It is International Woman's Day, and here at the Water Academy we are proud of our track record in equality and diversity, with a strong commitment to representation, progression and success for all. Perhaps that's why we have some of the UK's finest female engineers in our team - even if we do say so ourselves! Today we would like to profile two of our leading researchers, Dr Lindsay Beevers and Dr Heather Haynes.
Dr. Lindsay Beevers is is a fluvial modeller and her research focuses on the impacts of hydrological extremes (floods and droughts) on ecosystems and society. Her work spans uncertainty assessment, climate change, ecosystem services analysis, sediment dynamics and environmental regulation and policy. We are particularly proud of Lindsay today becuase she has recieved news that she has been awarded a very prestigous Fellowship. Her research as part of the fellowship will focus on climate uncertainty and urban vulnerability to hydro-hazards. Lindsay explains
"Hydro-hazards are known to have devastating social, psychological and economic consequences for different sectors and different communities. At this time, water security is a high priority on national agendas, because of the combined effects of global population growth, climate change, urbanisation and the demand for water-intensive resources such as food and energy. This research will address the need for enhanced urban water security through transforming our approach to hydro-hazard assessment to include climate uncertainty."
Dr Heather Haynes is another leading researcher, passionatey commited to making a difference through her work. Heather is the Water Academy’s river sediment specialist. Her work involves the modelling (lab and computational) of flow and sediment transport in rivers, including flood risk, channel morphology and habitat. A recent project that Heather has been involved in is the Flood MEMORY project, which explores the impact of clusters of storm on flood risk. Heather discusses the importance of this project:
' The Flood Memory project examines observed records of storms to help us better understand how clustering of hydrological events may obscure or even exacerbate climate induced changes. A cluster, is what we experienced in the UK when storms Desmond, Eva and Frank struck in very close succession at the end of 2015. The project investigates the most critical flood scenarios caused by sequences or clusters of extreme weather events striking vulnerable systems of flood defences, urban areas, communities and businesses. The team analyse and simulate situations where a second flood may strike before coastal or river defences have been reinstated after damage, or householders and small businesses are in a vulnerable condition recovering from the first flood. By examining such events and identifying the worst case scenarios, we hope our findings will lead to enhanced flood resilience and better allocation of resources for protection and recovery.'
Projects like these make an enormous contribution to our understanding of hydrology, water security, and risks form flood and drought. In very practical terms, the output from this research will help provide the knowlege, tools and expertise to enable communities and businesses to better prepare for and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Wherever you are, we'd like to wish you a ver happy International Woman's Day!