IES Seminar Series - Prof. William Allsop


Alrick Building, Classroom 10


Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 13:00 to 14:00

Presenter: Prof. William Allsop


  • Technical Director, Maritime Structures HR Wallingford

  • Visiting Professor, University of Southampton

  • PhD student, University of Edinburgh

Title: Physical modelling of tsunami forces on buildings - Tests under the URBANWAVES project


Professor Tiziana Rossetto of UCL and I started cooperating on tsunamis during 2005. In 2007 Dr Rossetto won the EPI-CENTRE project within which HR Wallingford built the first generation Tsunami Simulator. Model tests in 2008 proved the concept, and generated new data on tsunami run-up and initial data on forces on buildings. At Wallingford we then built a numerical model of the Tsunami Simulator leading to improvements in both the device design and operation.

Then in 2014 HR Wallingford partnered UCL in a successful research bid to the European Research Council named URBANWAVES. Under this grant, and another project CRUST, the 2nd generation Tsunami simulator has been used for testing intensively sea defences and single buildings in 2015-16. Now the 3rd generation Tsunami Simulator is constructed, and this will be used testing during summer 2016.

This presentation will summarise some of the studies through 2008 to 2014, and a particular set of tests on forces on buildings by the HR Wallingford team since Christmas 2015.


William Allsop is Technical Director for Maritime Structures at HR Wallingford (part-time), responsible for consultancy and research studies, design of breakwaters, sea walls, revetments, and wide range of shoreline and related structures.

He has more than 40 years in design and construction of breakwaters (rubble mound, vertical and composite), sea walls, revetments, piers / jetties and coastal / shoreline structures. He has supervised testing in UK, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Denmark, France, Turkey and Nigeria. Recent studies have included work on major LNG terminals in the Pacific and Atlantic, the Turner Gallery at Margate, and advising US government on coastal bridges damaged by hurricanes. He has a long-term interest in historic breakwaters around the UK, particularly at Alderney, Arbroath, Peterhead, Portpatrick, Plymouth, St Andrews and Wick, now cemented by his PhD studies at Edinburgh.

William Allsop is a Visiting Professor at Southampton. He recently completed service as Chairman of ICE Breakwaters Conference, ICE Maritime Board and ICE Maritime Engineering Journal panel. He was appointed an Honorary Professor at University College London in 2014.

Further Information

Prof. William Allsop - Physical modelling of tsunami forces on buildings - Tests under the URBANWAVES project
Prof. William Allsop - Physical modelling of tsunami forces on buildings - Tests under the URBANWAVES project
IES Seminar Series - Supported by EngGradSoc
IES Seminar Series - Supported by EngGradSoc

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Monika Kreitmair

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