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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.

External positions

Member of Maritime Expert Panel for Institute of Civil Engineers

1 Mar 20181 Mar 2025


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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 6 Similar Profiles
managed realignment Earth & Environmental Sciences
harbor Earth & Environmental Sciences
salinity Earth & Environmental Sciences
sediment transport Earth & Environmental Sciences
tide Earth & Environmental Sciences
suspended sediment Earth & Environmental Sciences
lagoon Earth & Environmental Sciences
sediment Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2022

Research Output 2002 2018

  • 10 Article
  • 3 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN
  • 2 Abstract
  • 1 Chapter

The evolution of embryonic creek systems in a recently inundated large open coast managed realignment site

Dale, J., Burgess, H., Burnside, N., Kilkie, P., Nash, D. & Andrew, C. 2 May 2018 1, 1, p. 16-33 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
managed realignment
intertidal environment

Application of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in mineral deposit studies

Smith, M., Ray, S., Broom-Fendley, S., Burgess, H. & Caplin, J. 5 Apr 2017 126, 2, p. 93-94 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sedimentation rhythms and hydrodynamics in two engineered environments in an open coast managed realignment site

Dale, J., Burgess, H. & Andrew, C. 8 Dec 2016 383, p. 120-131 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
managed realignment

Understanding the physical processes occurring within a new coastal managed realignment site, Medmerry, Sussex, UK

Burgess, H., Kilkie, P. & Callaway, T. 20 Jan 2016 Coastal Management: Changing coast, changing climate, changing minds. London, p. 263-273 11 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

managed realignment
nature reserve

Field studies of velocity, salinity and suspended solids concentration in a shallow tidal channel near tidal flap gates

Mitchell, S. B., Burgess, H. M., Pope, D. & Theodoridou, A. Jan 2008 78, 2, p. 385-395 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

tidal channel
water flow
tidal cycle