Cutty Sark Trust
The Cutty Sark Trust is an independent charity, which aims to conserve, maintain and display the world's sole surviving tea clipper: the Cutty Sark. Built in 1869, the ship was fully restored in the 1950s and is permanently installed in a concrete dry dock in Greenwich, London.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Structural problems were first identified in Cutty Sark's hull in the 1990s, and in 2003, a report predicted that the ship would fall apart within 10 years if no restoration work was carried out. The Cutty Sark Trust knew that a major conservation programme was needed to prevent any further decay in the ship's structure, but feared that the very act of restoration could endanger the ship.
Working with the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Greenwich, the Trust aimed to exploit the latest Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques to ensure that the ship would be dismantled and restored in the safest possible way. The Trust also aimed to acquire knowledge and capabilities that it market to other historical preservation projects.
The collaboration successfully developed and validated FEA techniques to predict how the ship's wood and metal components would behave in various renovation scenarios. Apart from giving the conservation process the green light, the knowledge transfer partnership also benefited the Cutty Sark Trust by:
- developing three-dimensional structural models of Cutty Sark to predict how the wood and metal components would behave during renovation
- identifying the optimal process for dismantling and reassembling the ship, improving the conservation operations
- developing Finite Element Technology expertise that the Trust can market to other projects
- supporting a successful bid for £13m of Heritage Lottery Funding
Extensive knowledge of the application of FEA techniques made Dr Stoyan Stoyanov the ideal candidate to be the Associate on this KTP project. Here's what he got out of it:
- Significantly enhanced technical knowledge and project management skills
- Gained NVQ Level Four in Management
- Invaluable research into FEA and good grounding for academic career in this field
- Accepted Senior Research Fellow position at the University of Greenwich
Academic Partner benefits
Professor Chris Bailey and Dr Hua Lu led a team of academics from the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Greenwich to deliver this KTP. Here's what Chris had to say about the experience: "It's been fantastic to see our technologies and skills help save a unique part of Britain's maritime heritage and to demonstrate how advanced digital technologies can aid the heritage sector."