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MTU Lecturer Designs Ireland's First Blade Bridge

MTU Lecturer Designs Ireland's First Blade Bridge

07 February, 2022

Kieran Ruane, a civil and structural engineer, and lecturer with MTU’s Faculty of Engineering and Science was the lead engineer on the the construction and installation of Irelands first pedestrian blade bridge.

The bridge is the result of a novel partnership between Cork County Council and the Re-Wind Network to reuse retired wind turbine blades for Greenway Bridges.

The bridge was designed by Kieran from concepts developed by the Re-Wind Network and crosses a tributary of the Dungourney river on the new Midleton to Youghal Greenway. 

 

 

Cork County Council has acted as a trailblazer by working with the Re-Wind Network to reuse these non-biodegradable blades sustainably, as girders for Greenway bridges. The environmental benefits include avoiding landfill or incineration, avoiding the use of new raw materials for bridge girders and ‘greening’ the End-of-Life aspect of wind power.

The Re-Wind Network is a US-Ireland research and development partnership taking an innovative multidisciplinary approach to develop environmentally sustainable ways to reuse old wind turbine blades. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the project partners include MTU, UCC, Queen’s University Belfast, City University of New York and is led by Georgia Institute of Technology.

The blades were donated by Everun, a wind farm asset management company from Belfast, while MTU’s Research Office provided initial seed funding to support comprehensive structural testing of the blades, computer-aided blade analysis, detailed structural design, and construction of the bridge in the structural laboratories at the Bishopstown campus.

You can learn more about the Re-Wind Network here