Head-to-head with Oliver Gummery at Createc
Although a long way from its main office in Cumbria, Createc is one of the latest businesses to have moved in to OCFI. We met Oliver Gummery, one of the company’s product designers, to find out more about what they do.
Createc’s strapline is “We only innovate”, and it does just that. Its focus is on delivering innovation in technology, mainly around software and sensors, with a commercial focus.
Createc was set up in 2010 by Matt Mellor. He was an Oxford graduate and after post-doctoral research work in the University department was recruited by REACT Engineering in Cumbria. It was a move from medical research to nuclear. He then went onto set up Createc as a specialist problem-solving company and moved to Cockermouth, a strategic location for working in the nuclear field. The setting up of an Oxford office at OCFI is so Createc can link up with local partners it works with, to have a more convenient base in the south to meet clients, and to recruit staff for future projects.
A main area of development for the company is at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The site of one the world’s worst nuclear accidents, the plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown following the country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. No longer safely accessible by human workers, machines have had to go where men can’t to find out more about Fukushima’s radiation levels – research that informs the complex clean-up operation that needs to be done. But measuring the radiation levels at Fukishima throws up loads of problems – like lack of GPS and getting a robot to spend enough time there to obtain crucial data. Createc has deployed numerous sensor-based solutions there, including an innovative drone.
As Oliver says; “The thing is, you can’t rely on GPS inside Fukishima’s buildings, so Createc has worked with BlueBear to develop a drone with special sensors to detect radiation”. As it flies over the contamination zone, the sensors gather data to locate and quantify hazardous radiation sources in the primary containment vessels. According to Oliver, “It creates a really accurate 3D snapshot of what’s there – which is crucial for decommissioning projects like this”.
Createc’s work at Fukushima has led to the latest product that Oliver is working on – a handheld version of the N-visage ™ Gamma Imager. He says, “It will be an expensive bit of kit”. The small, hand-held scanner will produce a quantified 3D map of radiation sources inside nuclear facilities. The prototype casing is being developed with the help of the 3D printer in the basement of OCFI! The company is in front of the curve as nuclear companies are now turning to robotics to deliver safer, faster and more cost-effective solutions to decommission nuclear sites over the next 20 years.
The company is continually expanding. Oliver started as graduate intern a couple of years ago and then he became the company’s 13th employee. They are now up to 20 staff and looking hard for new product and software designers to take on their ever-expanding portfolio of projects. Contact them if you’re interested! We wish them the very best of luck for 2018.
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