Prior to the appointment, Ben collaborated with Dr Ivan Haigh, Associate Professor in Coastal Oceanography at the University of Southampton, on research into extreme but plausible coastal flooding scenarios for England and Wales. The results of this analysis have now been used to inform the coastal flooding aspects of the Cabinet Office’s National Risk Register (NRR) of Civil Emergencies. The NRR provides a government assessment of potential major civil emergencies that could affect the UK over the next five years, and includes risks as diverse as cyber-attacks, volcanic eruptions and large-scale flooding.
In addition to providing opportunities for further collaborative research, Ben’s contribution will include engagement with the MSc in Engineering in the Coastal Environment, a programme which is strongly linked to industry, and which focuses on educating coastal practitioners aiming to work in coastal engineering, both in consultancies and relevant areas of government.
Chief Technical Director in the Flood Management Group at HR Wallingford, Ben has over 20 years’ experience in the development and application of a wide range of flood risk analysis models, and in the production of flood hazard and risk maps from a range of different flood sources. He has led the technical development of the method which has been used to underpin the national flood risk assessment of England and Wales since 2004.
Ben has been involved in the application of these methods overseas in a number of different countries including the US. He is a past recipient of the Institution of Civil Engineers Halcrow Prize, and a recent recipient of their Bill Curtin Medal for Innovation, in relation to his work on the climate change impacts from coastal flooding and multivariate modelling of extreme sea conditions around the coast of England.
Dr Ivan Haigh commented: “We welcome the opportunities provided by Ben’s appointment. His depth and breadth of knowledge relating to industry practice and research developments in coastal flood risk is well-established, and we very much look forward to our continuing collaboration.”