By 2016/17 ECE student Ben Flett
The new Cohort of ECE students started the year with a trip to Portsmouth to look at some of the coastal defenses put in play by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership. The morning started with an opening talk from the ESCP and a brief overview of the Partnership as well as mass consumption of Tea and Coffee. After the opening talk we were then walked around the Old Portsmouth area and shown some of the rock armor, flood gates, and sea wall put in place to defend the old walls of the ancient fortifications as well as the high value properties in the nearby area. Continuing in the Old Portsmouth area we then walked round the peninsula again viewing the sea wall and rock armour, with fantastic views of the Spinnaker tower. After which we then moved towards a more commercial area adjacent to the Ben Ainslie racing HQ. In this area, flood gates were in use in order to stop flooding of high value residential areas. We were also taught about new building legislation in play in order to minimize the risk of flood damage to residential property in the area, and how choices had been made to protect the residential area over the commercial areas adjacent.
After some sandwiches and chips at the pub we then were taken to two more sites which had undergone huge development in order to protect the coastline. The engineering in both areas was extremely extensive and had been challenging to complete in the timeframes set. Both areas were spatially constrained, therefore accuracy in both areas was very important, as was the effectiveness of the protection used due to the value of the land being protected. The techniques which were used were explained and discussed by the ESCP as well as the difficulties in trying to complete the latter project fully due to the position of the rail link coming into the island of Portsmouth. The trip was extremely worth while and has helped the new ECE students get their eye in for the year ahead, and given a brief taste of what work could be like after the MSc!