The iCOASST project brings together a number of the leading UK universities, research laboratories and consultants in the fields of geomorphology, hydrology, oceanography and software development.

University of Southampton (Project Lead)

The Faculty of the Enviroment and Engineering at the University of Southampton represents the largest and most diverse engineering and environmental science grouping in the UK. Our expertise looks deep below the Earth's crust, reaches into space and encompasses everything in between. Our research groups are working on a variety of projects that are addressing some of the major issues facing the world, with investment from research councils, government and industry partners. We work on multidisciplinary projects across the University, as well as with other academic and industrial partners.Engineering and the Environment has built strong relationships with industry. We share our knowledge, expertise and facilities with our partners to help them achieve their goals. We offer a wide range of solutions, from consultancy to long-term, leading-edge research projects.

Professor Robert Nicholls is the Lead PI for the consortium.   Robert Nicholls’ research concerns long-term coastal engineering and management, especially the issues of coastal impacts and adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on sea-level rise. This includes lead authorship of chapters in four reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC): Second Assessment Report (1996); the Regional Assessment (1998); the Special Report on Technology Transfer (2000); and the Third Assessment Report (2001). He was also convening lead author (with P.P. Wong (Singapore)) for the “Coastal Systems and Low-Lying Areas” chapter in the IPCC 4th assessment (published 2007). He participated in the DEFRA-funded “Fast Track” assessments as the coastal expert, led the SURVAS Project which reviewed vulnerability of coastal zones around the world from 1999 to 2001, contributed to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and is leads the coastal research theme of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research which developed the “Coastal Simulator”.  He contributed to the Foresight study of Flood and Coastal Defence and its update for the Pitt Review and participated in missions to Russia and the USA. He was one of the principle developers of the DIVA (Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment) which builds on his experience with the Fast Track Assessments. DIVA is being used in various projects such as NERC QUEST-GSI, the AVOID global impacts, and various EU projects. It has provided input into the EU Green and White Papers on Adaptation, the UNFCCC 2007 paper on adaptation costs and the World Bank 2009 assessment of adaptation costs. He has lead two recent OECD papers on climate change, including an active global assessment of flood exposure in large port cities.  He was awarded the Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 2008

University of Oxford - Environmental Change Institute

The ECI was founded 20 years ago with a mission "to organize and promote interdisciplinary research on the nature, causes and impact of environmental change and to contribute to the development of management strategies for coping with future environmental change", a statement that still embodies the ECI’s ethos of purposeful environmental research and knowledge exchange.  The ECI is distinctive in its intellectual continuum which stretches from scientific enquiry into the processes of environmental change (e.g. in climate science and forest ecology) to the analysis of sustainable solutions (e.g. in reducing energy demand and adapting infrastructure systems) and the promotion of change for the better through Masters level education and knowledge exchange with partners in government, industry and civil society. The ECI’s scientific objectives originate from the challenges confronted by decision-makers, be they individuals, organisations or institutions and whether in the public or private spheres. The ECI has developed an international track record for research in forests and ecosystems, energy demand and climate impacts and adaptation.

Professor Jim Hall is Director of the Environmental Change Institute, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks in the School of Geography and the Environment, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science and fellow of Linacre College. His research focuses upon management of climate-related risks in infrastructure systems, in particular relating to flooding, coastal erosion and water scarcity. Jim has worked extensively on application of generalized theories of probability to civil engineering and environmental systems, including random set theory, the theory of imprecise probabilities and info-gap theory. The work has been particularly fruitful in the analysis of uncertainties relating to global climate modelling, yielding the only paper on imprecise probability theory cited in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. In recent years Jim has played an increasingly high profile role in relation to engineering and climate change, with a particular emphasis on adaptation to climate change in urban areas and infrastructure systems. 

The ECI, in collaboration with project partners, is responsible for the development and integration, of the overall coastal system modelling framework (WP 1.1) and the geomorphic model integration (WP 2.4) and will contribute to the software integration (WP 1.4), the application and validation of the proposed framework to the two study sites (WP 3). Professor and ECI’s Director Jim Hall is the leading researcher, and Andres Payo is a full time dedicated coastal system modeller.   

Swansea University

Engineering has been a subject at Swansea University since it was established in 1920. In 2001, the former Departments of Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Materials and Mechanical Engineering were reconfigured to form an integrated College.  Swansea University is recognised for its outstanding teaching in the international QS Stars global university rankings system, which recently awarded the University 5 stars for its teaching quality.  All our activities are driven and underpinned by world leading research, as recognised by the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008, where the combined score of the College of Engineering ranks 8th in the UK and the best in Wales. Since 2008, we have been awarded over £100 million in research grants.  Over the last 30 years Swansea University has been at the forefront of international research in the area of computational engineering. We have pioneered the development of numerical techniques, such as the finite element method and associated computational procedures that have enabled the solution of many complex engineering problems.

Dominic Reeve is the Professor of Coastal Engineering in the College of Engineering at Swansea University. He has over 20 years experience in maritime research and consultancy. He was the recipient of the 1995 International Gustave Willems prize, awarded by PIANC, for developing a new method for predicting long-term shoreline position in response to the requirements of Shoreline Management Plans. Professor Reeve has obtained funding for research projects from sponsors including national research councils, Government departments and agencies, and professional and learned societies which to date total over £5 million.He is the Editing author of ‘Coastal Engineering: Processes, Theory and Design Practice’ (2004 – 1st Edition; 2011 - 2nd Edition), author of ‘Risk and Reliability: Coastal and Hydraulic Engineering’ (2009), and co-author of ‘Hydraulic Modelling - An Introduction: Principles – Methods – Applications’, (2009) – all published by Spon Press. He is author of over 150 refereed research publications and is a member of the Steering Committee of the NERC’s FREE research programme and the Editorial Board of the ASCE Journal of Waterways, Ports, Ocean and Coastal Engineering.  His role in the iCOASST project is to lead the team developing  and integrating statistical prediction methods into the broad-scale systems modelling framework.

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester results from the historic merger of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester in 2004 and is now the largest Russell Group University in the UK with 37,000 students, including 8,500 overseas students. It has the largest University library in the UK.  We are associated with 26 Nobel prize winners with Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov the most recent in 2010 for discovering graphene. Manchester pioneered courses in Mechanical Engineering in 1824. It is where Rutherford split the atom and the first stored memory computer was built.Administratively it is divided into four Faculties: Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical and Human Sciences, Humanities. The Manchester part of the iCOASST project is based in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.  

Professor Peter Stansby FREng has been Professor of Hydrodynamics at Manchester since 1990. He was awarded aBA in Engineering and aPhD in Aerodynamics at Cambridge University. Since around 1990 he has worked on coastal hydrodynamics, mainly in relation to shallow-water flows and surf zone waves. Since 2000 he has been involved with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on the Coasts programme. He ledthe Coastal Flooding component of the EPSRC/EA programme Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC2). Since 2004 he has become involved with wave energy devices and hisresearch on renewable energy now extends to marinecurrent turbines, funded by theETIand EPSRC.He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Manchester through Peter Stansby and Ben Rogers leads Work Package 1.3 which will provide detailed long-term large-scale residual sediment pathways, and associated deposition and erosion maps, within coastal domains of O(100km) length over time scales of O(1-100yrs). The domains will be within the Northwest European shelf (depths <200m). The results will both validate and feed quantitative information into the coastal system framework and provide boundary conditions to local models. WP1.3 will use physically-based numerical models that take into account tides, waves, wind and surge and nearshore/offshore features. Modelling will be undertaken using TELEMAC-2D for fast assessment and TELEMAC-3D and POLCOMS, including baroclinic effects, for continental shelf domains. 

University College London (UCL)

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Unit (CERU) is part of the Environmental Modelling research cluster within the UCL Department of Geography. Areas of CERU research expertise include coastal and estuarine processes (with particular reference to meso-tidal, high-wave energy systems; beach-dune morphodynamics; tidal flat and saltmarsh sedimentation; and inlet morphodynamics), numerical hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modelling; coastal GIS and the analysis of historical shoreline and shoreface behaviour; flood defence and coastal protection (including numerical modelling of managed realignments); impacts of climate change at the coast at late-Holocene and historical timescales; coastal applications of remote sensing; and specialised environmental instrumentation. We have worked closely with many of the iCOASST consortium members on past projects, and will specifically contribute expertise in geomorphology, morphodynamic and system modelling, geospatial analysis of coastal change, and software development.

Professor Jon French is Director of CERU, leader of the Environmental Modelling cluster and Head of the UCL Department of Geography. He has over 25 years experience in coastal, estuarine, fluvial and limnological research, specialising in hydrodynamics, sediment transport, landform morphodynamics and physical-based, reduced complexity, and system-level models. He received the British Society for Geomorphology ‘Wiley Award’ in 1994 and ‘Gordon Warrick Award’, in 1995 and (with Helene Burningham and Tom Benson) the 2008 Pritchard Award in Physical Oceanography from CERF, USA. In addition to his role as UCL Lead of the iCOASST project, he is UCL Lead on the UK Lake Ecological Observatory Network) (NERC NE/I007520/1). Recent projects include ‘SC060074 Large-scale coastal geomorphological behaviour’ (2007-2009) funded by EA; and ‘FD2117 Development and Demonstration of Systems-Based Estuary Simulators’ (ESTSIM; 2004-2007), funded by DEFRA. Prof. French served onthe DEFRA/EA Flood and Coastal Defence R&D Programme Technical Advisory Group for Broad-Scale Modelling (2000-2005) and was lead author of the DEFRA/EA Estuaries Research Programme – Phase 2 Science Plan. He was a member of the NERC Peer Review College (2006-2010) and currently serves on the Editorial Board of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.

National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) Liverpool

NOC's scientific research focus on oceanography encompasses global sea-levels and geodesy, numerical modelling and observations of continental shelf seas and coastal sediment processes. The NOC at Liverpool is a leading world centre in tidal prediction (with related interests in earth tides and storm surges) and a leading European centre in modelling and forecasting shelf sea dynamics. NOC specialises in developing and using advanced hydrodynamic numerical models and advanced field observation technologies that cover the marine environment from estuaries to the deep ocean.  NOC has an excellent record of national and international research collaboration. NOC has world-class expertise in interdisciplinary modelling of estuaries and shelf-seas, coastal geomorphology, operational measurement of global sea-level, near-bed turbulence and acoustic measurement of currents and suspended matter. NOC’s research programme forms part of the UK Oceans 2025 strategy, NOC’s Ocean 2025 themes related to this proposal are: Shelf and coastal processes, Next generation of ocean prediction systems and Integration of sustained observations in the marine environment.

Dr Alejandro J. Souzais a Band 4 scientist employed by NERC at the National Oceanography Centre since 1998. He has 16 year’s post-doctoral experience in numerical modelling and observational oceanography. He has long experience in studying turbulence and sediment transport processes. He is Leader of the Boundary Layer and  Sediment Transport Processes theme, he has written over 43 published articles, in ISI Journals or books. He is associate editor of Ocean Dynamics and Ciencias Marinas. He has been PI or Co-I in 28 science grants from several funding agencies, including NERC, EPSRC, Royal Society, British Council, the European Union and the US ONR and ERDC. Recent grants relevant to this proposal are: NERC-COFEE, EU-MICORE, EPSRC-LEACOST2. 

British Geological Survey (BGS)

The British Geological Survey is a NERC Research Centre and is the United Kingdom's premier centre for earth science information and expertise. The BGS provides expert services and impartial advice in all areas of geoscience. Our client base is drawn from the public and private sectors both in the UK and internationally. Our science programme covers climate and environmental change, carbon capture and storage, energy, mineral resources, earth hazards, palaeontology and biostratigraphy, groundwater, marine geosciences, land use and planning, geological mapping, and many more. Our research provides the nation with the capability to make and maintain observational data related to earth science and to the processes that generate the geological record and that comprise active geological processes. We develop computational models and an environmental modelling platform that helps predict future states of the environmental and earth system. The BGS was founded in 1835 and is the world’s oldest national geological survey.

Dr Michael A. Ellis is Head of the Climate Change programme at the BGS. He leads a wide-ranging research programme that includes palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment analyses, coastal and fluvial environmental change, and soils and landscape change.  Examples of current research projects include the hydrological and environmental changes during past times of rapid climate change, coastal erosion as a function of climate change and sea-level rise, assessment of past and present flux of CO2, soil processes and carbon cycling, the emergence and characterization of the Anthropocene, and the development of dynamic models to assess environmental sensitivity to climate (and other) change. Dr Ellis was the founder and current Chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Focus Group, and he has served as an associate editor of the AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research, Surface Earth,  Solid Earth, and is currently on the Editorial Advisory Board of EOS. Prior to 2008, Dr Ellis was the program director in the Earth Science Division of the US NSF, and prior to 2005, he was a Professor of Geology at the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis, where his principal research included processes that coupled topography, tectonics and climate. More at

HR Wallingford

HR Wallingford provides world leading analysis, advice and support in engineering and environmental hydraulics, and in the management of water and the water environment. Created as the Hydraulics Research Station of the UK Government in 1947, we became a private entity in 1982, and have since operated as an independent, non profit distributing organisation committed to building knowledge and solving problems, expertly and appropriately.  Today, HR Wallingford has a 60 year track record of achievement in applied research and specialist consultancy. We have a unique mix of know-how, assets and facilities, a full range of computational modelling tools and, above all expert staff with world-renowned skills and experience.  HR Wallingford has a pedigree of excellence and a tradition of innovation, which we sustain by re-investing profits from our operations into programmes of strategic research and development, designed to keep us, and our clients and partners, at the leading edge. With headquarters in the UK, HR Wallingford reaches clients and partners globally through a network of offices, agents and alliances around the world.  In recent years we have undertaken research for EA, Defra, EPSRC, NERC, DECC ETI and the EC amongst others, and recently led the development of the UK’s first Climate Change Risk Assessment.  We facilitate closer collaboration between academic research groups through our openly available software platform

Dr James Sutherland  is a Principal Scientist in the Coasts and Estuaries Group at HR Wallingford.  He has 24 years experience of hydrodynamic modelling and also specialises in coastal sediment transport, coastal erosion and coastal management.  During the past fourteen years at HR Wallingford, James has successfully managed and delivered many projects ranging from small desk assessments to large and complex international research and consultancy projects.  He has been a Work Package leader in the EC projects COAST3D, CONSCIENCE, HYDRALAB-III and HYDRALAB-IV and worked on the successor to iCOASST, ‘Characterisation and prediction of large scale long - term change of coastal geomorphological behaviours’ for the EA.  He is also a member of the leadership team of the IAHR Technical Committee on Coastal and Maritime Hydraulics.  James is HR Wallingford’s Project Manager for ‘iCOASST - integrating coastal sediment systems’ and is leading our involvement in WP 1 Systems Modelling Framework and WP2 ‘Development of behavioural geomorphic models.