Published: 04 May 2016

Innovative engineering research wins industry funding

Engineering students at the University will have the opportunity to make a leading contribution to the industry thanks to generous funding from Fluor, one of the world’s leading publicly-traded engineering, procurement and construction companies.

New technologies are required to keep pace with the demands of the growing renewable energy and high speed rail infrastructure market. Surrey’s ongoing research has identified the need to design or adapt new equipment for soil testing and develop a code of practice on its use.

Fluor’s Global University Sponsorship Programme has donated £14,000 to help develop apparatus with cooperation from a leading manufacturer VJ Tech (, to be used for the testing of different types of ground and whether or not they are suitable for the construction of high-speed rail or supporting a large wind turbine.

Professor Suby Bhattacharya, Chair in Geomechanics, said: “Ultimately the apparatus will assist with our research programme which is key to the future of the industry and will assist in developing best practice guidelines not yet formulated due to the speed at which the sector has grown. This will also an important acquisition in our SAGE laboratory, a geotechnical testing facility.”

The University re-launched its successful MSc in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering in 2015 to address a key skills shortage in the industry in the UK and the new project is just one of the ways to enhance students’ analytical and practical engineering techniques and provide them with excellent employment prospects.

Nick Amott, Senior Manager, Process Engineer at Fluor, said: “Through the Global University Sponsorship Programme, Fluor sponsors annual grants and scholarships at selected universities with a focus on engineering, construction and business programmes. We are delighted to be working with Surrey on such an innovative project that will prepare students for tomorrow's global and technical workforce.”

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