Scour Assessment Workshop in Bristol


On 16th December 2019, the research team from the University of Exeter (Dr Diego Panici and Dr Prakash Kripakaran) and the industry partner of Devon County Council (Mr Kevin Dentith and Mr Simon Hollyer) presented the outcome of the research on the effects of debris accumulations on bridge scour with practical applications on case-studies. The workshop showed the methodology developed by the research team, which includes the estimation of the size of debris accumulated at bridges and the scour depth induced by such accumulations. The event was specifically designed for practitioners (e.g. local councils, Highways England), since this methodology is being included in Highways England’s new Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB). The presentations from the research team are available here.

Dissemination workshop | update


We hosted a successful dissemination workshop on our project on October 31, 2018 in Exeter. The event was attended by a number of industry practitioners including local authorities, consultants and stakeholder groups and also by few members from academia. Copies of the slides and agenda are available below. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in finding out more about our project.



Dissemination workshop


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On 31 October 2018, we will have a workshop at the University of Exeter on Assessment of Debris Related Scour Risks to Bridges. The workshop will present a new approach for assessing the scour risks due to debris blockage at bridge piers. This approach is in the process of becoming embedded as part of (i) C742: CIRIA manual for scour at bridges and hydraulic structures findings and (ii) BD97: the Highways England guidance for assessing scour risks for bridge structures. The approach and other findings to be presented at this workshop are outputs from an EPSRC-funded Project titled “Risk Assessment of Masonry Bridges under Flood Conditions: Hydrodynamic Effects of Debris Blockage and Scour”.

Followings are details and directions.


  • Wednesday 31 October 2018 (10:00 – 16:00)


  • University of Exeter (UoE), Reed Hall (EX4 4QR) – Ibrahim Ahmed Room (
  • University of Exeter (UoE), Harrison Building (for optional tour to the Fluids Lab at the end of the workshop).

Paper in ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering

Our paper “Experimental Study on Scour at a Sharp-Nose Bridge Pier with Debris Blockage”, Ebrahimi et al. (2018), is in press in the ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. The paper discusses effect of debris on scour in shallow and deep flows and provides insights on the effect of debris elevation (in water column) on scour depth at a sharp-nose bridge pier.

5th Steering Committee at Exeter

The 5th Steering Committee Meeting was held on the 8th of January 2018 at the University of Exeter.

A method (under development) for including effect of debris on scour based on experimental data was introduced. Experiments on a single span arch for measuring hydrodynamic pressure were reviewed. Results on scour simulation at a single pier and arch bridge, carried out using OpenFOAM, were also presented and discussed. This was followed by a discussion & feedback session, by the steering committe, on results and delivering impact.



4th Steering Committee Meeting

The 4th Steering Committee Meeting was held on the 12th of June 2017 at the University of Exeter.

Recent devlopments in experimental modelling (e.g. velocity measurements, effect of debris elevation on scour depth at a pier, and scour protection by riprap) and CFD modelling (model validation and 12th OpenFOAM Workshop at the University of Exeter) were discussed. This was followed by a discussion on the results.

3rd Steering Committee Meeting

The 3rd Steering Committee Meeting was held on the 11th of November 2016 at the University of Exeter.

An overview of the project and work plan was presented. Preliminary experimental results were presented and discussed. Experimental improvements were also demonstrated in a lab tour.

After the lunch, a presentation on use of OpenFOAM for CFD simulations was done and future plans were shared with the Committee. This was followed by a discussion on the preliminary results and work challenges.