skip to content

MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Construction Feasibility and Impact Assessment of Multi-Purpose Artificial Reefs

Climate change, rising sea levels, and coastal erosion pose threats to the world’s shorelines.  Multi-purpose artificial reefs (MPARs) are submerged structures that serve to protect coastlines from erosion while offering recreational surfing amenities and expanding marine ecology.  This research investigates the implementation of MPARs as a strategic solution for coastal protection.  Other potential benefits of MPARs are investigated, such as enhanced surf recreation and the expansion of marine biodiversity.  The research involves an impact assessment of Boscombe Reef in Bournemouth, England to investigate the erosion, recreation, and marine biodiversity effects of the MPAR.  The study examines the positive and negative impacts of multi-purpose reefs to support a rational determination of whether such structures (whether now or in future embodiments) are capable of accomplishing their design objectives.  Results suggest that MPARs should be considered as cost-effective coastal engineering solutions for shoreline protection.  The impact assessment and volumetric calculations reveal that Boscombe Reef resulted in formation of salient in the lee of the reef with evidence of shoreline accretion.  Also, Boscombe Reef successfully meets its pre-installation recreational design specifications while providing a habitat for a variety of marine life in the Poole Bay area. 


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.