Tunnel-support test system wins civil-engineering award

Innovative technology developed by engineers at Aberdeen University was awarded a prestigious international industry accolade at a ceremony in London on Wednesday night.

GRANIT (Ground Anchorage Integrity Testing) is a non-destructive test system for ground anchorages and rock bolts used to support tunnels, mines and retaining walls.

The system operates by applying an impulse axially through an impact device. The vibrational response of the bolt or anchor is captured via an accelerometer and data is transmitted to a computer.

The system then measures the load being borne by each individual rock bolt and the anchorage is tested. GRANIT will also identify bolts that are broken, corroded or poorly encapsulated.

It has the potential to provide an increased health and safety environment for individual mine and tunnel workers, and can be used as part of a regular condition-monitoring regime in order to protect and safeguard the tunnel or mine.

GRANIT, which is is currently licensed to Halcrow, won the Technical Innovation category of the inaugural New Civil Engineering International Tunnelling Awards, which celebrate and reward outstanding work and innovation in the global tunnelling industry.

Aberdeen’s GRANIT team comprises Prof Albert Rodger, vice-principal and head of the College of Physical Sciences at Aberdeen University, and Drs Richard Neilson, Ana Ivanovic and Andrew Starkey from the institution’s School of Engineering.