Testing at hyperTunnel’s Outdoor Learning Environment (“the hOLE”) is well into its second year. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the site is a hive of activity, involving members of hyperTunnel’s engineering team and various technical partners, including construction chemicals giant, Master Builders Solutions (MBS).

hyperTunnel’s inground construction engineering development work is led by Senior Engineer, Dr Alkistis Karabela, who joined hyperTunnel 18 months ago from the University of Portsmouth where she was a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering. In addition to co-ordinating the close collaborative work of hyperTunnel and MBS, Alkistis is maintaining links with her academic roots, overseeing a number of research projects on the new thinking being applied by hyperTunnel.

“We have been investigating many different chemical combinations and evaluating their performance at our on-site laboratory. Our scientific team is being supported on site by experts from MBS and from experts from within the academic community such us the University of Milano-Biccoca, the Politecnico di Milano and the University of Portsmouth,” explains Alkistis.

“It is fantastic to be at the heart of something so exciting, that others in this field want to study too. We have a great collective pooling of resources – from chemical formulations, to specialist lab testing to the test site itself – and are creating academically-significant studies. We’re looking forward to publishing evidence of our approach in a robust way.”

All hyperTunnel testing is performed in accordance with the relevant British Standards and ASTM International standards.