Leading international engineering consultants Scott Wilson operate in transport, property, environmental and natural resources. Currently, Scott Wilson relies on external suppliers to carry out surveys.
To support their operations, in particular their surveying activity, Scott Wilson required the development of new Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs).Action
A KTP was established – the third undertaken by Scott Wilson – to create the technology behind UAVs. The joint venture has moved to new offices capable of accommodating 200 people.Result
With the development of their own UAVs, the company will be able to conduct its own surveys and utilise the new technology for a variety of different applications. UAVs are cheaper, faster, safer and easier.
The sky’s the limit – unmanned airborne vehicles
Bringing together blue-sky thinking, commercial expertise and academic knowledge and resources can generate amazing results. And an innovative Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between The University of Nottingham and Scott Wilson, a leading international engineering consultancy group operating in the principal market sectors of transportation, property, environment and natural resources, certainly proves the point.
“Designing and developing unmanned airborne systems is extremely challenging,” states Jamie Uff, Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate. “But by combining the diverse skill sets and knowledge bases of both the University and Scott Wilson, the project has really taken off and is already gaining some great results.”
For particular applications, unmanned airborne vehicles or UAVs can be faster, cheaper, safer and easier, opening up a whole world of opportunity for the Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The systems can be rapidly deployed, making them responsive to demand, and used in a wide array of applications. From precision agriculture to environmental monitoring, homeland security to archaeology – UAVs can deliver cost effective access to the sky.
A long and healthy relationship
The project has added a new and exciting dimension to Scott Wilson’s business, which is great news for the future. Currently, the company does little of its own surveying, but as the unmanned systems are developed, they’ll be capable of supporting the business, by carrying out surveys and reducing the need for external suppliers using traditional survey techniques.
Over the years, Scott Wilson and the University have both benefited from the successful transfer of knowledge and resources. In fact, a Scott Wilson/University joint venture in pavement engineering was originally founded in 1985 through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. Jamie is now the company’s third KTP associate and the arrangement has been so successful that the joint venture moved into a new office at Chilwell, capable of accommodating 200 staff, last Christmas.
Developing both personally and professionally
With still a year of the KTP to go, Jamie has experienced a great deal of progress in the last few months, overcoming some frustrations with early flight attempts. The partnership now involves a number of people – all working together to build a bright future for the UAV project. Arrangements for providing a commercial service using UAV’s are now being discussed, which is clearly an amazing achievement.
“Obviously I’m very proud of the results the project is obtaining,” says Jamie. “But the Knowledge Transfer Partnership has also created even more opportunities for me. I’ve made considerable leaps in my personal development. In the long term, the benefits are huge.”
And as the University owns several of the aircraft and is able to access the research results to develop teaching methods, it would seem that the sky really is the limit when it comes to the benefits of this particular project!