At Tech Quest, teams of students from TU Delft, one of the top technical universities in the world and leaders in the development of seismic and non-seismic exploration methods, were introduced to the challenges facing subsurface surveying by experts from the industry; explaining the key parameters such as quality of acquired data, cost, safety, logistics and environmental impact.
Armed with that information, teams were set a challenge to bring innovative ideas to the problem. Exploring the applications of new 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), students were challenged to look for ways of how Autonomous and Intelligent systems for aerial and terrestrial applications, as well as Artificial Intelligence and new sensoring systems could be utilised. The solutions presented by the teams at the end of the event showed that students took this challenge to heart, coming up with new applications and ideas that could have a significant impact on the future of subsurface surveying.
Subsurface surveys are a vital tool to help understand what lies beneath the earth's surface without drilling or tunnelling. The technology has a myriad of applications from ensuring that dams, bridges and tunnels are safe to helping scientists understand and predict earthquakes. The winners of the challenge, Team Silt, presented an innovative approach to detecting underground caves by sending different resonance frequencies into the earth, and monitoring returning frequencies to identify holes and caves underground.
The prize was €2,000 along with entry to Co-Lab, a half-day workshop on entrepreneurship to meet start-up leaders, as well as an hours coaching with a YES!Delft team member. This offers students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand their entrepreneurial skillset and set them on a path towards future innovations. Talal Al-Marri, President of Aramco Europe, commended the students for their innovations and their commitment to studies within an inspiring speech to the attending students, referencing their importance in driving the industry forward.
"Students at universities such as TUDelft learn about the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and geoscience," Roald van Borselen added. "For us it is important that we connect with that talent and tap into these new ideas. The students we met at this event were able to think outside the box and bring new ideas to the industry and drive the new technologies that we need. As an industry we face tremendous challenges and events like this, along with our summer internships and hosting student visits, allows us to build these vital relationships."