Arctic Technology research at UNIS

The Arctic Technology Department offers research opportunities in Arctic Engineering as well as in Arctic Environmental Technology and Chemistry.

Arctic Engineering concentrates on engineering problems to be tackled when settling in the Arctic environment: living and building on frozen ground that may be subject to landslides and avalanches (Geotechnics), Arctic offshore oil and gas exploitation (Ice Mechanics, Applied Oceanography and Marine Technology), mining (Rock Mechanics), and water supply (Hydrology).

Arctic Environmental Technology and Chemistry concentrates on current and potential pollution problems, environmental impacts, feasible remediation techniques in Arctic areas (Environmental Chemistry), on the effects of organic pollutants on organisms (Ecotoxicology). The technological challenges deriving from increased human activity in the northern marine environments, as well as locally here in Svalbard, continue to be our main focus.

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Current research projects:

Sea ice in Fram Strait photographed from Oden. Photo: Øyvind Hagen/Statoil

Sustainable Arctic Marine and Coastal Technology (SAMCoT)

SAMCoT is a centre for research-based innovation, established by the Research Council of Norway. The research activities in SAMCoT are carried out by the host institution NTNU together with UNIS, SINTEF and 14 other partners.

SAMCoT Objectives:

  • To provide the research based knowledge necessary in order forthe industry to develop Arctic technology for the energy sector in particular and for society as a whole.
  • To specifically address the implications of the presence of ice and permafrost, as well as to produce knowledge that will ensure sustainable and safe exploration, exploitation, and transport from and within the vulnerable Arctic region.
  • To provide the foundation for further development of environmentally adapted coastal infrastructure.

UNIS professor Aleksey Marchenko is leading WP 1: “Collection & analysis of field data and properties”.

SAMCoT project page
Men, snowmobile and crane in Svea, Svalbard (wintertime)

Safety of Industrial Development and Transportation Routes in the Arctic, 2015–2018 (SITRA)

SITRA is supported by Norwegian Centre for International cooperation in Education (SIU) via the High North Programme for 2015–2018. This SMIDA sister project will expand collaboration in the field of Arctic Technology overseas.

UNIS and Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada) are the main partners. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), NTNU (Norway), University of Alaska Fairbanks (USA) and Dartmouth College (USA) are in the team.

UNIS professor Aleksey Marchenko is project leader.

SITRA project page
Arctic technology students (AT-307F) performing fieldwork in Svea, Svalbard. Photo: Anatoly Sinitsyn/UNIS

Field studies and modelling of sea state, drift ice, ice actions and methods of icebergs management on the Arctic shelf, 2015–2017 (FIMA)

The project focuses on knowledge-building in Norway and Russia related to understanding the impact by the presence of ice on the upcoming offshore activity. The outcome of the research should contribute to a reduction of risks related to offshore activity in the High North.

More specifically, the project will undertake field studies and modelling of drift ice, ice actions on offshore installations and methods of iceberg management in regions of offshore development on the shelf of the Barents Sea.

The project aims to describe characteristics of drift ice, ice ridges and icebergs in regions with low probability of ice occurrence and high priority of offshore development (the region around Bjørnøya and further to the Central Barents Sea).

Project leader: UNIS professor Aleksey Marchenko

FIMA project page

Maritime Preparedness and International Partnership in the High North, 2014–2016 (MARPART)

MARPART is hosted by the University of Nordland and assesses the risk of increasing transport activity and challenges for search and rescue (SAR), management and emergency operations. We focus on cross-institutional-country partnerships between 4 countries of the Arctic Atlantic Sector.

Project leader is professor Odd Jarl Borch (UiN). UNIS research associate Nataly Marchenko is the UNIS representative in the project, working in WP 1 “Future maritime activity level and risk patterns in the High North”.

Download project flyer (PDF)

MARPART project page

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