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Technological advances in the dredging industry

Event organised by Central Dredging Association

05 October 2023

This event has now ended

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Over the years, dredgers have become more productive as a result of improved design, increased power and size, and the use of electronics. The growing innovation in dredging technology focuses more on optimising the dredging technology than developing new dredgers. The standardisation of dredging equipment and the advancement of monitoring and control systems have improved the dredging process to a great extent.

Technological advances also include working with tidal processes to manage sediment budgets thereby supporting the natural evolution of habitats such as mudflats and saltmarsh which host important populations of waterbirds and other species.

More recently, we are seeing significant advances in the use of automation. An increasing number of newbuilt dredgers are being fitted with automated systems, which allow companies to streamline various work processes such as slurry pumping, dredge positioning and swing speed of cutter head. This technology facilitates more precise dredging, boost safety, fuel-saving capabilities, and reductions in administrative burden and project timelines - all of which reduce costs and improve project performance. This streamlining and fuel reduction can also directly lower carbon emissions, which will help these vessels meet IMO GHG reduction targets - mandatory by 2030 and 2050.

This seminar looks at how modern technological advances is allowing the dredging industry to meet the ever-increasing demands of the maritime sector and will consist of three presentations:

  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) hopper dredgers, Tom van Eijk, operations manager Ing hoppers, Van Oord
  • Dredge fill monitoring in confined waters using unmanned surface vessels (USVs) to increase safety and productivity, James Williams, chief executive officer, Unmanned Survey Solutions
  • Raynham Lake desilting project, Frits van den Boogaard, international business development manager, Royal Smals

Organised by

Central Dredging Association

Central Dredging Association

CEDA UK is the British section of an independent, international, professional association for dredging and marine construction.


14:00 - 14:10

Welcome and introduction

14:10 - 15:00

Presentation 1

15:00 - 15:40

Refreshments and Networking

15:40 - 16:10

Presentation 2

16:10 - 16:40

Presentation 3

16:40 - 16:45

Close out


Tom van Eijk

Tom van Eijk

Van Oord

operations manager lng hoppers

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Tom van Eijk

Tom has an MSc in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology and an MSc in hydraulic engineering & water management from the National University of Singapore. He has been with Van Oord for eight years. During this time he has worked on dredging projects worldwide, from Costa Rica to Kazakhstan, but mostly in Dubai. For the last two years he has undertaken the role of operations manager for the three new LNG trailing suction hopper dredgers that Van Oord has introduced to their fleet. In this role his focus has been on a smooth introduction of these vessels to Van Oord projects, including within the UK.

James Williams

James Williams

Unmanned Survey Solutions

chief executive officer

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James Williams

James Williams is the co-founder & CEO of Unmanned Survey Solutions and the founder & managing director of Swathe Services. He has an MSc (with distinction) in hydrography from the University of Plymouth and over 25 years of relevant industry experience in conducting surveys and building new dynamic companies.

James is passionate about the environment and is working hard to bring cutting edge innovation to hydrographic surveying to reduce carbon emissions and make a positive impact on the environment. James has previously chaired the Surface Autonomy Sub-group of the FAST Cluster which trying to influence the course of legislation on new innovative technology in UK waters. James is also a member of The Hydrographic Society UK&I and has chaired both the Education Committee and South West Branch, and he has actively organised numerous industry engagements with University students.

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell

Sustainable Development Goals: