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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Engineering Professor presents at meeting of global mega-engineering initiatives

Published: 18 October 2016

SMMI Theme Leader and Professor of Coastal Engineering, Robert Nicholls, was invited to present at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering that took place recently in Washington DC.

Professor Nicholls gave one of three talks in Plenary Session on Mega-Engineering Initiatives. He spoke on ‘Adaptation to Sea Level Rise’, together with talks by Gwynne Shotwell from SpaceX about the future of space travel and Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Former Director General CERN, who spoke about the engineering of the Large Hadron Collider.

The following day, Professor Nicholls contributed to a lively three-hour Forum Panel also on ‘Adaptation to Sea Level Rise’ moderated by Ali Velshi, Global Affairs and Economics Journalist for Al Jazeera America. The other Panel members were Dr Kate White, Senior Lead for Global and Climate Change in the US Army Corps of Engineers; David Pearce from Consolidated Edison, who spent $1bn post-Storm Sandy addressing coastal flood risks to their infrastructure; Rear Admiral Bret Muilenburg, Commander Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and Bart de Jong, Conselor for Infrastructure and the Environment, Royal Netherlands Embassy.



The interest in the event was significant with a large attendance. The discussions showed that there is no one silver bullet and this is a challenging issue for the coming century. However, there was increasing recognition of the challenge of sea-level rise and a willingness by the US Engineering Community to take this on.

Professor Robert Nicholls - Professor of Coastal Engineering
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