Exploring the role of vegetation as a soft engineering method to reduce flooding

Every day at Plymouth I discover more about the world

I’ve always wanted to be a coastal engineer and saw Plymouth’s MSc Coastal Engineering programme as the next step to take to excel in a future career as a coastal engineer.

Every day on the programme I discover more about the engineering world and challenge myself to learn new things.

The programme has given me the opportunities to discover which area of study I wanted to pursue in my career, in the perfect location – ‘Britain's Ocean City'.

As a thalassophile – a lover of the sea – the city and the programme are the perfect combination. I can move from studying about the sea, by the sea, to hanging out with my friends on a beach after a day of classes.

I urge everyone to study with passion and to always seek out new and interesting ways to gain and develop your knowledge.

The University’s COAST laboratory facilities are very thorough and easy to access and the whole process is supported by great staff. Just simply fill out a request form with the details of your project, discuss your requirements and you will soon be beginning the magic of your research. 

The COAST lab has formed a huge part of my final year research project, which will go on to influence my career and hopefully benefit the environment.

<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>
<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>
<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>
<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>

Reducing the risk of floods with vegetation

For my final year project, I decided to focus on a series of laboratory experiments focused on different types of emergent vegetations, such as rigid, flexible and semi-flexible vegetation, and its effects to wave attenuation. 

The objectives of this study was to analyse the wave heights on upstream and downstream regions based on the different vegetation types and densities, and to study the flow of debris for different vegetation types.

The hope of this project was to overcome the compound flood to the coastal communities. A compound flood is when different climatic extremes occur simultaneously or in close succession, significantly escalating the impacts to the environment, built infrastructure and society.

The coastal communities are the most vulnerable communities to these flood hazards and other natural disasters. This study can be implemented as a soft engineering method to reduce the flood hazards to coastal communities by identifying the suitable vegetation types and densities that can reduce the flood hazards.

<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>
<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>
<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering</p>
<p>Nur Roszi, MSc Coastal Engineering<br></p>

A wave of tests in the lab

This project required the use of the COAST laboratory’s sediment wave flumes. The inclusion of current circulation in the facility allows tidal energy to be studied, as well as wave energy technology.

I used the 20m red flume for the preliminary test and the 35m flume to run the actual project. The preliminary tests were used to reduce the number of unsupported assumptions and design decisions. The actual test was repeated at least ten times to verify the validity of data in a scientific hypothesis.

After I graduate my ambition is to become a coastal engineer who focuses on sustainability. As an engineer I will be able to help change the world with inventions and solutions that affect everyone's lives. 

Working with the COAST lab on the programme has been instrumental in helping me move closer to securing this ambition.

Do you want to be involved in the defence, protection and management of the world’s coastlines?

Aimed at engineers and physical scientists, our MSc Coastal Engineering combines the theory of waves and tides with coastal modelling, port engineering and management. 

Supported by a team of experienced staff in one of the largest coastal engineering research groups in the UK, you’ll gain expertise to help progress your future career.

Study MSc Coastal Engineering