Strata collaborates on Cranfield University pilot plant

Strata is delighted to announce its involvement in an exciting new project at Cranfield University.

In March 2017, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announced £125m of UK Government investment in new state-of-the-art facilities to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, with facilities being developed at 11 UK universities as part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC).

Cranfield University is playing a key role in this resiliency initiative with investments being made on two separate campus locations. One of the main campus investments will be made to provide:

  • a sensor testing facility for exploring the engineering resilience of urban water systems
  • a test area dedicated to the development and testing of ‘point of use’ water treatment technologies
  • an Infrastructure Breakthrough Innovation Hub with mixed use areas for design, rapid prototyping, and testing
  • a data visualisation suite providing access to data feeds from infrastructure across campus – including from the two pilot halls
  • walk-in access to utility infrastructure located under the road to the east of the building.

Cranfield University rig

As part of this resiliency initiative, Cranfield University requires a drinking water treatment pilot plant suitable for testing continuous treatment of water for research purposes. This pilot plant will allow testing of processes to purify wastewater into potable water, ultimately to reduce our usage of fresh water, benefit the environment and reduce water shortages caused by drought. Once complete, this will be the first facility of its kind in the UK.

Strata received the invitation to tender in March 2018 for the process, mechanical and electrical design, procurement, installation and commissioning of the completed rig. The project officially began in September 2018 with a projected completion date of September 2019 for the formal handover to the University to commence their internal trials.

At this point (April 2019) we are well into the build phase; the two-storey platform has been installed in Cranfield’s new purpose-built Pilot Hall. The electrical and mechanical build of the two process feed skids are underway in our workshop.

This project has already presented a number of challenges to the Strata team including managing the installation of a multi-storey frame into the new Pilot Hall, whilst the building was still being finalised, and utilising modular construction techniques in our own factory to manufacture easily transportable skid units, to ensure that the delivery timescale remains achievable.

We’ll post updates and photos as work progresses so watch this space or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter!

For more detailed information on this project:

Read the Cranfield University press release here

Read the EPSRC press release here