HEC-RAS 2D Modelling Workshop 2018

Following the success of the 2016 and 2017 workshops, we once again organised a HEC-RAS workshop for the third year running. Frank O’Connell attended this year’s event and below fills us in on the exciting details of meeting the developers
in person.


Bringing two of the lead developers of the Hydrologic Engineering Centre (HEC) software over from sunny California to (also sunny) London, JBA delivered a series of lectures and practical exercises on using the newly released HEC-RAS v5.0.5 over the course of three days. This year’s venue was the CCT at the Barbican, which was a great central London location, with an easy jaunt to the tube and several restaurants and pubs nearby for evening activities.

The developers who made the trip were Gary Brunner (Senior Technical Hydraulic Engineer), who is the original author and leader of the HEC-RAS software development team, and Cameron Ackerman (Senior Hydraulic Engineer), who is the lead for RAS Mapper.

It really was an invaluable resource to have the guys there first-hand to answer any questions we had and to engage in discussions about the software and where it might go in the future. Our visitors also commented that it was great for them to be there too, as the people taking the course often provided valuable feedback, potentially giving them some new ideas about where they can take the software with successive releases.

Knowledge sharing

JBA Dave Cameron presenting at the HEC-RAS workshop 2018
Dave Cameron presenting at the HEC-RAS 2D Modelling workshop 2018

We were eased into proceedings on the first day with JBA’s Head of Flood Modelling, Neil Hunter, who gave a welcome speech which featured both introductions for our guests and a few different case studies illustrating how JBA use HEC-RAS on a day-to-day basis.

Following this, posters were displayed, and presentations were given, each focusing on a different aspect on how HEC-RAS can be used. JBA were well represented with Stuart Marshfield, Jose Sabatini and Dave Cameron all delivering very interesting and distinct presentations. Following this, a drinks reception was hosted at the venue, where everybody was encouraged to mingle and converse. It was really good to talk to people who work for other consultancies to see how they use HEC-RAS in the industry, as well as picking the brains of RAS’s lead developers of course.

HEC-RAS v5.0.5

The 2nd day of the workshops focused on a few of the new aspects of HEC-RAS v5.0.5, with a mix of lectures and exercises being delivered by both Gary and Cameron. Topics on this day dealt with subjects like how to develop a terrain model, a Manning’s n layer, as well as a 2D computational mesh. We also learned how to establish boundary conditions within a 2D model, and also how to view both 1D and 2D outputs using RAS Mapper, a very powerful tool indeed.

The format of the 3rd day was similar, albeit more leaning towards practical exercises rather than lectures. On this day we tackled subjects like channel and floodplain modelling in 2D, levee breaching, and 2D flow areas with internal
hydraulic structures.

Invaluable experience

A major theme throughout the three days was interactivity, where everybody was encouraged to ask questions and discuss problems at any time. This really created a positive learning environment, where everybody felt they were benefiting from all questions and answers. All-in-all, it was a really excellent few days for many reasons, and was very well organised. Special thanks to both Gary and Cameron, who made the long trip over to help us out with all our HEC-RAS queries. A third successful workshop, and I’m looking forward to the fourth!

Want to know more?

Email Frank O’Connell for more information on the HEC-RAS 2D Modelling Workshop 2018 or visit the HEC workshop web page to see the 2018 programme and case study posters. You can also visit our flood modelling web page for more information on our work in this area.

Click here to register your interest for the 2019 HEC Workshop with Felicity Clarke, Training Coordinator.

JBA HEC-RAS workshop group shot
Thank you to everyone who attended the HEC-RAS 2D Modelling workshop 2018


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