Jeremy Benn Pacific (JBP) is celebrating its second birthday this October. Since our move to Brisbane in 2016, we are thrilled to still be here bringing our own style of Integrated Weather Risk Management into the Asia-Pacific region. We are also recruiting, so make sure any early-career water engineers look here for more details.
To mark this occasion we have asked our staff about their most memorable projects so far into our journey.
Dan Rodger, Technical Director: My favourite project has been the development of new forecasting systems, bringing in a lot of the technology used in our international projects. This work has lead to my new interest in disaster risk management, which is quite different from the typical hydrologic modelling I was exposed to as a junior engineer. The challenges in this field are twofold - first we need to adapt our systems to use ‘big data’ which often means they are very complex. But secondly we need to maintain their simple system functionality to allow a greater emphasis on multi-agency use and cooperation between first responders.
Gildas, Technical Director: Working on the design of our international breakwater project for Rhyl, North Wales (UK) has been a highlight for 2018. The renewal scheme is designed to mitigate coastal flooding during extreme storms, beyond year 2100. To meet such an expectation, we challenged ourselves to deliver a fully stochastic design, where the traditional “safety coefficients” are replaced by “probability distributions”. Reviewing the numerical modelling was a great opportunity to meet my JBA colleagues in UK. Managing the physical testing done at the Queensland Government Hydraulic Laboratory in Brisbane was also very rewarding; it allowed our design to converge on a highly resilient solution. Working in such a diverse and focused international team allowed us to challenge a few established rules which created immense value for Rhyl. Now, I’m looking forward to see Balfour Beatty building the proposed defence scheme next year!
Pam, Coastal Engineer: My highlight of 2018 was working on the Douglas Shire Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS). I was heavily involved in different stages of the project, from site inspecting crocodile infested areas to developing new models to assess the impacts of climate change on 120km of coastline. The purpose of the project was to encourage the council to address potential impacts on emergency response plans, land use planning and development decision making, and help mitigate coastal hazard risk for the community. The biggest challenge was having to constantly look out for crocodiles during site visits - one can never be too sure!
Hang, Hydraulic Engineer: This would have to be the Australian Flood Mapping project. The size of this project required us to pull together a massive amount of new knowledge and techniques, using a project team with colleagues in Australia, UK and Singapore offices. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the big JBA family. On a personal level, I now know so much more about the geography of this country.
Lochy, Engineer: My favourite project was the investigation of the Maroochy geo-bag groynes, in particular collecting data on the existing structure to inform future groyne design and construction practices. The structure has performed well over time, but is very aged and damaged, with some bags being split, punctured or completely dislodged. Data collected included taking dimensions in-situ and weighing the bags with an excavator and load cell. The data was used to obtain a statistical distribution of mass across the bags, and assess the level of deterioration of bags over time. This will all feed back into the design process, where we will design a new ‘soft’ structure that has an even longer lifespan.