By current ECE student Lauren Burt
As a current part-time student on the ECE course I was delighted to be able to attend as a student delegate to the three day Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) Coastal Management Conference. This took place at the Hilton in Amsterdam from the 8-9th September 2015, with a technical visit to Delft University and the Sandmotor near Ter Heijde beforehand.
The ICE ran a student competition that I entered to cover registration fees, and it was mainly due to this support that I was able to make it to the conference which brought together engineers, scientists and coastal management professionals from across the world.
Coastal Management is evidently (and understandably) a major topic of interest in the Netherlands. The visit to the mega-scale nearshore replenishment known locally as ‘De Zandmotor’ formed a main topic for discussion. Completed in 2011, there are now 4 years of coastal monitoring data (topographic surveys, Argus photography, ecological surveys, and bathymetric surveys) that are being compiled into a report expected in 2016. If you haven’t already heard of this project then it will surely come up at some point this year as it is a great case study for a variety of modules!
The conference included an array of presentations, posters and opportunities to discuss interests with experts. Despite already working in coastal science, the knowledge gained on the ECE course enabled me to ask critical questions with confidence, and it has widened my understanding of Coastal Management. There is also now a link with Delft University and the Rijkswaterstaat to provide fieldwork experience in coastal monitoring for Southampton ECE students if an opportunity arises in the future.
I would thoroughly recommend you keep an eye out on the ICE website (you can register as a student member!) as most events are free and they have occasional coastal-themed presentations. The next Coastal Management conference isn’t for 4 more years, but hopefully these will be more accessible for students and early career coastal professionals in the future.