Young CEDA takes students to see dredger in action in Southampton channel
James Spragg, member of the Young CEDA Commission and one of the organisers of the visit reports
On the 10th of October 11 enthusiastic students of the University of Portsmouth were given the opportunity to see a dredging project in action. The students arrived at the Site Office of the Southampton Channel Widening Project and were welcomed with coffee and an over the table discussion about the project and the working methods employed. The site visit was led by Maarten de Wit of Boskalis. After a short introduction to the project the students alighted a small passenger vessel and were provided with a trip to see the dredger ‘Willem van Oranje' dredging in the Southampton Channel. Students also had the opportunity to see the bed levelling vessel ‘Norma'. There was plenty of opportunity on the boat to chat one to one with all the students to take questions about the dredging works and the channel widening project.
The site visit followed a seminar earlier in the week, on up 6th October at the University of Portsmouth attended by 55 students. The three presentations were received well and generated good discussion.
Matthew Kinmond gave an insightful presentation about the work of the MMO (Marine Management Organisation), covering marine planning, and marine licencing process as well as the stakeholders which the MMO consults in the processing of plans and licences.
We had three representatives from the Southampton Channel Widening Project, currently being undertaken by Boskalis. Gert-Jan Peters, the Project Manager gave a presentation about dredging equipment and marine capabilities. He also spoke about the exciting opportunities that exist when working for a contractor.
The final presentation was given by Mark Lee Principle Scientist at HR Wallingford. Mark spoke of his own career applying monitoring and surveying works to dredging projects and also gave an enthusiastic description of the work opportunities with consultant organisations and the personal qualities required for the work.
Overall the three presentations tied together well and it was clear to see in the elements of works the integration between the regulator, contractor and consultant in dredging programmes.
I'm very much grateful to the organisations involved in supporting these two events: the Marine Management Organisation, HR Wallingford, the University of Portsmouth and my own organisation Boskalis Westminster Ltd.