Manchester university

Award winners spotlight: ACOUSTEK

Keir Groves, research fellow at the University of Manchester talks to us about Acoustek’s win for Best University Innovation in April’s UK Energy Innovation Awards.

So, what did you win for? 

We won the Best University Innovation award for our system that uses acoustic waves to detect and accurately locate features and defects in gas mains over distances of up to 300m.

Why do you think your entry stood out? 

Currently, there are very few options for rapid inspection of large stretches of pipeline and lots of digging is often required. Our tool has the capability to reduce the need for excavations and the consequential disruption to the customer and associated costs.

How do you see your innovation shaping the future of energy? 

Our tool will help to ensure the reliability of gas supply and to reduce disruption to customers caused by works.

What does the win mean to the team? 

We are overjoyed that our hard work and the strength of the technology that we offer has been recognised. As a small team this is particularly momentous for us.

What’s next for the project?   

We are currently developing the equipment into a commercial product that will be made available to the gas network operators. Within the next three years we hope to see our technology being used to improve the efficiency of works on gas mains and to increase the reliability of local gas distribution networks.