Dr Philip Soar
Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3HE
Philip is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at the University of Portsmouth and joined the Department of Geography from JBA Consulting in 2008, where he was a Technical Director and consultant fluvial geomorphologist. He graduated with first class honours and the Geography Prize from the University of Nottingham in 1996, and went on to complete a PhD at Nottingham in 2000 entitled: ‘Channel restoration design for meandering rivers’, sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Philip then completed various projects as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at Nottingham between 2000 and 2003, including: ‘Analysis and performance of channels with compound cross sections for channel restoration design’ (funded by ERDC); ‘Practical guide for effective discharge calculation’ (funded by ERDC), and; ‘Identification of physically-based design criteria for riffle-pool sequences in river rehabilitation’ (funded by NERC). At JBA, Philip was a founder member of their geomorphology team and worked on a wide range of river and flood risk management projects, including various Catchment Flood Management Plans for the Environment Agency in England and Wales and collaborative research with the University of Nottingham through an Industrial Fellowship.
Philip has held workshops in fluvial geomorphology and river restoration at several international conferences and delivered training courses for the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the River Restoration Centre and consultants.
Philip is a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager (awarded by the Institution of Water and Environmental Management, CIWEM), Chartered Environmentalist (awarded by the UK Society for the Environment) and Chartered Scientist (awarded by the UK Science Council).
Philip’s main research interests stem from his PhD work on channel restoration design and background in applied fluvial geomorphology. A common theme of his research is using physically-based criteria for characterising river channels and developing approaches for geomorphologically sustainable river management. This includes quantifying the interface between river channel hydraulics and physical habitat for river rehabilitation and developing design approaches that better account for sediment transfer in river channels and work with natural processes.
As an industrial partner of the UK Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC), between 2004 and 2008 Philip worked with the Department of Geography at the University of Nottingham in developing a ‘tool box’ of sediment transport and transfer methods and models to support hydromorphologically-sustainable flood risk management in the UK. The programme of research investigated approaches for characterising river channel instability (potential for aggradation or degradation) at the catchment scale and considered the balance between scientific method and project management constraints in applying these tools for river management. There is an increasing need for river management and restoration approaches to assessment and design that are ‘practical’ and can be applied routinely, within acceptable bounds of uncertainty, and this objective forms an essential component of Philip’s applied research.
Philip is the course leader for two undergraduate units in fluvial geomorphology:
- River Channel Forms and Processes (Level 2) - an introduction to fluvial geomorphology
- Applied Fluvial Geomorphology (Level 3) - focusing on river channel management and restoration
In addition, Philip contributes to the Environmental Systems and Change unit (Level 1) and fieldwork in physical geography (Levels 1 and 2). In addition, he coordinates the Level 3 Independent Study programme.
Research and Knowledge Transfer Funding
'Analysing vegetation root architecture for river bank stability application' (2008-2009), funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), through the Biedenharn Group Llc, Vicksburg, Mississippi. This is a component of ERDC’s ‘Vegetation on Levees’ research programme.