University of Huddersfield research into the optimal design of
flow-handling systems has been credited with "transforming" the
development strategies and global market sales of an industrial partner.
Weir Valves and Control Ltd has enjoyed a 75% saving in design lead time
and a 1,800% increase in annual sales - from several thousand before its
collaboration to millions in 2013 - through the structured integration of
researchers' computational fluid dynamics expertise in its design process.
The success of this collaboration, which has been described as an exemplar
of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, has also led to further research
ERPE research led to the following impacts in the REF2014 period:
Commercialisation: Through government grants, institutional and
private investors, a medical devices company (Vascular Flow Technologies)
Products: Spiral Laminar Flow™ Vascular Grafts for use in bypass
for peripheral arterial disease and vascular access for haemodialysis.
Market / Sales: Spiral Laminar Flow™ Grafts are sold in 18
countries, with over 3000 grafts implanted (<1% estimated market size)
and sales in excess of £1million.
Patient Outcomes: Published and presented clinical series show the
grafts have increased survival rates leading to reduced re-interventions
and reduced amputations.
Our flow modelling and process optimisation research has improved
significantly the scientific understanding of key industrial coating,
printing and droplet flow systems. We have implemented our research
findings in software tools for staff training and process optimisation
which have enabled: (i) the worldwide coating industry to improve the
productivity and sustainability of their manufacturing processes; (ii)
[text removed for publication]; (iii) a major automotive supply company to
develop an award-winning droplet filtration system for diesel engines.
[text removed for publication].
Multiphase flow research at Imperial has developed bespoke software code,
and provided unique data for validation of commercial codes used for
oil-and-gas design. This research has enabled global oil companies (e.g.
Chevron) to undertake successfully the design of deep-water production
systems requiring multi-billion pound capital investments. This research
has also allowed SPT Group (now owned by Schlumberger), one of the largest
software (OLGA) providers to the oil industry, to maintain their position
as market leaders.
Research at GCU led to a novel method for backfilling pipeline tunnels
providing the ability to fill tunnels three times more quickly than the
traditional method resulting in a cost saving of £1.5M on a single
project. This approach is now best practice at Murphy Pipelines Ltd (MPL)
and features in current tenders to a value of £30M. The change in fill
material lowered the carbon footprint by 5000 tonnes in a CEEQUAL award
winning project, in addition, the removable fill material allows the
recycling and re-use of tunnels, adding to the assets of the company and
Durham selective direct fluorination methodology using fluorine gas has
been scaled up by F2
Chemicals Ltd to supply the Pfizer company with multi-tonne quantities of
a key pharmaceutical
intermediate used in the synthesis of V-Fend (voriconazole). This
antifungal agent has achieved
global sales of $4.65bn from 2008-present and is used extensively for the
treatment of invasive
pulmonary aspergillosis. Multi-channel continuous flow gas/liquid
microreactor technology for direct
fluorination was licensed to the Asahi Glass Co (Japan) and other
transformations enabled by
fluorine gas are being exploited by a DU spin-out company, Brock Fine
Coal fired power stations will be a major element of global power
generation for the foreseeable future. Measurement, and hence control, of
pulverised fuel flow is a vital technology for the efficient and green
operation of coal fired power stations. Balancing fuel delivery and
combustion stoichiometry increases boiler efficiency and reduces
emissions. Research in this area carried out at Teesside University was
adopted by ABB Ltd and led to the commercial development of new powder
flow measurement systems (PfMaster technology) installed in power stations
around the world. Quantifiable economic benefits of the installations
to date amount to >£3.4 M with concomitant environmental benefits
of significant reduction in CO2 and NOxemissions
and solid waste disposal burdens.
Research carried out in the School of Mathematics at the University of
Bristol between 1998 and 2005 has been instrumental in the development of
structures that arrest or deflect the rapid flow of snow that
characterises avalanches in mountainous regions of the world. The research
has been embodied in a series of guidance documents for engineers on the
design of such structures and many defence dams and barriers have been
built across Europe since 2008. The guidance is now adopted as standard
practice in many of the countries that experience avalanches. Investment
in avalanche defence projects based on the design principles set out in
the guidance runs into tens of millions of pounds. The Bristol research is
also used internationally in the training of engineers who specialise in
avalanche protection schemes. Given the scale of the threat to life and
property from these potent natural hazards, the impact of the research is
considerable in terms of the societal and economic benefits derived from
the reduction of the risk posed by snow avalanches.
Research at the Department of Engineering Science has led to step changes
in the way industrial membrane filtration plants are designed and operated
. Based on some key research results that have successfully tackled
membrane fouling problems, the work has triggered rapid uptake of
membrane-based technologies that are more energy-efficient than
traditional processes. Water companies are among those achieving both
economic and the environmental benefits, and the research has played a key
role in the membrane bioreactor (MBR) market, which is now growing at over
10% a year, and in the global desalination market which exceeds US$19
billion, according to GMR Data (2012) .