Cutty Sark saviours land engineering gong
PUBLISHED: 13:46 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:17 25 August 2010
EXPERTS called in to save a unique ship of national importance have been recognised for their achievements. The University of Greenwich was awarded Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year for its role in restoring the last remaining tea clipper
EXPERTS called in to save a unique ship of national importance have been recognised for their achievements.
The University of Greenwich was awarded Outstanding Engineering Research Team
of the Year for its role in restoring the last remaining tea clipper, Cutty Sark.
Judges at the Times Higher Education Awards ceremony in London on Thursday, October 15 were impressed by the university's expertise in computational mechanics.
Scientists used computer models to predict how complex structures of metal and wood within the ship would behave to decide the best way to dismantle and reassemble her.
The judges said: "Greenwich has demonstrated the rare combination of outstanding research and real impact in an area not normally noted for engineering.
"The application to cultural heritage will have an enormous impact on the UK's long-term economy."
Professor Chris Bailey, who heads the winning team, said: "We are thrilled that this partnership with the Cutty Sark Trust, which has led to techniques which can help other heritage structures, is being recognised in this way."
The team normally applies its techniques to complex engines, precision medical equipment and cabling.
Chief engineer at the Cutty Sark Trust, Peter Mason, revealed that the computer modelling will now be used to explain how the ship was able to sail faster than any other sailing ship of its day.
Mr Mason added: "I have every confidence that our next two, very different, collaborations, the predictive modelling of future degradation of the iron frame and working out why the ship was faster than others, will be equally successful."
Chief executive of the
Trust, Richard Doughty, told the Times earlier this month
the project faces a £3 million shortfall and nine-month delay, but that the funding gap would not "break the back" of the scheme.
In addition to public donations, the scheme has received £23 million from Heritage Lottery and a £3.3 million gift from Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer.