Texas A&M Engineering to christen one-of-kind dredge/tow carriage

October 9, 2007
| By: Aubrey Bloom

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The B.G. Hindes dredge/tow carriage, the only one of its kind on a U.S. university campus, will be christened Friday, Oct. 12, at the Reta and Bill Haynes '46 Coastal Engineering Laboratory in the Texas A&M University Research Park. The Barrett and Margaret Hindes Foundation provided the lead gift to design and construct the laboratory dredging carriage. Faculty and students will use the carriage to study and recommend more efficient and environmentally friendly methods for maintaining the nation's waterways. Other major donors are Oilfield Electric Marine Inc. (OEM) and Digital Automation and Control Systems Inc. (DACS). GIW Industries Inc., Krohne, Ohmart/Vega Corp. and Dredging Supply Co. Inc. donated the dredge pump, magnetic flow meter, nuclear density gauge and cutter, respectively. Significant contributions were made by Peter deJong of DACS, primary design engineer; Nick Krippner, OEM, electrical design; Steve Sonye, DACS, data acquisition and carriage control systems; and Kevin Williams, KRW Technologies, former OEM president. "Research and commercial testing of different systems, equipment, and processes can now be investigated using the B.G. Hindes carriage in a controlled laboratory environment to advance and improve dredging practices," said Dr. Robert E. Randall, director of the Texas A&M Center for Dredging Studies. The 4-inch suction by 3-inch discharge dredge pump system, dredge ladder and cradle facilitates modeling of hopper and cutter suction dredge in a water tank that is 150 feet long, 12 feet wide and 10 feet deep. An observation well permits viewing of dredging operations in the tank's 25- by 12- by 5-foot sediment pit. An additional pumping system can provide water flow through the tank at 35,000 gallons per minute to simulate water currents. The dredge carriage, which can be controlled in the automatic or manual mode, moves at speeds up to 4 knots (4.6 mph) to help measure hydrodynamic forces on coastal and offshore models. Sensors provide data via an acquisition system. "The dredge carriage is being used currently to investigate methods to measure and minimize turbidity or suspended sediments in the water column," said Dr. Billy L. Edge, W.H. Bauer Professor of Dredging and head of the coastal and ocean engineering division in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M. "It was recently used to assist the U.S. Navy in evaluating the effect of discharges on turbidity from vessels in shallow waters with low clearance," Edge said. The late Barrett Hindes, a San Francisco native, graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering in 1922. A respected dredging engineer and businessman, Hindes worked for the San Francisco Bridge Co., ultimately as president, until the company was dissolved in 1956. Hindes served as captain in the U.S. Navy "Seabees" during World War II and was charged with the responsibility for harbor clearing and development across the Pacific. Since the time of his death in 1964, the Foundation has been administered by Hindes' sons, Peter and Scott Hindes. The Haynes Coastal Engineering Lab at the Texas A&M Research Park will host an open house from 3:30-6 p.m., with the christening ceremony at 4 and demonstrations following. The event is open to the public.

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