Network Rail weather taskforce leader to keynote at Future of Floods

Former UK Met Office chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo, who headed up Network Rail’s Weather Action Task Force initiated following the fatal derailment at Carmont in August 2020, is to deliver the keynote speech at NCE’s Future of Floods virtual event on 24 June.

Picture of Dame Julia Slingo

Delegates at Future of Floods will be able to put questions to speakers including Dame Slingo

The Network Rail convened the task force after initial investigations into the derailment suggested localised heavy rainfall triggered a landslide was the root cause of the incident and aimed to create action plans to predict and respond to future weather events. In her speech at Future of Floods, Dame Slingo will draw on the understanding gained by the task force’s work around predicting heavy rainfall events and the impact this has on infrastructure, as well as looking at how to mitigate and futureproof assets from flooding risk.

Following on from the success of last year’s Future of Floods event as an online conference, the format will be repeated this year with the event taking place via the Swapcard platform in the afternoon on 24 June. The platform allows delegates to network and interact with the sponsors of the event, as well as put questions live to the speakers – including Dame Slingo – after each session.

“We have also listened to delegate feedback and broadened the coverage of the event with speakers from Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency set to join colleagues from the Environment Agency expected to join panel debates to look at how policy and challenges vary regionally,” said NCE editor Claire Smith. “This wider look at the floods sector will give delegates greater insight and also access to best practice and innovations currently being used around the country.”

The event will feature a number of project case studies with a look at the York Flood Alleviation Scheme and a review of how to engineer ecology into coastal defence projects confirmed. Headline sponsor Polypipe will also deliver a presentation looking at how engineers and suppliers can improve surface water management in urban environments.

The conference will conclude with sessions looking at technology trends and a panel discussion on the need to consider inclusivity when it comes to flood resilience plans.

Details of the full programme and speakers, as well as how to book your place, are available on the event website –

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One comment

  1. What a pity Netwoek Rail didn’t listen to local people when they said felling trees in the breeding season 2020 was a mistake as the trees soaked up rainfall and protected the embankment. No what Network Rail actually did was to commit a criminal offence under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and just felled trees in a wholesale manner sending the chip off to be burnt increasing the CO2 which caused the problem in the first place. So well done Network Rail. Not a hint of rational thinking from the Rail Industry.

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