Training approach

We offer a range of one day training courses in coastal, flooding, economics and nature-based solutions for extreme weather resilience.

Our courses are a combination of presentations and a practical exercise, comprising a staged series of smaller exercises. Delivery targets an interactive and engaging teaching style as we recognise the range and depth of experience of attendees will vary. Although there will be elements of more traditional classroom “teaching” , many of the key learning outcomes will be developed through interactive practical group exercises , underpinned by workbooks and comprehensive course notes. In order to have an interactive and fully inclusive learning style we target small groups of around 10-12 participants.

Coastal Natue Based Solutions

Ecosystem-based mitigation strategies are rapidly gaining interest to mitigate the adverse effects of flooding, erosion, and future climate change. At a catchment-wide level these strategies could include mangrove restoration, integrated basin management, channel restoration, beach management, and sand dune management. But a coastal-focussed project requires a detailed understanding of the local coastal processes, types of materials available, their likely response and performance, and local planning requirements There is a wide spectrum of options and design techniques for these coastal Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), yet often what works at one location will be constrained at another, with poorly designed schemes at risk of failure.

This one-day introduction course is targeted at early-stage practitioners, designers, assessors and Local Governments to better understand the implementation, opportunities, and risks of NBS in the coastal environment. Our course includes:
1) The theory and practice of coastal NBS
2) Understanding processes and benefits
3) Assessing the potential for NBS
4) Reducing wave height through dissipation
5) Design overview for rocks, wood, mangroves, seawalls, reefs
6) Risk, residual risk, whole systems and uncertainties
7) Planning approvals and legislative requirements

A range of tools will be provided to course attendees, including design and planning check sheets in Ms Excel.

Waves and wave modelling with SWAN

This course focusses on wave modelling; including theory, analytical calculations, numerical modelling and physical modelling. It will introduce the standards, best-practise guidelines and how to perform simple checks. It includes several hands-on tutorials, including step-by-step guidance to develop a wave model for Savusavu; a coastal town located in Fiji.

This course is targeted at early-stage practitioners, designers, assessors and Councils to better understand the numerical wave model SWAN and how it can be used for coastal assessments.

Our course includes:
1) The theory of waves
2) Sources of uncertainty
3) Tutorial on setting up SWAN control files
4) Grid generation and assigning bathymetry
5) Selection of boundary conditions and simulation parameters
6) Model calibration and validation
7) Viewing and interpreting results

The course has been deliveed through the Australian Water School and can be attended via their ‘on demand’ training portal: https://awschool.com.au/training/swan-wave-modelling/

https://awschool.com.au/training/swan-wave-modelling/

Ecosystem-based mitigation strategies are rapidly gaining interest to mitigate the adverse effects of flooding, erosion, and future climate change. At a catchment-wide level these strategies could include mangrove restoration, integrated basin management, channel restoration, beach management, and sand dune management. But a coastal-focussed project requires a detailed understanding of the local coastal processes, types of materials available, their likely response and performance, and local planning requirements There is a wide spectrum of options and design techniques for these coastal Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), yet often what works at one location will be constrained at another, with poorly designed schemes at risk of failure.

This one-day introduction course is targeted at early-stage practitioners, designers, assessors and Local Governments to better understand the implementation, opportunities, and risks of NBS in the coastal environment. It is initially offered throughout Queensland and Northern NSW (Australia) and online.

Our course includes:
1) The theory and practice of coastal NBS
2) Understanding processes and benefits
3) Assessing the potential for NBS
4) Reducing wave height through dissipation
5) Design overview for rocks, wood, mangroves, seawalls, reefs
6) Risk, residual risk, whole systems and uncertainties
7) Planning approvals and legislative requirements

A range of tools will be provided to course attendees, including design and planning check sheets in Ms Excel. For those attending in South East Queensland the course will include demonstrations using the JBP wave tank, which will help consolidate the theory discussed in the course.

Register interest via michelle.wu@jbpacific.com.au or using the online form here:

This project was delivered with the JBA Group for the World Bank which involved the assessment and development of actions for flood mitigation in two urban areas in Burundi, Africa.

The project included hydrology, hydraulic modelling, urban drainage, risk modelling, water resources and disaster risk management, where we worked in partnership with a technical committee in Burundi to collect data and develop modelling systems for decision making. Our assessment and modelling focussed on Lake Tanganyika, and the impacts on rising lake levels on local communities within Bujumbura and Gatumba. Here regional flood risk has been exacerbated by rising water levels in the lake which has been coupled with recent extreme rainfall. The Flood Hazard Assessment produced estimates of inundation hazards which were used to consider the social and economic losses from a given event, based on local demographic and infrastructural data. It has supported a strategic investment plan, which provides different strategies for intervention for Disaster Risk Reduction, with management reports disseminated back to the World Bank team and Government of Burundi.

This week (April 2023) we have seen Tropical Cyclone Ilsa intensifying rapidly as it begins final approach to Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

With traditional cyclone insurance unavailable for many areas in northern Australia, we’ve put the spotlight on the use of Parametric Insurance as a disaster resilience tool. This is a type of policy that provides coverage based on a predetermined set of parameters, which for cyclone impacts is a wind speed threshold. So unlike traditional insurance policies that typically require on-ground assessment to understand the extent of damage, a parametric insurance policy aims to pay out automatically when the agreed-upon parameters are met.

Redicova (www.redicova.com.au) is a leading example of parametric cyclone insurance in Australia, where cover is triggered when the BoM records a severe tropical cyclone (Category 3 or higher) at the insured location. Its development has been due to the ongoing efforts of Managing Director Karen Hardy, who after experiencing the financial hardship caused to her community following a severe tropical cyclone, founded Redicova to offer a new approach for any exposed communities within northern Australia.

JBP has been working with Karen on the Redicova product since 2020, which uses our real-time monitoring system developed using Delft-FEWS. Here we access gridded forecasts, high-detail forecasts, operational best cyclone track datasets, and Automatic Weather Station data, with the system tracking the “Very Destructive” wind threshold of 118 km/hr.

If you are interested in learning more about our extreme weather forecasting systems visit our website (www.jbpacific.com.au) or contact Dan Rodger on: info@jbpacific.com.au.

Our team has been undertaking coastal and marine inspections at the Historic Sugar Wharf in Port Douglas, Queensland.

Our work included inspections to identify localised failures, uneven crossfall, material defects, joint condition, material deterioration, delamination, pile and concrete failures. This is combined with our review of coastal processes, tide and current assessments and wave loadings to complete the structural assessment.

If you are interested in learning more about our coastal and marine services please visit our website (www.jbpacific.com.au) or contact Brian Lam on: info@jbpacific.com.au

Alex Maskell has been down in Rockingham looking at the coastal processes within Warnbro Sound. Thanks to Tim Clee (Rockingham City Council) for the tour of the Sound, pointing out the important features such as the Tern Island Sandbar and discussing the ongoing management challenges.

This is an area that has experienced a very unique coastal change over the recent decades. It is a region exposed to ongoing tidal action, wave processes, storm surges, longshore drift, erosion and deposition. The Tern Island Sandbar itself is very dynamic, which is a long, narrow sandbar that extends from the shore out into the Sound. Over time it has experienced a change in direction, originally extending south-westerly, but now shifting to a southern-easterly orientation from the coast. We have used the Geoscience Australia’s DEA (Digital Earth Australia) Coastlines dataset to track its movement over time, which uses remote sensing to map the location and shape of the coastline. You can see the changes in the animation below, spanning the 1980s-present.

If you are interested in learning more about our services or working with us on a project, please visit our website (www.jbpacific.com.au) or contact Alexandra on: alexandra.maskell@jbpacific.com.au

This week our coastal modellers Alex Maskell and Mike Thomson have hit the road from Perth, Western Australia. Heading south from our office, they have been busy looking at the beaches between Perth and Bunbury, as Alex explains.


“Heading off for my first field work in Australia since returning from Scotland, the first thing that struck me was how much nicer it is without wearing a raincoat! For Mike, the biggest shock (apart from the lack of humidity compared to Brisbane) was that the ocean was to the west.

Living close to the water was a huge drawcard when I started the Western Australia office, and I’m not the only one – there is an ever-growing number of communities lining the west coast. Our first stop took us all the way down to Bunbury where we were able to try out some of our field tools. After first debating the size of sand grains on Back Beach, Mike, never leaving home without his American dime, took a SandSnap to settle the tie break (he won) and also became the first WA contributor to this fantastic collaborative project. Tools like SandSnap are great for quick analysis, which uses a deep learning neural network (~ AI) to calculate a full particle size distribution. This information then helps us model sand movement caused by the tides and waves, and allows us to predict how the coast will change under extreme events. SandSnap is actually run as aa collaborative citizen-science project that is building a world-wide database of beach sand grain sizes, so for anyone wanting to learn more, look here: https://sandsnap-erdcchl.hub.arcgis.com/

We ventured around Back Beach and Bunbury Port looking at all the coastal protection structures comparing and contrasting between the UK and Queensland. There is plenty of areas where we want to setup either a wave model or an XBeach model (using our new sand data) to help understand exactly what’s happening….which I will share next week”.
If you are interested in learning more about our services or working with us on a project, please visit our website (www.jbpacific.com.au) or contact Alexandra on: alexandra.maskell@jbpacific.com.au

Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe around the world, causing devastating damage to homes, infrastructure, and lives. This has led to an increased demand for engineering solutions that can withstand these extreme weather conditions. In response to this growing need, JBPacific (JBP) is proud to announce the opening of its new office in Perth, Western Australia. The new office will serve as a hub for our operations on the west coast , providing cutting-edge solutions to help protect communities from extreme weather events.

Dr Alexandra Maskell, who will be leading the Perth office is excited about the venture: “Perth is an ideal location for JBP’s new office, with Western Australia facing ongoing and increasing challenges from extreme weather. Western Australia is home to coastal communities, a thriving engineering industry, with a wealth of talented professionals who will help us achieve our mission of building extreme weather and climate resilience”

Our work will focus on detailed numerical modelling for extreme weather events;

  • coastal erosion
  • storm surges
  • storms
  • flooding
  • cyclones
  • wave impacts
  • changes to tidal currents
  • climate change impacts.

This information can be used by local or state government agencies, transport operators, asset managers and disaster managers to undertake risk assessments, climate resilience planning, design/construction, or develop new early warning systems. We look forward to bringing our latest technology and numerical modelling techniques to Perth, and collaborating with other industry and academic partners.

If you are interested in learning more about our services or working with us on a project, please visit our website (www.jbpacific.com.au) or contact Alexandra on: alexandra.maskell@jbpacific.com.au

Our team undertakes coastal and marine assessments that consider how waves enter and interact with harbours, breakwaters, and other structures.  This work is important to understand wave behaviour within constructed harbours and to estimate wave conditions at vessel berths, which can be affected by wave propagation, shoaling, diffraction and reflection processes. 

We commonly use XBeach, an open-source numerical model originally developed to simulate hydrodynamic and morpho dynamic processes on sandy coasts.  Throughout the model development, it has increasingly been upgraded to simulate complex structures, and validated against analytical, laboratory and field test cases.  The model now includes:

  • Short wave transformation (refraction, shoaling and breaking).
  • Long wave (infragravity wave) transformation (generation, propagation, and dissipation).
  • Non-hydrostatic wave diffraction.
  • Wave-induced setup and unsteady currents.
  • Over wash and inundation.

A big benefit of the XBeach model is that it is Open Source, free to download and comes with a great following through the community website.  Give it a go via this link:  https://oss.deltares.nl/web/xbeach/

Midge Point is a small coastal community in central Queensland that was hit by the Category 4 Cyclone “Debbie” in 2017. The resulting erosion was extreme, with the majority of beach swept away, and the township flooded from the associated storm tide. JBP undertook concept and detailed designs for a new beach nourishment, buried seawall constructed of geotextile sand containers (GSC), and dune revegetation. The sand and dune revegetation is designed to maintain coastal and ecological processes, with the GSC seawall providing a backstop defence against cyclonic erosion, with a 50-year standard of protection and 20 year design life before replacement is needed.

Figure 1: Post TC Debbie erosion at Midge Point


The new 3.6-metre buried seawall is made from 2000 GSC units, each holding 2.5m3 of sand with a weight of four tonnes. The associated nourishment will cover the full residential 900-metre shoreline, with 26,000m3 of sand imported to restore and raise the frontal dune. While the nourished beach will evolve with ongoing shoreline processes and erode over time, the sand is designed to offer increased protection from erosion and storm tides as it absorbs and spreads the waves’ energy in a storm. By including revegetation along the dune, grasses can capture wind-blown sand before it leaves the beach, with roots helping to stabilise the rear dune. The designs were approved by the State Government and recovery works supported under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

JBPs work included the following tasks

  • Concept design and numerical modelling
  • Detailed design calculation for the GSC wall
  • Detailed design for sand nourishment
  • Safety in Design report
  • Technical Specification
Figure 2: Design overlayed on the completed works (background)