PIANC BTV 2017 – Summary Report

15 June 2017

Tour Research Facilities of UNSW Sydney, 15 June 2017

On Thursday morning, a group of >20 Young Professionals from all over the world arrived at UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory (WRL), a world-leading academic research and consulting laboratory located in Manly Vale, New South Wales. A/Professor William Glamore gave a tour of the facilities, providing information on the different laboratories, testing basins and flumes. These included the 0.6m, 1.2m and 3m wave flumes, as well as the spillway flume (see picture below). Participants were able to take a close look to ongoing projects and the equipment used in some of them, such as groundwater field equipment, survey equipment and drones.

YP-Com Meeting

In the afternoon, the YP-Com meeting was held and the YP-Com board presented the new structure for the YP-Com:

  • Chair and Co-Chair positions
  • Delegates and supporters per region (Americas, Europe/Africa, Asia/Pacific) and
  • Delegates per country

With some 20 people attending in person and another 10 joining by Skype, a productive meeting was held, sharing experiences and lessons learnt in different countries, discussing future activities and outstanding vacancies for YP-Com positions. With the YP-Com we aim to grow the representation in the different countries and expand to new countries.

16 June 2017

Technical Tour Cruise Terminal Sydney Harbour

Friday morning started with a guided tour through the Overseas Passenger Terminal building in downtown Sydney by the Port Authority of New South Wales (NSW). The cruise quay was recently extended to almost 60 metres and can now berth larger vessels. The building was upgraded as well and now provides the possibility to both embark and disembark a vessel simultaneously. The processing time of passengers going through customs, baggage drop off, security checking, etc. is approximately 14 minutes. Cruise lines pay a head tax per visit. Vessels are encouraged to arrive before 6AM and depart before 4PM, in order to avoid congestion during peak operation hours of Sydney’s busiest ferry terminal next door.

Boat Tour Sydney Harbour

Sailing through Sydney Harbour, we got a tour seeing the navy base, cruise and ferry terminals in the Harbour as well as an amazing view of iconic buildings such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. We also visited the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and discussed it’s World Harbour Project.

Technical Tour White Bay Cruise Terminal

The purpose-build cruise terminal has been refurbished recently and shows to be a highly efficient terminal, generally the preferred terminal by cruise liners to berth when visiting Sydney. The terminal provides ample space for (dis)embarking passengers, baggage loading and car/taxi/bus parking.

Visit to Barangaroo Site

The Barangaroo Site is a 22-hectare area recovered from one of the city´s oldest industrial locations. The project redefines Sydney Central Business District (CBD) waterfront with sustainability as its main axis. It was a very interesting and enriching visit for those attending BTV, considering that the focus of the event was ´Working with Nature´.

The whole site is divided into three main areas: Barangaroo Reserve, Central Barangaroo and Barangaroo South. The group enjoyed a guided tour around Barangaroo Reserve, which is a 6ha headland open space for Sydneysiders and visitors to enjoy. Central Barangaroo, located next to the Reserve, is still in a premature phase (to be finished in 2024). Central Bangaroo will provide for a new Metro station linking the whole of Barangaroo to wider Sydney. South Barangaroo, with its three high-rise commercial towers pretends to create a major extension of the Sydney CBD. Apart from its prestigious office towers, Barangaroo South will include harbour side apartments, a hotel and casino, restaurants, bars, cafes and a wide range of shops and services.

Vivid Festival

To conclude a lovely day, the whole group gathered at the Opera Bar for food and drinks while enjoying Sydney´s Vivid Festival 2017, a spectacular festival of lights and music, with innovative light installations and grand-scale projections. A unique experience!

18 June 2017

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures – PIANC AGA and BTV participants

Participants enjoyed a half-day tour at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Hartley’s Creek is one of the longest established wildlife attractions in Tropical North Queensland, as well as being a working crocodile farm producing skins and meat for export and domestic consumption.

The group enjoyed a nice cruise through Hartley´s lagoon, getting to see saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat. At least 12 different crocodiles were spotted ranging in size from 2.5m to 5m. The guide fed some of them during the tour, enabling visitors to experience a show they would never see. The rest of the morning was spent walking around the park and appreciating its abundance of wildlife, including birds, koalas, wallabies and cassowaries. The tour ended with a great lunch at Hartley´s before returning to Cairns.

Welcome Reception at waterfront terrace of the Hilton Hotel – PIANC AGA and BTV participants

A welcome reception provided the ideal opportunity for BTV participants to catch up with previous acquaintances, meet up with colleagues and fellow PIANC members.

19 June 2017

Technical lectures – Working with Nature – PIANC BTV

A full day of inspiring technical presentations was held in the Hilton Hotel in Cairns. The theme ‘Working with Nature’ was incorporated in all presentations by the different speakers. An overview of the speakers and their background are listed below:

  • Professor William Glamore – Welcome Address
  • Mr Kevin Kane – Senior Manager Environment for North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, co-chair PIANC’s EnviCom WG 175 “A
  • Practical Environment and Planning Committee”.
  • Prof Tiedo Vellinga – Professor TU Delft Ports and Waterways, Director Environmental Monitoring Maasvlakte 2 for the Port of Rotterdam.
  • Dr Burton Suedel – US Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Ms Marika Calfas – CEO of New South Wales Ports.
  • Mr Lyle Banks – General Manager at Pilbara Ports.
  • Ms Simona Duke – Sustainability and Innovation Manager for North Queensland Bulk Ports.
  • Michael Rasheed – Researcher on Tropical Marine Habitats at James Cook University.
  • Dr Luke Twomey – Marine Scientist at Murdoch University, Australia’s representative in PIANC WG195 – Ecosystem Services for the Waterborne Transport Infrastructure Sector.

Networking breaks

The coffee/lunch breaks of the day were aligned with PIANC’s Annual General Assembly, providing opportunities to interact with the AGA participants and share knowledge and experience throughout the day. The talks held for the BTV proved to be popular, and several AGA participants made use of the opportunity to sit in on a talk whenever their programme allowed.

Gala Dinner – AGA & BTV

Monday evening we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Australian-style (share your plate with your neighbour!). While being entertained, wined and dined, the key subjects on the stage were the many words of thanks to Louis van Schel, who as per this AGA in Australia after 18 years of outstanding contribution to PIANC, playing a major role in the growth of the Young Professionals within the PIANC organisation.

20 June 2017

Technical Tour Great Barrier Reef – PIANC AGA and BTV participants

After learning about the challenges of ‘Working with Nature’ from a global, national and local perspective, we had the chance to experience the great wonders of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, sailing to the Moore Reef with a mixed group of BTV and AGA participants.

21 June 2017


After the first day of the Coasts and Ports Conference 2017, a casual ‘Sundowner’ brought together the Young Professionals attending the conference with the BTV participants. Over 65 participants shared knowledge, discussing Working with Nature-topics, alongside getting to know Young Professionals from all parts of the world, establishing new business connections and probably friends.

22 June 2017

Post-BTV networking

After the conference-attendants finished their official dinner at the Pullman Hotel, a casual get-together at the Casino enabled both young and older professionals to meet each other again. This last evening proved another success of the BTV, bringing together Young Professionals even beyond official programme events.

Summarising, the BTV was an amazing week full of interesting and inspiring technical tours and presentations. Great thanks to Will Glamore and everyone from PIANC Australia for the organisation of not only a fantastic Biennial Technical Visit, but a unique combination of events with the AGA, BTV and the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2017 Conference all well-aligned, creating fantastic additional joint activities and networking events.