24 November 2008

A local co-ordinates mapping solution developed by UCL’s Dr Jonathan Iliffe, Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, and awarded £9,500 proof of concept (POC) funding from UCL Business is expanding into new markets following considerable success with Network Rail. 

The software provides an innovative solution to a significant problem in engineering surveying, namely the design of a coordinate system that has minimal scale factor and height distortion even when projects extend for many hundreds of kilometres.

SnakeGrid was originally conceived in 2005 as a result of a consultancy project between Dr Jonathan Iliffe and Network Rail in connection with the development of the West Coast main line. The success of his work has led to further licence agreements to develop SnakeGrids for a number of rail projects.

Having undergone a number of enhancements over 3 years, significantly improving performance, the SnakeGrid technology has a much broader application than just railways. Dr Jonathan Iliffe approached UCL Business to investigate the options available to develop the program further and consider the commercial opportunities that might exist for the technology.

Dr Jonathan Iliffe said “I am delighted with the success of SnakeGrid; what started as a challenging consultancy project with Network rail has developed into a product with real commercial potential. The support provided by UCL Business has been instrumental in helping to develop the software further and explore other markets.”

Stephen Hiscock, Business Development Manager responsible for Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering provided POC funds to implement changes in design and program structure of SnakeGrid and is actively seeking commercial applications in highways and pipelines.

Stephen Hiscock said “SnakeGrid is an impressive solution to a frustrating problem in surveying. The latest version of the software has already been used in the surveying of the Dublin to Cork railway line in the Republic of Ireland, which is currently being upgraded to permit high speed trains, and negotiations are underway for the use of the software in major infrastructure development projects in the UK and around the world.” 

In recognition of Dr Jonathan Iliffe’s outstanding contributions to the civil engineering surveying industry and to the science of geospatial engineering, he was awarded The Richard Carter Prize (Geospatial Engineer Award) 2008 from the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors at their annual dinner at the House of Commons, October 2008.

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Further Information
For further information contact Stephen Hiscock, Business Development Manager, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000 (s.hiscock@uclb.com)