David has always had a keen entrepreneurial spirit, developing his ideas into profitable businesses. His latest idea, the Greenstick was the result of trying to discover a solution for securing a turbine to the ocean floor whilst still allowing it the freedom to move with the tides. After much hard work and collaboration with a Port Designer & Scientist with a PHD in Soil Mechanics at the University of Odessa, Ukraine, the innovative Greenstick was designed and tested at the Advanced Engineering Department at the University of Hull. The UK Patent for the Greenstick was granted in December 2013 andInternational Patents also granted (except Europe and U.S.A., pending).
A "greenstick fracture" means that one side of the fracture has broken and one side is bent, therefore it is classified as an incomplete break. The name for a greenstick fracture comes from the analogy of breaking a young, fresh tree branch. The broken branch snaps on one side (the outer side of the bend) while the inner side is bent and still in continuity. Sometimes the greenstick fracture must be bent back into the proper position.As a young boy, Leo Tolstoy heard his brother, Nicolai, say that he possessed a wonderful secret that nobody would ever find. The discovery of this secret would bring an end to war, disease and suffering and its meaning was written on a green stick Nicolai had hidden in a ravine in the Zakaz forest. For the rest of his childhood, Tolstoy searched for that green stick. When he died at the age of 82, the great Russian writer was buried at the very spot that his brother had mentioned all those years ago where the green stick with the secret of life was supposed to be found.
David West testing a vertical screw-pile at the University of Hull
Hull Daily MailWednesday March 2 2019Harnessing technology to shore up coast defencesENVIRONMENT: Engineer thinks outside the box to stop erosionA Bridlington engineer is hoping to revolutionise the way the world thinks about coastal defences.David West, 56, has developed technology he claims is quicker, less invasive and more environmentally friendly than traditional approaches.His firm, Greenstick Energy, now holds several patents and hopes the uptake of his designs are sudden with a potential ecological disaster on its way.Mr West said: “Water and wind pose a constant threat to coastlines around the world.“A typical example of devastating coastal erosion can be seen along the East Yorkshire coast of England where sections of the cliff top have, quite literally, fallen into the sea.“Spurn Point is rapidly disappearing as the sea continues to batter the fragile coastline and soon, it will be completely cut off from the mainland unless radical protective action is taken save it.“Traditional methods include a sea wall or boulder barriers, which are expensive and visually unattractive.“Greenstick technology could offer a quicker, less invasive and ecologically and environmentally beneficial solution.”Mr West gained his engineering expertise while working at the Fin Machine Company for more than 20 years.The automotive firm sold radiators to major car manufacturers across the world until the company was bought out in 2009.At that point, Mr West left the company and decided to make up for his many years of contributing to the global warming crisis.He said, as a born-and-bred Bridlington man, he wanted to do something that would tackle a local issue.While working on a project to generate power from the ocean, he discovered screw-pile technology which forms the basis of Greenstick Energy.The vertical screws drill into the ground and connect to fibre reinforced plastic panels in interchangeable ways to create walls and barriers.Mr West said: “The screws allow you to build adaptable underwater structures that are extremely durable.“The only other way to achieve the same effect is with cement, but you obviously can't cast cement underwater.“This does the same thing, but in a much more effective and efficient manner.”Despite the apparent benefits of the technology, Mr West said the idea has been slow to be implemented by government and big businesses due to the bureaucratic nature of the process.Despite that, he is working with academics from the University of Hull to demonstrate the benefits.He added: “Despite the long process to get this off the ground, I'm confident the idea will take off soon.“It's a major development for flood and coastal defences and I would like to see Hull and East Riding to be at the forefront of that technology.”