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Ark

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The
Challenge

There is a significant and growing national risk around the lack of readiness to undertake effective large-scale research, emergency preparedness and realistic rescue training for flood events.

At the same time, very few experimental facilities across the world can replicate real flood environments at full scale, limiting our ability to grow understanding of flood processes and the impact of flooding. There is also a shortage of specialist flood engineers in the UK.

These factors have led to a regional, national and international need for safe, controllable flood risk and resilience infrastructure to support responder training, community resilience, education, research and innovation.

The
Approach

Lead researcher rob-thomas
Project partners

Ark

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

University of Hull

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and the University of Hull have come together to create Ark: the National Flood Resilience Centre. Ark will make the UK a world leader in flood rescue, research and resilience by creating a unique, purpose-built facility for training, research and innovation.

Combining simulated full-scale urban and rural environments that can be inundated, Ark will provide flood emergency responders with safe and realistic training in swift and still water. Ark will also act as a hub for new undergraduate and postgraduate Engineering programmes at the University of Hull and provide unique experimental facilities to support research and innovation, with capabilities that cannot be replicated at any existing research establishment.

No other facility brings together the elements necessary to interrogate and test flood processes, risk and resilience in one centre of excellence. Ark truly is world-leading.

The Impact

Ark is a unique integrated multi-agency training, research, innovation and community engagement flood resilience facility. It will simulate urban swift and still water flood events in a realistic, cost effective, safe, managed environment and will improve coherent regional, national and international flood responsiveness. Ark stands to lead the world in proactive, collaborative and innovative approaches to flood rescue, research and resilience, while promoting inter-agency understanding and cooperation. Providing unique research capabilities, Ark  will enable world-leading research on urban hydrological processes, channel-floodplain interaction and fluid-structure interactions. The facility will not only improve responder coordination and training but also support the physical and psychological monitoring of rescue personnel. Ark’s empowering approach will enhance preparedness and resilience amongst businesses, communities and civic organisations at risk from flooding. It will also act as a business innovation hub to encourage the development of new technologies in flood rescue and resilience to bring further benefits to our communities.

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