning of high-sided vehicles. In addition, the model is used by
forecasters to predict dangerous turbulence at Mount Pleasant Airport in
the Falkland Islands, and has led to the prevention of around five flight
diversions per year at an estimated cost saving of £1.25 million.
The impact described here relates to a specific example of changes in the
management of environmental risk for a coastal management study in the UK,
and to changes in the dissemination of coastal management knowledge and
experience across Europe. The former involved application of formulae
developed by the underpinning research to predict sediment transport rates
and shoreline evolution. The latter involved development of the Coastal
Wiki, an Internet based professional coastal encyclopaedia. This
represents a major new tool for dissemination to policy makers,
practitioners, researchers and students.
The Coastal Processes Research Group (CPRG) at Plymouth University
has developed new methodologies, utilising video systems to efficiently
monitor and manage the coastal environment. This research has impacted
upon coastal managers, mariners, coastal communities, tourists and
industries, for example, by reducing the risk of coastal flooding,
drowning in rip currents and ships running aground. Algorithms,
methodologies and systems developed by the CPRG, trigger appropriate and
timely management intervention to protect coastal communities from
flooding, instruct dredging operations and effectively manage recreational
A total of 34 British Olympic Gold medal triumphs in Beijing (2008),
Vancouver (2010) and London (2012), [redact 14 words] relied to a greater
or lesser extent on research in fluid dynamics, instrumentation and
[redact 4 words] originating from the University of Southampton's
Performance Sport Engineering Laboratory (PSEL). Global media coverage of
the science behind these victories has raised the profile of British
engineering. PSEL was awarded a 2012 Queen's Anniversary Prize for its
sustained contribution to the competitiveness of the UK's sailing and
motorsport industries worldwide through its research, specialist
consultancy services and its high-quality engineering graduates.
Research conducted within the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre has
underpinned the development of innovative extreme weather services for the
real-time monitoring of global tropical storms and European extreme
weather. These services have achieved significant commercial and
humanitarian impacts worldwide. Within the REF impact period these impacts
included £1.319 million of income generated by sales of commercial
products; 24,000 subscribers receiving free storm alerts and/or seasonal
forecasts; seasonal forecasts distributed to reinsurance companies
worldwide; and a contribution to lives saved in Bangladesh from tropical
storm Mahasen (2013). Twenty-two international organisations have also
benefited from the commercial extreme weather services; for example, they
support the claims division at RSA in assessing risk, allocating resources
and detecting fraudulent weather claims; and they enable the Norwegian
Hull Club to alert its portfolio of over 9,200 vessels worldwide to steer
clear of approaching dangerous storms.
The Warner-McIntyre parametrization scheme for non-topographic
atmospheric gravity waves,
developed at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
University of Cambridge, during the period from 1993 to 2004, has since
2010 been used by the
UK Met Office in their operational models for seasonal forecasting and
climate prediction .The
parametrization is regarded by the Met Office as a vital part of improved
representation of the
stratosphere in those models, which in turn has been shown to lead to
Research by Professor John Thuburn and his group at the University of
Exeter has made several
key contributions to the formulation and development of ENDGame, the new
dynamical core of the
Met Office weather and climate prediction model. ENDGame has been shown to
accuracy and better computational performance at high processor counts
compared to the current
operational dynamical core, directly impacting the technological tools
available to the Met Office.
These improvements will benefit users when ENDGame becomes operational in
early 2014: the
economic value to the UK of the weather forecasts produced by the Met
Office has been estimated
to be in excess of £600M pa, while climate change projections inform
policy decisions on mitigation
and adaptation with huge economic implications.
Research on extreme value methods by Heffernan and Tawn at Lancaster,
which proved critical in determining the conclusions of the High Court's
investigation of the sinking of the M.V. Derbyshire, also identified that
design standards for the strength of hatch covers of ocean-going carriers
(bulk carriers, ore carriers and combination carriers) needed to be
increased by 35%. This new level was set as a worldwide mandatory standard
in 2004. During the REF census period this change has impacted on the
design of 1720 new carriers and strengthening for the 5830 in service.
There have been no sinkings of ocean-going bulk carriers since the new
design standards were introduced in 2004, whereas on past evidence over
100 such sinkings of ocean-going bulk carriers would have been expected in
the REF census period.
The impact arises from the study of extreme ocean waves and their
interaction with marine
structures. It is relevant to the offshore, shipping, coastal and marine
renewables industries and
has been both economic and regulatory, involving:
(a) The establishment of revised guidelines for the design of new
structures / vessels.
(b) Enhancing best practice, both from an economic and a safety
(c) Reducing the uncertainty in critical design issues, thereby improving
(d) Enabling "end-of-life" extensions for existing structures.
(e) Facilitating the effective decommissioning of redundant structures.
(f) Contributing to the development of new industrial R&D equipment,
specialist UK manufacturers to secure international orders.