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Student Researchers Combine Degree and Hobby to Slash Build Time on Indoor Climbing Walls

The students with the wall
The students with the wall
Originally published 4 July 2003

Engineering student researchers at the University of Warwick have found a way of slashing the build time on indoor climbing walls that is being taken up commercially by the world’s longest-established climbing wall manufacturer - Bendcrete.

The students all in their final year of an MEng engineering degree, and all climbing enthusiasts, couldn’t believe their luck when they discovered that one option for a final year project was an examination of the Bendcrete’s current indoor climbing wall manufacturing techniques. They had all spent many an hour climbing on the Bendcrete built wall in the University of Warwick’s own “Bear Rock” indoor climbing facility.

Currently each indoor wall is tailor made by a process that takes on average around 7 weeks depending on the size of the wall. Two of the University of Warwick students have now devised a modular manufacturing process that can slash that build time by up to 3 weeks.

Bendecrete are to test the new techniques in their Cheshire factory and are so pleased with the students’ work that they have asked them to undertake additional research that could aid the company.

One possible future piece of research for the students comes from the fact that the new modular manufacturing process opens up the possibility of using CADCAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacture) in the design of each wall further cutting design and build time. A sister company that manufactures skate parks is also now keen to explore what the University of Warwick engineering students can do for them.

For further information contact:

Dr Phil Purnell,
Dept of Engineering,
University of
Warwick (the students’ academic supervisor)
Tel: 024 76 528392

Colin Steiner (Student working on project – Colin is from Bedford)
tel: 07714 204901

Alex Griffiths (Student working on project – Alex is from Stroud)
tel: 07989 974222

John Hartley Bendcrete
Tel: 0161 3383046