Sunderland students visit Kielder Reservoir for first-hand look at how multi-million pound facility works

A group of engineering students from Sunderland have been given special access to the dam at Kielder Reservoir.

By Debra Fox
Monday, 29 April, 2019, 10:38
Engineering students from the University of Sunderland visit Northumbrian Water facilities at Kielder Reservoir.

A rare opportunity was offered to the students when they paid a visit to Kielder Reservoir in Northumberland.

The group of 12 engineering students were given special access to the dam at Kielder by Northumbrian Water so they could learn more about the operational aspects of the facility.

The reservoir cost 167million to build.

The 12 undergraduates met with staff from the company, who explained about how the facility works.

Information included how the 70-metre tall valve tower in the middle of the Reservoir controls the flow of water from the dam into the nearby North Tyne.

The students were also given the opportunity to walk under 52 metres of water via a tunnel which runs under the 1.2km dam and Reservoir.

Kielder Reservoir was opened in 1982 by the Queen. It cost £167million to build and is capable of holding 200,000 million litres of water.

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It is capable of holding 200,000 million litres of water.

Dave Knapton, acting head of School for Engineering at Sunderland University said: “The students really appreciated the opportunity to meet with the operations staff and to see the dam at Kielder Reservoir first hand.

“The generation of hydro-electricity is something covered within our programmes but to appreciate the scale of the infrastructure brought this to life.

"The visit also provided an insight to the professionalism and the ethical responsibility of the engineers at Northumbrian Water to balance the technical and ecological needs of the project."

Engineering student Fahmi Yehia said: “The trip to Kielder has given me some perspective on what engineers are capable of doing.

“I would recommend any future engineering student to take the opportunity and go on trips like this one. It will not only encourage you but also may help you choose what path of engineering you wish to follow.”