The University of West of England (UWE) Bristol has for the past ten years worked closely with the Environment Agency (EA) to tackle the problem by running a course where EA sponsors trainees to study subjects including River and Coastal Science, Hydraulic Modelling, Flood Risk Mapping, Ground Engineering,Structural Analysis and Strategies in Flood Risk Management.
Trainees are based in the workplace and spend nine months full-time at UWE before completing their Foundation Degree by distance learning and block week attendance.
Jan Warden from UWE Bristol says: “Engineering projects can and do make a difference and it is critical that we look at this environmental problem and maintain investment for the future.
“In a recent article for New Civil Engineer, Mark Hansford, IBP Infrastructure and Construction writer of the Year, reported on the changing role of the flood defence engineer. He highlighted the fact that flood defence is now largely about community engagement and getting different people with conflicting priorities to band together. He cited the importance of the UWE/EA degree programme, which has seen over 150 graduates going on to work full time on flood risk management.”
Magnus Williams, who graduated from the Foundation Degree, is now employed by EA and being sponsored to study a BSc (Hons) top-up; he said, “I have recently changed job roles within the Agency so have had lots of new challenges. I have had opportunities to implement the knowledge gained at UWE Bristol and I am really enjoying the BSc top up – I believe it to be vital underpinning for my future career in engineering”.
Jan Warden concluded: “The need for the UWE Bristol degree is now even more relevant with recent severe flooding and inundation from rainfall, rivers and coasts. We are looking forward to continuing our successful relationship with the EA and our contribution to this profession.”