Glasgow-based Mackenzie Construction has made a senior research appointment to further development of a system to cut down on excavation waste from roadworks. 

Following a funding award from Innovate UK, the company has hired Bruna Lopes to head up research on its Smart Surface project, a hydraulic road binder system that stabilises existing ground conditions to create or repair paths, roads and hard standings. This cuts down on the need to remove existing waste material from site to landfill, which is then replaced by similar volumes of newly-quarried aggregate. 

The financial backing from Innovate UK has allowed Mackenzie to establish a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. KTP partnerships are aimed at improving competitiveness by enhancing collaboration between businesses and academic research organisations. 

Ms Lopes will work with the university’s Dr Matteo Pedrotti and Professor Alessandro Tarantino to investigate the interaction between the Smart Surface binder and soil to deliver clear technical specifications to ensure soil stability across multiple environments and applications.

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Launched in 2018, Smart Surface has already been trialled across a rage of sectors with clients such as ScottishPower, Scottish Canals and South Lanarkshire Council. The KTP is expected to further expand its use in other related areas. 

“We’re delighted to have Bruna on board with this project and are extremely proud to be moving this project forward so that we can support our clients to reach their ambitious net zero targets,” Mackenzie managing director Andy Dalrymple said. 

“Ultimately, the KTP project will enable us to offer our clients a more sustainable and circular surfacing solution and a progressive service resulting in greater reduction in costs, project timings, carbon outputs and environmental impact.” 

Founded in 1980, Mackenzie has offices in Glasgow and Inverness specialising in civil engineering and structural repairs.