UNSW Water Research Laboratory
Manly Vale Campus
Senior Lecturer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Water Research Laboratory (WRL)
Geological Oceanography. Oregon State University, USA.
Dissertation: Development of 2D Models to Estimate Nearshore Bathymetry and Sediment Transport.
Marine Resource Management. Oregon State University, USA.
Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering. University of Florida, USA.
Thesis: Effects of Three-Dimensional Forcing on Alongshore Currents: A Comparative Study.
Civil Engineering, Environmental Option. 1st Class Honours. Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada.
Thesis: Developing Protocols For Clinker-based Wetland Cells Used for Removing Phosphorus From Wastewater.
I study how our coastline (namely the beaches) erode and recover from changes in the size of waves,sediment supply, and water levels. I develop simple numerical models based on broad-scale observations that can predict how beaches change due to changes in wave height and wave period. A lot of my modelling work utilizes the equilibrium concept (like a spring) to be able to create dynamic models that can predict the cross-shore movement of sandbars and the shoreline over timescales of days to years. I'm also fascinated by rips and beach morphology and how it changes over time. You can check out our coastal imaging stations here: http://ci.wrl.unsw.edu.au/
Recently I have also been involved with research projects to examine the hydrodynamics (waves and water levels) over reefs during exteme (cyclone) conditions. This work is particularly important in the context of rising sea levels and climate change, where Pacific Island Nations may become more vulnerable to these events due to reef submergence and degradation.
Interest in engineering
Why did you get into engineering?
I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do at the end of high school. Both my parents had engineering backgrounds and then pursued other careers. They encouraged me to consider this route as it provides a solid education. I like to solve problems and generally ask 'why does that happen ?'. I think engineers are critical thinkers and innovators.
What are your research goals?
I like to see my work being used by the public to better inform their decision process. I want my work to make a difference and better society.
What do people not understand about you do?
When I tell people I study beaches they think it’s really cool. What they don’t understand is that, as an engineer, I focus on understanding the “why” so there’s a lot of math behind what I do.
Advice for prospective Civil and Environmental engineers
Engineers make the world a better place. Find something you’re passionate about and turn that into your career. I did. Anything is possible in engineering.
Looking for students for projects related to:
I am looking for talented and motivated male/female engineering students with a keen interest in Coastal Engineering topics related to nearshore processes, sediment dynamics, coastal impacts in a changing climate, dune erosion, numerical modelling of coastal processes and reef-top hydrodynamics.
If you are interested in pursuing Honours thesis or graduate study with me, please fill out the following survey monkey form and the HDR self-assessment (graduate students only).
https://selfassessment.research.unsw.edu.au/ - UNSW HDR Self-Assessment Tool
Students interested in graduate studies at UNSW are encouraged to use the following resources.
UNSW Scholarship Application Guidelines – International & Domestic schemes(benefits, equity, work and other income), steps to complete application
FAQs for Scholarship applicants – for all scholarship applicants
UNSW Postgraduate Research Handbook – key information on policies, procedures, scholarships, examination, support etc.
CVEN 9640/9640d: Coastal Engineering
CVEN 2501: Principles of Water Engineering
CVEN 9620/9620d: Rivers, Channels, and Estuaries
Beuzen, T. (2016 –present) Predicting storm erosion on sandy coastlines using a Bayesian Network
Freeman, E. (2015 – present) Testing floating pontoon breakwaters for stability and safety in extreme conditions.
Robinet, A. (U. Bordeaux) (2014 – present) Long-term shoreline modelling combining alongshore and cross-shore processes
Simmons, J.(2014 - present) Examining Storm Scale Response on Beaches.
Phillips, M. (2014 – present) Examining the Recovery Timescales of Beaches.
Bracs, M. (2016) Monitoring shoreline variability on a regional scale: implications for the establishment of a national coastal observing network. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. University of New South Wales. Sydney, Australia
Kearney, E. (2015) The design, application, and assessment of rapid-response airborne lidar for monitoring of storm induced beach erosion. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. University of New South Wales. Sydney, Australia
Ashif, A. (2016) SOURCES OF FORECAST UNCERTAINTY RELATED TO COASTAL STORM EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS: AN EVALUATION
Drummond, M. (2016) Emperical Parameterization of Wave Runup using a Laser Scanner
Huo, M. (2016) Impact of Reef Width on Extreme Water Levels on Reefs
Killialea, R. (2016) Investigation of armour stability for coastal protection inside a fringing reef.
O-Rourke, M. (2016) The Importance of pre-storm beach profile shape to erosion vulnerability.
Smith, N. (2016) Estimation of nearshore wave properties with a fixed lidar.
Cullins, J. (2015) Wave runup and overtopping on a coral reef.
Hay, A. (2015) The application of Kalman Filters in shoreline modeling.
Tucker, T. (2015) Application of a 2D sandbar model to examine cross-shore sandbar migration at Narrabeen-Collaroy, NSW
Kiernan, B. (2015) A tale of 2 beaches: intersite comparison of Wamberal and Narrabeen
Reinhart, M. (2014) Examining the links between nearshore morphology and shoreline change
Walters, T. (2014) Recovery time-scales of beaches.
Poole, J. (2013) An assessment of engineering works in Bate Bay using GENESIS under the current and projected wave climate.
MacKenzie, B. (2013) Forecasting Future Shoreline Change: The application and development of a shoreline change model in response to projected wave climate.
Stanton, M. (2012) An evaluation of empirical run-up prediction models.
Gonzalez, M. Exploring sand-bar migration at a high-energy beach.
Buezen, T. Estimating Shoreline Response to a changing climate.
Professional Organisations and Consulting positions
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Australian Coastal Society
Awards, Grants, Patents
Splinter, Turner. Delivering a beach erosion forcasting system. NSW Environtmental Trust. 2017-2019. $144K
Turner, Middleton, Splinter, Reniers, Davidson, Blenkinsopp. Beach Erosion and Recovery: Quantifying the Hazard. ARC Discovery 2015 - 2017. $423K
Castelle, Marieu, Senechal, Ruessink, Idier,Bujan, Ferreira, Splinter (I am a collaborator on 1 part of this grant) Processus cross-shore et longshore comines en morphodynamique littorale (French) ASTRID 2014, Agence de la Reserche (France). 207K euros.
Past Successful Grants
Splinter, Davidson, Blenkinsopp, Turner. Development of a new Coastal Engineering 2-D beach profile model for predicting future coastline response to changing waves and sea-level. UNSW Australia Faculty of Engineering Early Career Research Grant, $20K.
Turner, Middleton, Goodwin, Splinter, Hanslow, Coates. ECL Impacts to beaches. Office of Environment and Heritage NSW Adaptation Research Hub. $66K
Splinter. Development and Application of 2 semi-empirical coastal evolution models to predict coastal change at timescales of days to years along Australian and French wave-dominated coastlines. France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration (FASIC) Program Early Career Research Fellowship Australian Academy of Science. $5K.