9:45am - 5:15pm


Rhyl and District RFC, Rhyll Rugby Club function room, Tynewydd Field, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 4AQ United Kingdom



Hosted by the CIWEM Rivers and Coastal Group

Event description

We are delighted to be holding the annual CIWEM Rivers and Coastal Group study day again in 2023. This year’s event will focus on coastal flood defence schemes, where delegates will get the chance to visit two Welsh coastal defence schemes, as well as hear about case studies from our expert speakers from Balfour Beatty, CIWEM and Conwy County Borough Council.

We will be four talks in the morning with a site visit in the afternoon. There will be plenty of opportunities to network throughout the day, with an additional two hour evening networking session to round off the day. A full agenda will be available shortly.

Lunch and light refreshments are included in the ticket price.

This event is primarily for early career professionals. We anticipate the study day will be as popular as ever, so we recommend booking early to secure your place.

Part of the CIWEM Rivers and Coastal series.


09:45 – 10:30

Welcome and “breakfast” networking with refreshments including tea, coffee and pastries

10:30 – 11:00

Talk 1 | Coastal Change: thought leadership
Mike Wellington | Member of CIWEM Rivers and Coastal Group & CIWEM FCERM Specialist Panel

11:00 – 11:30

Talk 2 | Colwyn Bay Waterfront: Development of Coastal Defence Improvements

Owen Conry | Flood Risk & Infrastructure Manager | Conwy County Borough Council

11:30 – 11:50

Coffee break/networking

11:50 – 12:20

Talk 3 | Introduction to the Central Rhyl and Prestatyn Coastal Defence Schemes

Ian Beckett | Design Manager | Balfour Beatty

12:20 – 12:50

Talk 4 | Geotechnical challenges for the Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme

Ian Johnson | Technical Director of Geotechnics | JBA Consulting

12:50 – 13:20

Talk 5 | Coastal structures design of the Central Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme

Nick Clarke | Senior Coastal Engineer | Mott MacDonald

13:20 – 14:00


14:00 – 17:15

Site visit

17:15 – 19:15

Evening networking including dinner and drinks

About the speakers

Mike Wellington

Mike Wellington is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Water and Environmental Manager with over 35 years’ experience in FCERM. He is a member of CIWEM’s Rivers and Coastal Group and CIWEM’s FCERM Specialist Panel, he is also a member of the Welsh Government’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee. He will present CIWEM’s thought leadership on Coastal Change and introduce the day discussing Welsh Government’s Coastal Risk Management Programme (CRMP) which started off as a 5 year programme investing £150M in coastal protection and has since been extended. The coastal defence schemes along the North Wales which are the focus of the study day coast form part of this investment programme.

Owen Conry

Owen Conry is the Flood Risk & Infrastructure Manager at Conwy County Borough Council. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer managing the delivery of FCERM projects in Conwy County both coastal and fluvial. Over the last 30 years his career has evolved from Setting Our Engineer on the original Canary Wharf development to infrastructure development and more recently to the delivery of flood risk reduction projects in Conwy County

Ian Beckett

Ian Beckett is a chartered civil engineer with 15 years’ experience of contracting covering a wide variety of civil engineering projects. In recent years as Design Manager for Balfour Beatty he has overseen the pre-construction stages of various coastal defence and highways improvements, with a focus on method-led design to develop viable and affordable schemes. This includes the Central Rhyl and Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence schemes delivered by Balfour Beatty for Denbighshire County Council under the SCAPE National Civil Engineering & Infrastructure framework.

Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson is a Technical Director of Geotechnics with JBA Consulting. He is a Chartered Geologist with over thirty-six years’ experience in Engineering Geology, Geotechnical & Geo-Environmental Engineering with extensive experience of a broad range of geotechnical and geo-environmental projects and has a flare for innovative approaches to solving geotechnical problems, which has resulted in a number of UK industry ‘firsts’. His experience has been gained from a wide variety of projects including flood and coastal defence, water industry, major highways, dams, commercial & residential developments, renewable energy (hydropower and biogas) developments, river & port developments and rail industry geotechnics, together with Mines & Quarries Regulations works. In recent years Ian has gained particular experience of developments on extremely soft / very loose Tidal Flat Deposits (i.e. former mud flat deposits) both in the fens of East Anglia and extensive areas around the UK coast. The coastal defences scheme of Central Prestatyn and the previous East Rhyl scheme are both underlain by these deposits

Nick Clarke

Nick Clarke is a Senior Coastal Engineer with Mott MacDonald and has twenty years experience in coastal processes, numerical modelling, and engineering design of coasts and river projects.Nick has delivered a wide range of schemes in the UK and Internationally, including long-term coastal management strategies, coastal defence schemes, waterfront, and port developments.Nick has significant experience in undertaking and managing risks relating to overtopping and has assisted developing coastal strategies for Network Rail at Dawlish.Nick was the Design Lead on the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls project winning the BCIA Climate Resilience Project of the Year 2019.Nickwill discuss the design of the coastal structures used to improve coastal protection to the central frontage at Rhyl.

Booking and joining information

This event is open to members and non-members of CIWEM.

Please note there is limited capacity at this event. Bookings must be made through 'My CIWEM' using the above booking link and are only confirmed once you have clicked ‘proceed & submit’ in the cart and received a confirmation email. Should you be unable to attend the event after booking, please cancel to allow other delegates to take the place.

If you have any questions about your booking or would like to cancel your attendance, please contact barbara.woods@ciwem.org.

If you have any queries about this talk, please contact Sam James at s.james@hrwallingford.com.

About the venue and getting there

The event will take place at Rhyl and District RFC, Tynewydd Field, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 4AQ . The venue is only 24 minutes’ walk from Rhyl railway station and several bus routes run near the venue.

As part of the site visit we will be walking on the beach. Please ensure you wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

We will let you know if PPE is required for any of the visit to the two coastal defence sites.

Travelling to the venue

As part of CIWEM’s commitment to tackling the climate and ecological emergency we would encourage delegates to use the most environmentally sustainable means of transport possible.

By Train | Underground | Tram

Rhyl railway station is the nearest mainline railway station to Rhyl and District RFC and is at Kinmel St, Rhyl LL18 1AN. Transport for Wales and Avanti West Coast trains all run to London, Manchester and Birmingham railway station for all those coming from outside Rhyl.

By Bus | Coach

The no. 11, 35 and 84 bus routes run near Rhyl and District RFC.

By foot | cycle

The Rhyl and District RFC is | are only 24 minutes’ walk from Rhyl railway station and 10 minutes’ cycle ride.

By car

If you are coming by car, please consider sharing the journey with others to reduce your environmental footprint.

As this is an in-person event, please remain vigilant to control the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe.

We would request that if you think you might have contracted COVID or have recently had the disease, that you do not attend this event.

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