Call For Papers

Submissions are now closed. We are in the process of reviewing abstracts and the programme will be announced shortly.  

The latest in the quadrennial Breakwaters conference series will be held in Portsmouth, UK, between 13 and 16 September 2021.

As with previous iterations of Breakwaters, the 2021 event will include a site visit on Thursday 16 September, immediately after the main 3 day conference.  Details of this will be finalised shortly but please do make a note in your diary! 

The 2021 edition will cover the latest developments across maritime engineering topics from coasts to ports and waterfronts to breakwaters, while focusing on the full spectrum of research and study, design, construction and operations.

Given the heightened attention on the ‘climate emergency’, next year’s conference will place a big focus on how resilience and adaptability is being addressed by the maritime sector.

The two previous conferences both attracted over 400 delegates from more than 40 nations and showcased over 100 papers, while also including ‘Spotlight on Innovation’ presentations.

Appreciating the uncertain and difficult time currently facing prospective delegates from across the world, along with a need to be able to respond to changing circumstances, planning for the conference will also explore a range of different opportunities for remote participation. We are aiming for a physical, in-person event in Portsmouth, but in case that is not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, Breakwaters will take place virtually, or as a hybrid event taking place live but with some online/virtual content. Either way, Breakwaters will happen!


This event qualifies you for CPD points.  

Keep on top of all the latest news and developments via our LinkedIn Group herewe look forward to you joining the group. 




  • Breakwaters, piers and jetties

  • Seawalls and shoreline structures

  • Ports, docks and harbours

  • Waterfront developments and integrated marine developments

  • Beaches, dunes and natural shoreline features

  • Coastal erosion and flooding​​​​​​​

  • Coastal, oceanographic and estuarine processes​​​​​​​

  • Power from the sea; wind, wave and tidal power generation, landfall

  • ​​​​​​​Dredging and the use of dredged material



Papers are invited on these general themes, bringing together research and practice:

Structural resilience, design and adaptation

  • Best practice in design, construction, operations and adaptation
  • Improvement in design performance
  • New design/assessment/operating guidelines
  • Managing ageing/failing coastal/marine assets

 Construction and practical solutions

  • Shaping practical solutions to problems
  • Lessons learned from working within the marine environment
  • Construction technology, remote and offsite working

Climate emergency

  • Implications for coasts and maritime structures
  • Responding to the growing challenge of climate change
  • Sustainable practices and solutions - environmental, social, economic, technical
  • Innovations towards Net Zero Carbon
  • Adapting structures and operating methods to accommodate climate change
  • Addressing climate emergency in future management of shorelines.

Conception to completion; changing practices and lessons learned

  • Holistic and whole-systems approaches to solutions and performance
  • Development and implementation of resilient solutions
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Low cost and alternative solutions
  • Risk-based approaches
  • Working remotely, working with resource limitations
  • Investigative study and feasibility

Research, development and application of innovation, new technologies and techniques

  • Advances in beach modelling
  • Use of CFD
  • Construction methods and materials
  • Met ocean data and monitoring, remote sensing
  • Knowledge gaps, uncertainties, risks and challenges