HR Wallingford and the University of Salento partner to set up a new hydraulic laboratory


A collaboration between independent environmental hydraulics consultancy and research organisation, HR Wallingford, and the University of Salento, will see the creation of a state-of-the-art hydraulic laboratory on the university’s Ecotekne Campus at Lecce in the South of Italy. A framework agreement, outlining the terms of the new partnership, was signed on Monday 4 June 2018 at the university.

New hydraulic laboratory in Italy
Signing of a framework contract by the University of Salento and HR Wallingford to create a new hydraulic laboratory in ‘Corpo Z’ on the university’s Ecotekne campus in Lecce.

From left: Keith Powell, Chief Operating Officer (HR Wallingford), Vincenzo Zara, Dean of the University of Salento, Giuseppe Roberto Tomasicchio, Professor of Hydraulic & Maritime Structures & Hydrology and Thierry Rault, Regional Manager for Europe & Africa (HR Wallingford).


An international research and consultancy company, with its Head Office in the UK, HR Wallingford has specialised in hydraulic, civil and environmental engineering for over 70 years. The company is proud of its technical independence, re-investing the profits from its operations into programmes of strategic research and development.

The collaboration will create an advanced hydraulic laboratory in which the partners will carry out joint research and consultancy in environmental hydraulics, marine and coastal structures, and offshore engineering. HR Wallingford has supplied and fitted seven banks of its multi-element wave generators to equip a 30 m wide wave basin that will be used for the physical modelling of coastal structures, plus a wave maker for a 45 m long by 2 m deep flume. The company will also provide training in the use of open-source software (such as TELEMAC) for the numerical simulation of wave-structure interaction, flows and dispersion of pollutants in the sea, and for measuring instruments used in the laboratory and in the field.

The Dean of the University of Salento, Vincenzo Zara, said: “This agreement, which sees us at the forefront of the international field of hydraulics, will allow us to conduct joint research, enabling us to bring together our common expertise in physical and numerical modelling. I strongly believe in international teams working together on collaborative projects to produce scientific results. This collaboration will also lead to personal development, providing a unique opportunity for our students and researchers who, in addition to working with international colleagues, will gain experience in physical modelling techniques while working on innovative research projects.”

Prof Giuseppe Roberto Tomasicchio, Professor of Hydraulic and Maritime Structures and Hydrology from the Engineering and Innovation Department, added: “The solid global reputation of HR Wallingford, together with the academic support of the University of Salento, will make the new laboratory a central point of international interest for research and consultancy in hydraulics and coastal engineering. The state-of-the-art facility, which includes a new 30m x 30m wave basin and a 45m long wave flume, will attract researchers, students, technicians and professionals from around the world to work together on scientific studies.”

Dr Keith Powell, HR Wallingford's Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to form this new partnership with the University of Salento which will allow us to generate mutually beneficial research opportunities. Knowledge transfer is an important element of the collaboration, and we are looking forward to sharing knowledge and expertise in hydraulic research.”

Under the terms of the partnership, HR Wallingford will have access to the ‘Corpo Z’ facility to carry out some of its own physical modelling research, and will contribute to the maintenance costs of the facility.

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