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Industry and academia meet to explore advances in protection against overtopping

Posted: 19-Jun-2018

A series of technical tours arranged for delegates at Protections 2018 included Glenridding (pictured), Keswick and Thirlmere Dam in Cumbria

The increasing demand for dam, levee and seawall safety, and flood protection, has prompted new research and advancements, and a greater need for cost-effective measures in overtopping protection as a solution for overtopping concerns at levees, dams and seawalls.

Protections 2018, the 3rd International Conference on Protection against Overtopping, which took place from 6-8 June in the coastal town of Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria, in the UK’s Lake District National Park, brought together leading experts from practice, research, development, and implementation for two days of knowledge exchange, followed by a technical tour of the Lake District including visits to Glendridding, Keswick and Thirlmere Reservoir and Dam.

The conference focused on critical issues related to levees, dams and seawalls, new developments and advanced tools, overtopping protection systems, test facilities and failure mechanisms, system design and performance, as well as innovative solutions.  Participants travelled to the conference from around the world, with representatives attending from across Europe as well as Canada, Japan, South Korea and the U.S.

Keynote speakers were Prof Jentsje Van der Meer, Professor of Coastal Structures and Ports at IHE Delft, an expert in the appraisal, design and testing of breakwaters and coastal structures, including levees, embankments and seawalls, and Dr Antonia Larese, Associate Research Professor at CIMNE, and an expert in computational mechanics and fluid structure interaction problems. Prof Van der Meer gave a keynote lecture on ‘Hydraulic simulators on real dikes and levees’, and Dr Larese presented on "Advanced computational methods for dam protections against overtopping”.

Dr Tim Pullen, Principal Engineer in Coastal Structures at HR Wallingford, and Chair of the Organising Committee, said: “The conference provided useful perspectives on research on testing and modelling overtopping processes, and associated failure mechanisms and designs of different protection systems. Participants found one of the main values of the conference was in the interaction between the wide range of engineering and modelling disciplines represented. The scenic surroundings of the World Heritage Site and the excellent conference facilities were an added bonus.”

The conference was sponsored by Propex Global, Adfil Construction Fibres, Hesselberg Hydro and Salix Bioengineering.
Protections 2018, followed a successful Protections 2016 event, the 2nd International Seminar on Dam Protection against Overtopping which took place in September, 2016 in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. The inaugural event in this conference series was held in November 2014 in Madrid Spain.

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