Artificial Turf Sports Development Engineer – KTP Associate, Technical Surfaces & School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University

An enthusiastic, innovative and self-motivated person is required for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Loughborough University and Technical Surfaces Ltd. The project involves development of a total pitch surface maintenance system, incorporating tests to measure the effectiveness of current sports pitch maintenance techniques on a range of synthetic surfaces, and support the development of future technologies.

A generous training budget is available to enhance the career profile of the successful candidate. The successful candidate will be employed by the University, but based at Technical Surfaces Ltd, Leicester.

You should have either Masters in Engineering or Materials Science, minimum 2.1 degree in Engineering or Materials Science or a closely allied discipline. Some experience of artificial surfaces, the sports service industry or similar areas is highly desirable.

The post is for 30 months and you will gain experience of a commercial research and development environment and may have the opportunity to register for a higher degree.

Informal enquiries should be made to Jon Gunn, Technical Director by email at, or by telephone on 08702 400 700. Or to Dr Paul Fleming, Sport Surfaces Research Group Leader by email at, or by telephone on 01509 222616.

For further information on how to apply see:

Technical Surfaces Ltd

Technical Surfaces’ Rejeneration® restores St. George’s Park pitch

Technical Surfaces has completed a large-scale renovation of the ‘David Beckham’ community pitch at St. George’s Park, and in the process has enabled the surface to qualify for The FA’s 3G Football Turf Pitch Register.

The pitch, one of only two outdoor artificial surfaces on site, is now around 14 years old and plays host to a wide variety of matches and training sessions.

Technical Surfaces were originally contacted by St. George’s Park’s Head Groundsman, Alan Ferguson, to advise the best course of action to remedy the problems occurring on the surface. The pitch was being maintained regularly by site staff, and although it suffered no issues with drainage, the rubber crumb had become heavily contaminated throughout, clogged with soil pollutants, dust and fibre fragments. Rubber levels were also very inconsistent across the surface, and infill was beginning to break down, trapping and flattening the turf fibres. This compacted and contaminated rubber infill created a playing surface that was hard underfoot, with rubber dust particles leaving unsightly black marks on players and footballs.

The centre’s first thought was to replace the surface. However, following discussions with Technical Surfaces, they opted instead for our patented Rejeneration® procedure – the extraction and replacement of the rubber crumb infill being the best way to deliver a consistent playing surface, whilst providing value for money and extending the life of the existing surface.

Our Rejeneration® of the pitch began with the extraction of around 200 tonnes of infill, replacing it with fresh, clean rubber to help restore and improve playing characteristics such as traction, ball roll, rebound and force reduction. A defining feature of 3G pitches is their infill levels, typically 40-60mm, compared with 20-25mm in sand-filled surfaces. We therefore utilised our patented system for this process, developed to release powerful jets of air to allow for the removal of a greater depth of rubber.

The extracted rubber was not landfilled, but rather was re-used on site to reinforce running paths and routes across the park.

The Rejeneration® created a refreshed, softer surface with improved playing characteristics. The pitch has also been tested by our Research Engineer as part of his studies with Loughborough University and Technical Surfaces into the effects of maintenance on synthetic sports surfaces. The softer playing surface was evidenced by improved readings in force reduction and vertical deformation, as well as a reduction in vertical ball rebound. Traction was also reduced, owing to the looser state of the new rubber infill. The carpet fibres that had previously been trapped beneath the infill were now recovered, and the test results confirmed an increased ‘free pile’ height, allowing for reduced ball roll.

For Alan and the staff at St. George’s Park, it was vitally important that the refurbished pitch now adhered to official performance standards: vertical ball rebound and ball roll, which had previously failed the FIFA 1 Star performance requirements prior to our Rejeneration®, now passed the criteria for this standard. Furthermore, these improvements enabled the pitch to be included on the FA 3G Football Turf Pitch Register, following a successful test report conducted by Labosport.

The work carried out by Technical Surfaces of the Beckham pitch has dramatically improved the playability and allowed us to continue to provide users with an acceptable surface“, explains Alan. “This is all the more remarkable when you consider the surface is 14 years old. It has allowed the business the time to properly plan a replacement. I would recommend the process to other users with aging surfaces.

Technical Surfaces has helped bring many 3G pitches up to standard for either FA or FIFA accreditation. To find out more about our specialist maintenance services, call our National Office on 08702 400 700 or visit

Technical Surfaces Seek Artificial Turf Sports Surfaces Development Engineer

Technical Surfaces Ltd, in collaboration with Loughborough University, is seeking an Artificial Turf Sports Surfaces Development Engineer (KTP Associate) to help expand and develop their existing research into enhancing the knowledge and understanding of the value of artificial surface maintenance throughout the industry, and to help present an objective evaluation of the accepted practices and conventional wisdom behind the maintenance of artificial sports surfaces. A further aim of the research is to help improve the service offered to existing clients, including actual end users and industry associates. This will result in an expansion of strategic partnerships for the company, including strengthening relationships with suppliers, manufacturers and governing bodies. It is also expected that consultancy contracts with manufacturers of artificial surfaces will be greatly increased by the project. The project will last for a three year period and the candidates should have a recent Masters in Engineering or Materials Science, minimum 2.1 degree in Engineering or Materials Science or a closely allied discipline.

For further information please follow the link below. 

Technical Surfaces Ltd

Machinery Matters – SMG & Technical Surfaces

Technical Surfaces enjoys an unrivalled wealth of experience in the maintenance of artificial sports pitches, which is reflected in our continued investments in the latest technology, ensuring our place at the very forefront of industry best practice.

Our 30-strong collection of dedicated maintenance machinery comprises many items from the SMG range, including the CareMax and SportChamp. Technical Surfaces is proud to be the sole UK Distributor of the SMG range of artificial pitch maintenance machinery, and we work closely with their research team to develop new and improved machinery and equipment.

SMG CareMax CM2D

SMG CareMax CM2D

The SMG CareMax CM2D is a compact drive unit, ideal for completing routine maintenance. In a single operation the SMG CareMax lifts the top layers of infill, separating any dirt, dust and fibre particles, before returning the cleaned infill to the system. This latest model of the SMG CareMax also boasts a series of attachments to perform more specialist works, such as decompactions and localised infill top-ups. Our maintenance technicians use the SMG CareMax to perform Power Sweeping and regular Decompactions as part of our specialist MatchFit® maintenance service.

SMG SportChamp

SMG SportChamp 2

Described as both ‘the leading machine in the world market‘ and ‘the multifunctional care and maintenance machine for your sports facility‘, the SMG SportChamp has been designed specifically for artificial turf surfaces. From routine weekly tasks to monthly sweeping and even annual deep cleans, the SMG SportChamp performs a series of tasks on all types of artificial surface. The powerful drive unit, with its vacuum and filtration system, allows for the efficient cleaning of a pitch’s granular infill, effectively removing contaminants from the surface. Numerous attachments can be used at both the front and rear of the machine, to clean the carpet fibres, groom the surface, lift the pile, decompact and regulate the infill, and control moss and vegetation levels.

At Technical Surfaces, we utilise the SMG SportChamp – and its extensive range of attachments – to complete our Power Sweeping, Revite®, deep Decompaction and Infill Top-Up works.

To give an example of the maintenance services we provide using the SMG range of machinery, we liaise regularly with Alan Ferguson, Head Groundsman at St. George’s Park, to ensure that his artificial sports facilities receive the correct maintenance routines all year round. We are currently part-way through a collaborative study with Loughborough University to investigate the cumulative effects and benefits of maintenance on artificial pitches, for which Alan has granted our researcher unique access to his pitches.

Ahead of recent FIFA testing of their indoor 3G pitch, our routine assessment highlighted that the rubber infill levels were low in high-use areas, particularly around the centre circle and in the penalty areas. If left unresolved, a low infill can negatively impact on the quality of play on the surface, and can also cause increased wear and deterioration of the artificial carpet. Crucially, low infill levels can also affect the very criteria that a FIFA Recommended pitch must adhere to in order to pass the rigorous testing procedure.

We worked closely with Alan to help remedy the effects that a pitch low on infill can experience: the onsite grounds team modified the frequency and direction of their weekly drag brushing / matting, thereby helping to lift the flattened carpet pile, while we used the SMG SportChamp with its rotating brush attachment to complete a specialist deep-cleaning Revite® of the pitch, decompacting the surface, redistributing the rubber infill and removing contaminants whilst lifting the pile. This process not only improved both the performance and appearance of the surface but also helped to extend its life. We followed this with a rubber top-up, to bring the levels in line with the carpet specification and ensure that the pitch was in optimum condition. Once topped-up, the new rubber was worked into the surface using the SMG CareMax and its oscillating brushes.

To learn more about how Technical Surfaces can help improve the condition of your artificial sports pitch, or to request your copy of our latest SMG Machinery Brochure, contact our National Office on 08702 400 700, or email

One Leisure

One Leisure St. Ives wins pitch maintenance award (with a little help from Technical Surfaces!)

One Leisure St Ives has won the coveted IOG Kubota/Redexim Charterhouse Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year for its 3G surface, and has thanked Technical Surfaces for their efforts in helping them to achieve industry recognition.

The IOG Industry Awards recognises the achievements of grounds maintenance on natural and artificial surfaces, with categories including Grass Roots Sports Ground of the Year, Professional Sports Ground Team of the Year and Groundsman of the Year.

This year’s ceremony was hosted at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, with One Leisure St. Ives nominated alongside Hampton School, Middlesex in the category of Best Maintained Artificial Pitch, which the IOG says “rewards the diligent maintenance of those who carry out the upkeep of their artificial surface“.

“We are very proud and honoured to receive the award, we pride ourselves very highly at the centre and it’s great recognition for the work we do”, explains Head Groundsman, Rob Bradshaw. “If you look after your surface, it will look after you, and it is with the combined efforts of our in-house maintenance and Technical Surfaces’ maintenance contract that we won this award.”

St Ives is one of five One Leisure sites managed by Huntingdonshire District Council. With more than 1.7 million people visiting One Leisure centres in 2012, their seven artificial pitches (located across Huntingdon, Ramsey, Sawtry, St Ives and St Neots) must continue to perform well all year round. So to complement each centre’s own in-house efforts, the council has employed pitch maintenance experts Technical Surfaces to provide regular specialist maintenance for five years.

“Our 3G pitch has around 70 hours of use a week,” says Rob. “Depending on hours played, our rule of thumb is 1 hour’s maintenance for every 10 hours of play. We aim to brush 3 times a week to keep the fibres up and the infill loose and we carry out regular litter picking daily on the surface. We also carry out regular checks on the posts to make sure they’re safe. We try to educate users of the facility in wearing correct footwear and try to keep general house-keeping to a high standard.”

Alongside this, Technical Surfaces’ NVQ-trained technicians carry out sweeps, decompactions, infill top-ups and vegetation treatments on a quarterly frequency, with the maintenance programme of each pitch suited for its age, size and construction.

Technical Surfaces utilises a 30-strong collection of dedicated maintenance machinery – including the SMG SportChamp and SMG CareMax – to maintain more than 420 artificial pitches nationwide. It is worth noting that Hampton School, the other finalist shortlisted for the IOG award, also use SMG machinery to carry out maintenance on their artificial sports pitch. Technical Surfaces is proud to be the sole UK Distributor of the SMG range of artificial pitch maintenance machinery, and works closely with their research team to develop new and improved machinery and equipment.

To help your artificial pitch achieve an award-winning standard of maintenance, contact Technical Surfaces on 08702 400 700, or visit