Trio win Halcrow Prize for second year in a row

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The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has awarded the Halcrow Prize to HR Wallingford’s Dominic Hames, Ben Gouldby and Peter Hawkes (who worked here before retiring) for the second year in a row. This year the trio’s winning paper was entitled ‘Investigating the use of joint probability curves in coastal engineering practice’.

The Halcrow Award is bestowed annually by the ICE to the author(s) of the best paper that it has published on maritime engineering. It has made the paper free-to-all to read for perpetuity on the ICE website: www.icevirtuallibrary.com/page/authors/awards-2021.

The trio’s paper investigates the inherent inaccuracy in the estimation of various extreme response variables (RVs) for different sea defence structures using joint exceedance curve approaches in common use around the UK. Utilising stochastically generated nearshore datasets that include extreme wave and sea-level conditions determined at regular intervals around the English coastline as part of a previous study, and asset information from the Environment Agency's Asset Information Management System database, this paper assesses 592 sea defence structures and their associated extreme response using different joint exceedance curve approaches when compared against the RV approach. This paper highlights that extreme RVs are often underestimated when using a joint exceedance curve approach, which in many cases can be significant. This suggests that the performance of many sea defence structures are incorrectly estimated. As a consequence, joint exceedance curve approaches may under-design sea defence structures to a greater level than previously indicated, or significantly underestimate extreme RVs when assessing the performance of existing structures.

Last year’s winning paper, which was entitled ‘Evolution of joint probability methods in coastal engineering practice in the UK’, is also available to read for perpetuity on the ICE website: www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/10.1680/jmaen.2019.4

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