Site visit to HR Wallingford tsunami simulator

UPDATE (6 March 2023). Registration for the site visit is now closed.

The SECED Young Members’ Subcommittee is delighted to invite you to a visit to HR Wallingford. This will involve a guided tour of their facilities including the largest specialist tsunami simulator in Europe and talks from researchers about on-going tsunami experimental projects. The event will close with an optional social gathering at a local pub.

Event Programme - Tuesday 14 March 2023

  • 09:30 – 10:00 Meeting at Didcot Parkway Station (OX11 7NR)
  • 10:00 – 10:30 Coach to HR Wallingford (OX10 8BA)
  • 10:30 – 11:00 Presentation from HR Wallingford Engineer Dr Ian Chandler
  • 11.00 – 12:30 Guided tour of the facilities
  • 12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break & networking
  • 14:00 – 15:00 MAKEWAVES presentations (Speakers: Prof Tiziana Rossetto; Jonas Cels)
  • 15:00 – 16:30 Tsunami simulator testing 
  • 16:30 – 17:00 Coach to Didcot Parkway Station
  • 17:00 – 19:00 Networking at Princes of Wales (OX11 7NN), a pub opposite the railway station (optional)

About HR Wallingford

Changes in our climate mean that water will become scarcer in many places, increasingly volatile in others, but no less vital. Our ability to build sustainable communities, industries and infrastructure will become more challenging. Understanding the movement, changing behaviour and influence of water in the natural and built environment is essential to our future well-being.

Drawing on our unique capabilities in science, technology and engineering, we invest in knowledge to deliver insight and innovation. We harness research, intelligent data and the power of our collective expertise to design smarter, more resilient solutions to address future challenges and opportunities in, on and near water.

We are the global leaders and independent experts in how to live and work sustainably with water.

About the Tsunami Simulator

Modelling tsunami waves correctly is essential in trying to save lives when faced with these hazards. Since 2004, five major tsunamis have devastated coastlines around the world, killing around 300,000 people. Yet relatively little is known about the giant waves created by seismic movements. How do they come ashore? How do they affect coast defences? What's the best way to protect coastal communities against them? To help answer some of these questions, HR Wallingford developed the largest specialist tsunami simulator in Europe to create various types of these destructive waves. At a scale of 1:50, it generates both crest-led and trough-led tsunamis, and enables, for the first time, the simulation of full tsunami impact on urban areas, through modelling in detail the effects that tsunamis have on coast defences, and how water is channelled around clusters of buildings. This provides the most accurate testing of the forces acting on buildings. The unique feature of the latest tsunami simulator is that it makes it possible to generate the full duration of a tsunami wave, for instance with a 20 minute wave duration scaled to almost three minutes in the laboratory.

About the MAKEWAVES project

MAKEWAVES is a large international collaboration of 20 scientists, engineers, and industry partners across 11 different universities. The research is hosted by HR Wallingford and is led by Professor Tiziana Rossetto (UCL), Dr David McGovern (London South Bank University) and Dr Ian Chandler (HR Wallingford). The MAKEWAVES collaboration is currently conducting a large suite of experimental and numerical investigations of tsunami inundation of the built environment. It seeks to understand the physics of these destructive waves, and how to mitigate their impact on coastal infrastructure and improve tsunami resilience.


    The event is free to attend and open to all (including non-members of the Society), but registration is required. Please email Marco Baiguera at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your place and indicate if you arrive by train (see below). Only limited places are available, and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. A confirmation email will be sent to those securing a place.

    Further information

    • Arriving by train: a private coach will transfer those who arrive at Didcot Parkway Station by train to the HR Wallingford site. Direct and frequent trains from London, Bristol and Reading call at Didcot Parkway station.
    • Arriving by car: you can drive directly to HR Wallingford and park your car in the visitor parking. Full address is Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BA, United Kingdom. Link to what3words location details.
    • Lunch break: Details will be sent through email to those registering their interest.

    Disclaimer: SECED does not accept any liability for any personal injury, loss of property, damage to property, delays, or any other incident which may occur in the course of the site visit. SECED may utilise various independent suppliers that provide food, transportation or other services connected with the site visit. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers

    Event Details

    Event Date 14/03/2023 10:00 am
    Event End Date 14/03/2023 5:00 pm
    Location HR Wallingford

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