Work starts on £19m Plymouth University wave project

Work has started on a £19m building at Plymouth University that will house a wave tank and marine testing equipment.

Two Olympic pool-sized wave tanks will simulate coastal and ocean environments, generating currents and creating waves more than 1m (3ft) high.

A ship simulator will also be used to train navigators and deck officers for the global shipping industry.

The Marine Building should be completed in the Spring of 2012.

'Global player'

Professor Martin Attrill, director of the Marine Institute, said the development would provide "new world-class facilities for the University, the city and the region".

"The suite of wave tanks will be the most advanced in the UK, enabling external companies and organisations to work with University experts to test new structures, such as wave energy devices, over a range of wave and current situations."

Professor Wendy Purcell, vice-Chancellor at the University, said: "The Marine Institute represents a depth and breadth of expertise second to none in the UK - around 3,000 staff, researchers and students are engaged in marine and maritime activity.

"This building is a clear statement of intent that Plymouth is a leading global player in all things marine."

The construction project involves such engineering challenges as suspending a coastal tank containing 225,000 litres of water from the floor.

A crane will lift 32 concrete beams reinforced with steel into place to create a framework for the building with each beam weighing 13.5 tonnes.

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