Broughton Astley, United Kingdom
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Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2011

National infrastructure (NI) systems (energy, transport, water, waste and ICT) in the UK and in advanced economies globally face serious challenges. The 2009 Council for Science and Technology (CST) report on NI in the UK identified significant vulnerabilities, capacity limitations and a number of NI components nearing the end of their useful life. It also highlighted serious fragmentation in the arrangements for infrastructure provision in the UK. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from infrastructure, to respond to future demographic, social and lifestyle changes and to build resilience to intensifying impacts of climate change. If this process of transforming NI is to take place efficiently, whilst also minimising the associated risks, it will need to be underpinned by a long-term, cross-sectoral approach to understanding NI performance under a range of possible futures. The systems of systems analysis that must form the basis for such a strategic approach does not yet exist - this inter-disciplinary research programme will provide it.The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of NI. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. It will provide a virtual environment in which we will test strategies for long term investment in NI and understand how alternative strategies perform with respect to policy constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.The research programme is structured around four major challenges:1. How can infrastructure capacity and demand be balanced in an uncertain future? We will develop methods for modelling capacity, demand and interdependence in NI systems in a compatible way under a wide range of technological, socio-economic and climate futures. We will thereby provide the tools needed to identify robust strategies for sustainably balancing capacity and demand.2. What are the risks of infrastructure failure and how can we adapt NI to make it more resilient?We will analyse the risks of interdependent infrastructure failure by establishing network models of NI and analysing the consequences of failure for people and the economy. Information on key vulnerabilities and risks will be used to identify ways of adapting infrastructure systems to reduce risks in future.3. How do infrastructure systems evolve and interact with society and the economy? Starting with idealised simulations and working up to the national scale, we will develop new models of how infrastructure, society and the economy evolve in the long term. We will use the simulation models to demonstrate alternative long term futures for infrastructure provision and how they might be reached.4. What should the UKs strategy be for integrated provision of NI in the long term? Working with a remarkable group of project partners in government and industry, we will use our new methods to develop and test alternative strategies for Britains NI, building an evidence-based case for a transition to sustainability. We will analyse the governance arrangements necessary to ensure that this transition is realisable in practice.A Programme Grant provides the opportunity to work flexibly with key partners in government and industry to address research challenges of national importance in a sustained way over five years. Our ambition is that through development of a new generation of tools, in concert with our government and industry partners, we will enable a revolution in the strategic analysis of NI provision in the UK, whilst at the same time becoming an international landmark programme recognised for novelty, research excellence and impact.


NV5 Global, Inc. (the "Company" or "NV5") ( : NVEE), a provider of professional and technical engineering and consulting solutions, announced today that it has acquired JBA Consulting Engineers, Inc. ("JBA"), a Las Vegas, Nevada-based MEP engineering, acoustics, technology, and fire protection consulting firm with approximately $33 million in annual revenue. The acquisition was primarily financed with cash on hand from the Company's balance sheet and is expected to be immediately accretive to NV5's earnings. Since 1966, JBA's team of approximately 220 professionals has been serving major public and private clients such as Hilton, Marriott, and major theme parks, as well as casinos and entertainment groups internationally, including Wynn, Caesars, MGM, Crown, Sands, Red Rock, and Hard Rock. JBA is also a Trusted Advisor to the City of Las Vegas, Clark County, and McCarren International Airport. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, JBA has 12 offices in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Georgia, New York, Florida, and abroad in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Vietnam, and Macau. Regarding the acquisition, Dickerson Wright, PE, Chairman and CEO of NV5, said, "Incorporating JBA's highly skilled and established team into the NV5 family will expand and strengthen NV5's existing energy and environmental platform by introducing our professionals to new clients and making new services available to our existing clients. We have identified many great opportunities for our two organizations to move forward together and become a significant player in highly profitable markets we have sought to enter." Dwayne Miller, Chairman of JBA, added, "Over the past 50 years, JBA's exceptional engineers and technologists have worked on numerous recognizable landmarks for our industry such as the Mirage Hotel Casino, the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and most recently, the MGM and Wynn Palace projects on the Cotai Strip in Macau. Becoming part of NV5 enables us to elevate our business and 'care, lead and do great work' at a whole new level." The Company expects to report the following estimated financial results for the third quarter of 2016: Preliminary results remain subject to the completion of the Company's quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments and are subject to change. The Company will host its regularly scheduled conference call to discuss final third quarter 2016 financial results on November 3, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. The Company is revising its guidance for full-year 2016 for Total Revenues and Earnings. In August, the Company projected its full year 2016 Total Revenues, including the impact of acquisitions closed through June 30, 2016, to range from $230 million to $250 million, full-year Adjusted EPS to range from $1.57 to $1.70 per diluted share, and full-year GAAP EPS to range from $1.29 to $1.40 per diluted share. The Company now expects full-year 2016 Total Revenues, including acquisitions closed to date, to range from $225 million to $235 million, which represents an increase of 44% to 51% from 2015 Total Revenues of $155.9 million. The Company further expects that full-year 2016 Adjusted EPS will range from $1.49 to $1.62 per diluted share and that full-year 2016 GAAP EPS will range from $1.20 to $1.33 per diluted share. This guidance for Total Revenues, Adjusted EPS and GAAP EPS excludes any other potential acquisitions for the remainder of 2016. A majority of the anticipated shortfall is due to the ongoing delay of multiple transportation infrastructure projects in New Jersey and the previously discussed slowed recovery of the Company's pipeline energy transmission business. "The halt of our transportation projects in New Jersey is the result of a delayed vote over the proposed gas tax in the state legislature, which has since passed," said Dickerson Wright, PE, Chairman and CEO of NV5. The Company does not consider the delayed business a loss of revenue because the New Jersey projects are expected to resume after the election. As disclosed in the Company's Form 8-K filed on October 14, 2016, NV5 has entered into a commitment letter with Bank of America, N.A. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. for a five-year senior revolving credit facility for up to $140 million. Upon entering into the facility, the Company intends to use this source of liquidity to help execute its acquisition strategy. In addition to the JBA transaction, the Company is working on a number of other opportunities that may close by the end of the year. The Company estimates that, if closed, these acquisitions would add another $35 million to $50 million in annual revenue. The Company is accordingly reconfirming its commitment to reaching $300 million in run rate revenues by the end of 2016. NV5 will host an investment community conference call on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern to discuss the JBA acquisition, updated guidance, the Bank of America facility, and the Company's mergers and acquisitions pipeline. Please dial-in at least 5-10 minutes prior to the start time in order for the operator to log your name and connect you to the conference. A replay of the conference call will be available approximately one hour following the conclusion of the call through November 1, 2016. To access the replay via telephone, please dial: NV5 Global, Inc. ( : NVEE) is a provider of professional and technical engineering and consulting solutions to public and private sector clients in the infrastructure, energy, construction, real estate and environmental markets. NV5 primarily focuses on five business verticals: construction quality assurance, infrastructure, engineering and support services, energy, program management, and environmental solutions. The Company operates 60 offices in 26 states nationwide, and is headquartered in Hollywood, Florida. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.NV5.com. Also visit the Company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Vimeo. This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. Such factors include: (a) changes in demand from the local and state government and private clients that we serve; (b) general economic conditions, nationally and globally, and their effect on the market for our services; (c) competitive pressures and trends in our industry and our ability to successfully compete with our competitors; (d) changes in laws, regulations, or policies; and (e) the "Risk Factors" set forth in the Company's most recent SEC filings. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update such statements, except as required by law. Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures Total Revenues is not a measure of financial performance under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). Gross Revenues - GAAP include sub-consultant costs and other direct costs which are generally pass-through costs. Furthermore, Gross Revenues - GAAP eliminates intercompany revenues where the Company performed the service in lieu of using a third-party sub-consultant. Therefore, the Company believes that Total Revenues, which is a non-GAAP financial measure commonly used in our industry, provides a meaningful perspective on its business results. A reconciliation of gross revenues as reported in accordance with GAAP to Total Revenues is provided at the end of this news release. Adjusted earnings per diluted share data ("Adjusted EPS") is not a measure of financial performance under GAAP. Adjusted EPS reflects adjustments to reported diluted earnings per share ("GAAP EPS") data to eliminate amortization expense of intangible assets from acquisitions. As the Company continues its acquisition strategy, the growth in Adjusted EPS will likely increase at a greater rate than GAAP EPS as reported in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of GAAP EPS to Adjusted EPS provided at the end of this news release. NV5's definition of Total Revenues and Adjusted EPS may differ from other companies reporting similarly named measures. These measures should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, other measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP, such as contract revenues, net income and diluted earnings per share.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 634.73K | Year: 2015

Recent flooding events such as those of winter 2013/14 in the South West of UK have highlighted the importance of having greater resilience in our transport infrastructure. The failure of bridges or even a reduction in service during and in the aftermath of floods can lead to significant direct and indirect costs to the economy and society, and hamper rescue and recovery efforts. For example, 29 bridges collapsed or were severely damaged during the 2009 floods in Cumbria leading to nearly £34m in repair and replacement costs, and significantly larger economic and societal costs. This research aims to enhance the resilience of our transport infrastructure by enabling practitioners to assess the risks to bridges from debris accumulation in the watercourse, a leading cause of bridge failure or damage during floods both in the UK and world-wide. It will address an important industry need as there is currently no guidance available for practitioners to evaluate the hydrodynamic effects of debris blockage at bridges and in particular, at masonry bridges, which are most susceptible to debris blockage. Floating debris underneath or upstream of a bridge can significantly increase downstream flow velocities, which can worsen scour around piers and abutments. It can also increase water levels on the bridge and thereby cause large lateral and uplift pressures, which are especially problematic for masonry bridges since they rely on self-weight of masonry and fill to transfer load. This project will aim to understand and characterize the hydrodynamic effects of debris blockage through a combination of laboratory experiments in flumes and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling. It will then develop a risk-based approach for assessing the scour, and uplift and lateral forces at individual bridges due to debris blockage during flood conditions, and incorporate this approach within existing guidance for the assessment of bridges under hydraulic action. The project will be arried out by a multi-disciplinary research team with a strong track record of generating impact, and assisted by an industry consortium composed of major stakeholders involved in UK bridge management.


Harvatt J.,JBA Consulting | Petts J.,University of Southampton | Chilvers J.,University of East Anglia
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2011

Starting from a general understanding that experience of hazards is important in motivating protective response, this paper reports a novel study to understand the relationship between householder experience, understanding and response to two natural hazards-flooding and sea-level rise-in three contrasting high-risk areas of England. It presents a generic Individual Understanding and Response Framework (IURF) as a simple but potentially valuable means of comparing hazards and expressing the dynamic processes that appear to heighten or attenuate understanding and drive or constrain responses to specific natural hazards. The IURFs confirm the complexity of factors underlying householder understanding and response. Even in high-risk areas a lack of recent direct personal experience of flood events serves to attenuate understanding and to constrain motivation to take personal action. For sea-level rise, as yet a largely 'unknown' hazard in the local context, perceived responsibility to act is transferred to others. Social networks are confirmed as important local sources of information often more important than the official. People evaluate potential protection or mitigation measures in terms of their efficacy, cost and implementation barriers. The paper concludes with discussion of the communication and engagement implications for communities at risk from natural hazards. © 2011 Taylor &Francis.


Milan D.J.,University of Gloucestershire | Heritage G.L.,JBA Consulting | Large A.R.G.,Northumbria University | Entwistle N.S.,University of Salford
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms | Year: 2010

For more than a decade, habitat mapping using biotopes (in-channel hydraulically-defined habitats) has underpinned aquatic conservation in the UK through (a) providing baseline information on system complexity and (b) allowing environmental and ecological change to be monitored and evaluated. The traditional method used is the subjective river habitat or corridor survey. This has recently been revised to include the floodplain via GeoRHS, but issues still exist concerning development of a national database due to the labour intensive nature of the data collection, subjectivity issues between samplers, temporal changes, the fuzzy nature of perceived habitats and habitat boundaries. This paper takes an innovative approach to biotope definition using high resolution spatial data to define water surface roughness for two representative reaches of the River South Tyne, Cumbria, and the River Rede, Northumberland, UK. Data was collected using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) and hydraulic variability simply expressed through assigning a local standard deviation value to a set of adjacent water surface values. Statistical linkage of these data with biotope locations defined visually in the field allowed complete mapping of the surveyed reach defining habitat and biotope areas to the fine scale resolution of the TLS data. Despite issues of data loss due to absorption and transmission through the water, the reflected signal generated an extremely detailed and objective map of the water surface roughness, which may be compared with known biotope locations as defined by visual identification in the field. The TLS accuracy achieved in the present study is comparable with those obtained using hyperspectral imagery: with 84% of the pool/glide/marginal dead water amalgamated biotope, 88% of riffles, 57% of runs and 50% of the amalgamated cascade/rapid biotope successfully plotted. It is clear from this exercise that biotope distribution is more complex than previously mapped using subjective techniques, and based upon the water surface roughness delimiters presented in this study, the amalgamation of pools with glides and marginal dead waters, riffles with unbroken standing waves, and cascades with rapids, is proposed. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Milan D.J.,University of Gloucestershire | Heritage G.L.,JBA Consulting | Large A.R.G.,Northumbria University | Fuller I.C.,Massey University
Geomorphology | Year: 2011

Scour and fill estimation from digital elevation model (DEM) subtraction or differencing is an increasingly common technique in morphological and sediment transport investigations. The technique is commonly used to estimate scour and fill volumes and to produce scour and fill maps that provide process-based information to geomorphologists. Accounting for sources of uncertainty within the DEM is of critical importance. DEM error is spatially variable and has a tendency to be greater at breaks of slope such as bar and bank edges. In the past however, this has been achieved using a uniform error metric across the DEM, resulting in over-conservative estimates of error. In turn this has led to over-conservative scour and fill volumes, and incorrect process interpretation. This paper applies a new approach that permits assessment of spatially distributed error across a DEM. The method is tested on a sequence of field surveys of the gravel-bed River Nent, Cumbria, UK. The results demonstrate some dramatic differences: application of conventional techniques that account for mean error across a DEM led to a 15 and 31% underestimation in scour and fill volumes, respectively, between July and October 1998, whilst for the October 1998-June 1999 subtraction 31 and 13% of scour and fill were underestimated respectively. Use of a uniform error across a surface captures less change in comparison to a spatially distributed approach. Furthermore, the changes captured using a uniform error are biased toward areas of the channel that have more local topographic variability such as bar and bank edges. In contrast the use of a spatially distributed approach provides information on change from flatter surfaces such as bar tops that would otherwise be missed. This study also demonstrates that estimates of morphological change can be misleading in the absence of an error filter. Where the raw survey data is available, it is recommended that sediment budgeting studies take account of the spatial variability of error in each DEM involved in the subtraction. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Hannaford J.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Lloyd-Hughes B.,University of Reading | Keef C.,JBA Consulting | Parry S.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Prudhomme C.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2011

Droughts tend to evolve slowly and affect large areas simultaneously, which suggests that improved understanding of spatial coherence of drought would enable better mitigation of drought impacts through enhanced monitoring and forecasting strategies. This study employs an up-to-date dataset of over 500 river flow time series from 11 European countries, along with a gridded precipitation dataset, to examine the spatial coherence of drought in Europe using regional indicators of precipitation and streamflow deficit. The drought indicators were generated for 24 homogeneous regions and, for selected regions, historical drought characteristics were corroborated with previous work. The spatial coherence of drought characteristics was then examined at a European scale. Historical droughts generally have distinctive signatures in their spatio-temporal development, so there was limited scope for using the evolution of historical events to inform forecasting. Rather, relationships were explored in time series of drought indicators between regions. Correlations were generally low, but multivariate analyses revealed broad continental-scale patterns, which appear to be related to large-scale atmospheric circulation indices (in particular, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the East Atlantic-West Russia pattern). A novel methodology for forecasting was developed (and demonstrated with reference to the United Kingdom), which predicts 'drought from drought'-i.e. uses spatial coherence of drought to facilitate early warning of drought in a target region, from drought which is developing elsewhere in Europe. Whilst the skill of the methodology is relatively modest at present, this approach presents a potential new avenue for forecasting, which offers significant advantages in that it allows prediction for all seasons, and also shows some potential for forecasting the termination of drought conditions. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Forsythe N.,Northumbria University | Fowler H.J.,Northumbria University | Kilsby C.G.,Northumbria University | Archer D.R.,JBA Consulting
Water Resources Management | Year: 2012

Now and in the future, the flows of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) are and will be depended upon by hundreds of millions of people for their food security and economic livelihoods. Communities in the headwater reaches of the UIB-which contribute the bulk of runoff for the basin-are equally deserving of improved living conditions, but often lag behind downstream communities in benefitting from infrastructure. Harsh and highly variable climatic conditions pose specific challenges for local agricultural activities in the headwater reaches. Improved scientific understanding of tributary basin scale hydrology should support local development work as well as improvements to large scale infrastructure and water resource management. This study focuses on the challenge of providing meaningful quantitative information at the village/valley scale in the upper reaches of the UIB. The typology of the UIB hydrological regimes-as observed in large gauged basins-are examined, with special emphasis on annual cycles and interannual variability. Variations in river flows (as relative anomalies of discharge rates or runoff) are compared to observations of climate parameters (2 m air temperature, precipitation) from both local (point-based) observations and analogous parameters from remote sensing data products from the MODIS instrument. Although the temporal overlap is limited between river gauging data available to this study and the MODIS observational record, numerical analysis of relationships between relative anomalies in the spatial data and river gauging observations demonstrate promising potential of the former to serve as quantitative indicators of runoff anomalies. In order to translate these relationships to the scale of ungauged village/valley catchments, the available remotely sensed spatial data-snow covered area (SCA), land surface temperature derived (LST)-are assessed as analogues for meteorological point observations. The correlations between local (point-based) observations and remotely-sensed spatial data products are tested across a wide range of spatial aggregations. These spatial units range from the primary contributing area (nearly 200,000 km 2) of the UIB at its downstream gauging station Besham to a small valley serving a minor settlement (10 km 2). The shape and timing of annual cycles in SCA and LST are consistent across the range of spatial scales although the magnitudes of both intra-annual and interannual variability differ with both spatial scale and hydrological regime. The interannual variability exhibited by these spatial data products is then considered in terms of its potential implications for the smaller hydrological units. Opportunities for improvement and extension of this methodology are also discussed. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Neal J.,University of Bristol | Keef C.,JBA Consulting | Bates P.,University of Bristol | Beven K.,Lancaster University | Leedal D.,Lancaster University
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2013

Effective flood risk management depends on methods for estimating flood hazard and an appraisal of the dominant uncertainties in the analysis. Typically, hydraulic models are used to simulate the extent of flooding for an estimate of the flow in a particular reach for a chosen probability of exceedance. However, this definition causes problems at river confluences where flows derive from multiple sources. Here, a model-based approach was adopted to describe the multisite joint distribution of river flows for three rivers that converge on the city of Carlisle (UK). Monte-Carlo methods were used to generate flood events with realistic spatial dependence between tributaries which would occur over a 1000year period. To account for the uncertainty in the data used to create the event set, block bootstrapping was used to produce a further 100 runs of the event generator over notional 1000year periods. Each of the 20000 events created by this process was then simulated using a 10m resolution two-dimensional hydraulic model of the whole city to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach. Spatial dependence was found to be important because no single event caused the maximum flood extent at all locations and assuming perfect correlation between tributaries overestimated flood hazard. Uncertainty in estimates of inundation probability was significant to the extent that confidence intervals in risk estimates were larger than expected; however, the interaction of flows with the flood defences and valley topography gave a distinct structure to the inundation probabilities and risk. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Jeremy B.,JBA Consulting
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Forensic Engineering | Year: 2013

A review of accident reports and other sources has shown there have been 15 fatalities, and perhaps 4-5 times that number of injuries, which can be attributed to structural failure during flooding on the railway system in Britain since the 1840s. The resulting present-day economic damage is estimated to be at least £300 million. Bridge failure due to flooding is most commonly associated with 'extreme' but not necessarily 'very rare' floods; the average event rarity associated with catastrophic failure is 1 in 160-year return period, but the range of 200-250 years includes most floodrelated failures. Undermining of abutments and piers by scour is the most common form of failure of bridges. The remaining failures can be attributed to six other failure sequences which are currently not adequately addressed within the existing procedures. Of these six, debris collection resulting in enhanced local scour and the location of structures in rapidly responding catchments are considered the most significant. It is recommended that the design flood for scour assessment and protection design should be based on a 200-year return period flood event. A higher value (of 1000 years) may be appropriate for structures with a particularly high consequence of failure. © ICE Publishing: All rights reserved.

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