Engineering consultancy Ramboll has been made technical adviser to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to support a number of projects in the Antarctic region and the UK.
The company has been appointed by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council, to provide technical research to develop options for the replacement or upgrade of existing wharf and jetties at BAS Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations to ensure safe berthing and mooring for the RSS Sir David Attenborough, the advanced polar research ship due to launch in 2019.
As part of a seven-year agreement with NERC, Ramboll will also provide specialist technical advice to the team responsible for relocating BAS’s Halley Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf and on a number of other building, energy efficiency and logistical projects.
Ramboll said its new role presents a variety of engineering challenges as the Antarctic continent is the coldest, driest, highest and windiest on the planet, and its construction season usually only runs from December to March. Its multidisciplinary team will be carrying out surveys and on-site support in temperatures ranging from 5oC to -60oC.
Dave Grove, project director at Ramboll, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with such a groundbreaking research organisation. BAS and Ramboll share many goals, including our desire to innovate and collaborate to deliver longstanding solutions that help both people and nature to flourish in our changing world.”
Tim Stockings, BAS director of operations, added: “The UK Government is making a major investment in Britain’s polar research capability. The commission by NERC of the RRS Sir David Attenborough provides an opportunity to modernise and upgrade our Antarctic infrastructure.
“The appointment of Ramboll brings specialist expertise to our in-house teams. We look forward to working together to develop and deliver well-engineered facilities that meet our shared ambitions for sustainability and excellence.”