River Hydraulics: Processes, Structures and Modelling LEC.445

This module covers the key hydraulic processes, the impact of structures and provides an overview of the generic types of river model.

Course Overview

Delegates will learn how to select the most appropriate model for a particular application for flood risk management (flood warning, flood risk mapping for spatial and emergency planning, broad scale screening studies, detailed feasibility and design of flood mitigation measures).

Commercially available 1D, 2D and integrated models will be introduced, along with their data requirements, capabilities and applications including flood studies, sediment transport and tidal/coastal modelling. It will utilise case studies and involve hands-on modelling although no previous experience is required.

Hydraulic principles relating to good river weir and culvert design will be demonstrated using a hydraulic flume.  Teaching will focus on the practical application of skills and industry standard techniques in the context of the latest legislation, guidance and policy.

Who should attend?

The course is particularly relevant to design engineers, practitioners involved in flood risk management, highway and urban drainage designers, development control and consenting officers and catchment managers.

Course outcomes

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

  • Apply practical skills and techniques in flood risk management and modelling.
  • Apply the hydraulic principles and carry out basic calculations to inform river channel and culvert design in the context of flood risk management.
  • Critically evaluate the commercially available 1D, 2D and integrated models and select the best model for a specific application.
  • Identify and quantify where uncertainty exists in data and modelling and how it should be dealt with.

Topics covered

  • Key hydraulic theory and practical analysis methods for river and floodplain flow and engineered structures, such as bridges, culverts and weirs.
  • An overview of different modelling methods (1D, 2D and 3D models) and guidance on their applicability in practice.
  • Overview of proprietary industry standard software.
  • Choosing a model and software package for a particular application, what can go wrong with models and model audit/ review.


  • Interactive presentations and demonstrations, including the use of a mobile hydraulic flume to show the key hydraulic principles relating to good river weir and culvert design.
  • Hands-on exercises and modelling, worked examples and case studies.
  • Group discussions.
  • A comprehensive set of course notes and learning resources will be provided.



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.

Neil Hunter BSc PhD MCIWEM C.WEM

Neil is Head of Flood Modelling at JBA Consulting. Previously, he was a PhD student and then a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bristol. His research focused on the development and evaluation of simple GIS-based approaches for rapid modelling floodplain inundation, with the emphasis on the assimilation of remotely sensed data from air- and satellite-borne systems for model parameterisation, calibration and validation.

Since joining JBA, Neil has worked on flood mapping projects that have ranged in scale from site-specific risk analyses to national-scale flood mapping studies.

As well as being a highly experienced modeller, Neil is also a presenter on JBA’s TUFLOW, ISIS-TUFLOW and JFlow+ courses and has contributed to a number of journal papers, text books and technical guides on hydraulic modelling, including the ‘WaPUG Integrated Urban Drainage Modelling Guide’ and the ‘Evaluation of Modelling Approaches for Urban Flood Risk Assessment’ evidence report for the Pitt Review.