Integrated Systems for Sustainable Surface Water Management LEC.446

This module will provide students with an introduction to flood risk management in the context of UK policies, legislation and spatial planning.

Course Overview

It will provide a foundation in flood risk related responsibilities and assessment and introduce the key concepts in urban hydrology and sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).

Practical application of SuDS in the context of the emerging guidance and legislation will be covered using case studies of SuDS implementation in a variety of situations. Delegates will learn about the design of SuDS systems, from outline design concepts to assessment of performance, estimation of flow and water quality loading.

Who should attend?

The module is particularly relevant to engineers and other specialists working in development control or the design of new infrastructure, consultants and developers involved with planning applications or flood risk/drainage impact assessments, flood management authorities and catchment managers seeking to implement sustainable water management practices. 

Course outcomes

On completion of this course, delegates will be able to:

  • Apply practical skills and techniques in surface water assessment and modelling to successfully manage flood risk and implement water sensitive urban design solutions.
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to undertake a Flood Risk Assessment.
  • Select and apply the best techniques and models for estimating design flows in urban drainage systems.
  • Efficiently plan, design, construct and manage SuDS schemes in accordance with the relevant legal and regulatory framework.

Topics covered

  • Flood risk responsibilities (the Flood Risk Management hierarchy, Planning policy and guidance (in England), UK legislation and the adoption of SuDS infrastructure)
  • Flood Risk Assessment
  • Urban hydrology (Conceptual models of urban and rural runoff processes, urban drainage runoff estimation techniques and limitations)
  • Key concepts, features and performance of SuDS systems
  • Practical application of SuDS in context of the emerging guidance and legislation, designing and planning SuDS and obtaining consents
  • SuDS design, construction and management
  • Surface water management train infiltration devices, swales and filter strips, permeable surfaces, ponds, basins and wetlands
  • Hydraulic modelling for drainage and SuDS: key concepts, methods and principles
  • Introduction to industry standard modelling software (Micro drainage, MUSIC, InfoWorks) and how to interpret the outputs


  • Interactive presentations, exercises, worked examples and case studies.
  • Field trip to a SuDS scheme.
  • Group discussions
  • A comprehensive set of course notes and learning resources will be provided.


Rene Dobson BEng CEng MICE

René is a chartered engineer with 22 years’ experience in the water and environmental engineering sector. He specialises in achieving sustainable flood risk management solutions and delivering river engineering and urban drainage projects from inception to detailed design and construction. Rene has published and presented papers on the application of SuDS for urban flood alleviation and habitat enhancement and has worked closely with SEPA on a number of challenging developments to maximise habitat enhancement potential and the social benefits of SUDS in the urban environment.

He developed the first SuDS to be licensed under the Controlled Activities Regulations in Scotland and has designed fully soft engineered SuDS solutions in sensitive catchments. René has extensive experience in developing and implementing effective drainage management solutions for construction sites in environmentally sensitive areas such as SAC’s, SSSI’s and nature reserves.


Jeremy is Executive Chairman of the JBA Group and has over 30 years’ water engineering, management and hydrology experience working in the UK and overseas. He has published and lectured widely on these subjects.

He has been involved in the feasibility and detailed design of irrigation, drainage, flood walls, and storage reservoirs, ranging from culvert replacements to multi-million pound flood alleviation. He is the Visiting Professor in Flood Risk Management at Sheffield University.

Jeremy has been involved with flood risk mapping (at national and local scales) since 1984 and is Framework Director for the Water & Environmental Management Framework for the Environment Agency in England. He has contributed to national Flood Risk Mapping technical groups in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, the USA and Vietnam. He has also been engaged to advise the Scottish Executive and the Office of Public Works in Ireland on options for flood risk mapping, flood forecasting and warning, and catchment flood management planning.

Jeremy has particular interests in computational hydraulics and hydrological modelling and is an acknowledged expert on the assessment and management of scour risk to engineering structures.