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Personal profile

Approach to teaching

As a Civil Engineer I think that it is extremely important that students get a real feel for the material that they are working with, hence I believe that laboratory work is an essential component of any Civil Engineering Module. Relating classroom learning with real Engineering Case Studies, backed up with site visits, helps students really put theory into context.

I provide students with a variety of materials, both in lectures and online, but do expect my students to conduct their own background research and reading (guided in the first few years). During your first two years of study at university you will get the chance to conduct guided experiments using our student friendly flumes and pipe rigs, which will enable you to really understand how water flows through pipes and channels and what effect there is when we use structures to control or measure it. We will expect you to write technical reports based upon your lab sessions. This is all good practice for writing reports in your chosen professional career. (Yes – Civil Engineers have to write lots of reports throughout their career).

I use media and literature to support my teaching, which means that I expect students to engage outside of the lecture time in their studies. For example this could mean reading set material in preparation for a lab or lecture or watching lectures I have prepared online so that classroom time can be spent on solving set problems in that area.

Students get the best results for my modules are those who fully engage and ask questions when they need to. By fully engaging the student access the online material and lectures I provide, they attend the lectures, tutorial sessions and hands on laboratory sessions which I run.

The final year projects which I offer are always in my area of research and are based upon providing workable solutions to real life problems or furthering the research knowledge base. Many of the projects I offer are linked to industry, research projects and local problems.

Research interests

My principle research interest is in Natural Flood Management, (coastal, estuarine and riverine) which embraces natural processes in order to provide long-term sustainable solutions to flood management problems. This encompasses a wide range of areas including sediment dynamics, hydro-dynamics, water management and geochemistry.

On the coast my research is based around Managed Realignment and furthering the understanding of how these types of coastal defences develop after breach. In terms of sustainability I am investigating how previous land use, design and construction influence the development of these sites, which has a direct impact on the bio-diversity of these created systems, and which in the long-term influence the longevity and effectiveness of the designed coastal defence.

In-land I work with a number of local organisations on the restoration and management of rivers and catchments in order to reduce peak flood levels and improve water quality. This involves assessing the suitability of the removal of defunct structures, installing small scale, up-stream, water retarding structures and where possible reconnecting water with its flood plain.

What I strive to do is provide designers, engineers and managers with a greater understanding of the environment so that they can work with nature to provide longer-term, more sustainable solutions.

Supervisory Interests

I am particularly interested in supervising students interested in intertidal, estuarine and riverine water / sediment interaction and climate. Examples of applications could include:

  • The impact that drainage systems have on the development of Managed Realignment sites and the colinisation by intertidal flora.
  • How mycelium develops in newly inundated intertidal wetlands.
  • Furthering the understanding into the processes of how terrestrial soil transforms into intertidal sediment when inundated by saline water.
  • The impact that developing Managed Realignment has on fish habitats and how engineering could be used to increase habitat suitability, impacting positively on fish stocks.
  • The impact of changing weather patterns on intertidal environments.

Along with any project which brings together the following elements: Natural Flood Management, habitat creation, eco-system services, impact of sea-level rise and impact on health and wellbeing.

Knowledge exchange

My research is about helping to find practical, longer term sustainable solutions to problems which are facing society.  In order to do this it is extremely important that I work with industry, both public and private as well as other academics across a wide range of disciplines.  I am part of the Maritime Expert Panel for the Institution of Civil Engineers which enables me to understand the changing needs of industry whilst also providing an insight into academic research and community. I attend and present at a range of industry and academic professional meetings.  For the purpose of knowledge transfer and impact of research, I feel that it is important that academics publish in industry focused publications as well as scientific journals, as the latter are often not easily accessible to those working in industry.

External positions

Member of Maritime Expert Panel for Institute of Civil Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers

1 Mar 20181 Mar 2025

Organising Committee for the ICE coastal Management Conference 2019, Institution of Civil Engineers

1 Oct 20171 Oct 2019

Organising Committee for ICE Coastal Management Conference 2015, Institution of Civil Engineers

1 Sep 20131 Oct 2015


  • G Geography (General)
  • Natural Flood Management
  • Managed Realignment
  • Cohesive Sediment
  • Coastal management
  • Estuarine Hydraulics


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