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Making waves - new ship simulation facility

A maritime centre in Oxfordshire has launched the world's 'most sophisticated' ship simulator.

The marine modelling facilities will help engineers to improve the design of ships and structures such as oil rigs. HR Wallingford's UK Ship Simulation Centre and the Fast Flow Facility are at Howbery Business Park in Oxfordshire.

The Fast Flow Facility is a 75 m long, 8 m wide dual-channel flume which can hold a million litres of water, generate 1 metre high waves and produce fast tidal currents to simulate the way waves, tides, sediments and structures interact.

The new facilty features a 75 m long flume which can hold a million litres of water

"What makes the Fast Flow Facility unique is the way we can simulate sediment movement, big waves and fast tidal currents at the same time. No one else can do this, certainly not at such a large scale.

"We can now look at the way waves and currents move sediment on the seabed in deep water at a large scale, and understand what this means for fixed or floating structures such as marine terminals, offshore wind turbines, wave and tidal energy devices, telecommunication and power cables and pipelines. Modelling large structures and arrays without compromising on scale will help us to reduce uncertainty, optimise designs and more effectively minimise project risks for our clients during the very early stages of a project."

– Professor Richard Whitehouse, Technical Director of the Fast Flow Facility
Lord Heseltine launches new ship simulation facility

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Ministry of Defence deal could save engineering jobs at Portsmouth dockyards

It's been reported this morning that BAE systems is on the verge of signing a £70 million deal which would safeguard 100 jobs at the dockyards in Portsmouth. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is said to have confirmed that the contract could be signed next week.

Mr Hammond told a local newspaper that the engineering jobs would be sustained for two and a half years while work is carried out on the Navy's newest destroyers. More contracts could follow.

In November last year BAE systems announced that it would be closing its ship-building division in Portsmouth with the loss of around 900 jobs. However the company's maintenance division will remain in operation and this latest announcement will be welcome news.

The raising of the Mary Rose: the past and future

It was a triumph of engineering - bringing Henry the Eight's flagship Mary Rose to the surface 30 years ago. Protecting her since then has pushed technology to the limit

Now she's at the forefront of science again - a new museum being built to house her will be one of the most advanced in the world. Richard Jones reports on the Mary Rose - the past and future.

30 year anniversary of raising of the Mary Rose

The Mary Rose is raised from the seabed - 11th October 1982

It's thirty years since the Mary Rose was raised from the bottom of the Solent.

The Tudor warship was rediscovered in 1971 and was salvaged in 1982 in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology.

Millions watched on television as the 437 year old wreck was raised from the deep.