School of Civil Engineering

Projects in coastal engineering

Project 1.           Tornados and other rotating buoyant plumes

Supervisor:      Prof. Peter Nielsen

Type of project:      Experimental and numerical modelling for 1-2 students

Further details of project can be found here


Project 2.           Differential Diffusion in wave boudary layers

Supervisor:      Prof. Peter Nielsen

Please see Prof. Nielsen for project details


Project 3.           Flow Slides

Supervisor:      Prof. Peter Nielsen

Flow slides (known from the media as 'sink holes') which have occurred famously at Inskip Point near Fraser Island where some caravans were lost in 2016. They involve a special failure mode where a well compacted sand body can erode with a retreating vertical face up to 7metres high under water. The project involves experimental investigations of this phenomenon in the laboratory and in the field.

Please contact Prof Peter Nielsen for further details.


Project 4.           Experimental and numercial modelling of mixing at a density interface

Supervisor:      Prof. Peter Nielsen (Experimental) and Dr. David Callaghan (Numerical)

Set up, in the hydraulics lab, experiments similar to what we have observed during field work in the Manihiki atoll, Cook Islands.
That is, a tank is initially set up with salinity and hence density linearly increasing downwards.
A steady flow across the top is then imposed and the density profile will change from linear to having a sharp step.
Quantify the process by conductivity measurements and make a video.
Try to mimic the process with a numerical model.
Make comparisons between the small scale model results and the field data from Manihiki.
A team of two students is optimal, one focusing on the physical setup and measurements the other on numerics.

A similar student project is described in

Please contact Prof Peter Nielsen for further details.