Chris Leaman

Chris Leaman
PhD Student
UNSW Water Research Laboratory
Contact details:
(+61) 2 8071 9833

Chris Leaman commenced his PhD at WRL in 2018 examining "Regional-scale forecasting for coastal storm impact Early Warning Systems". 

Recent coastal flooding and erosion events on the South Eastern Australian coastline have highlighted the need for a regional-scale early warning system for storm impacts. For example, the 2016 East Coast Low event resulted in damage to residential property and infrastructure, requiring significant repair works along the SE Australian coast. While the possibility of erosion and flood damage may have been forecast in advance, there was no official system in place to alert and communicate with the potentially affected communities. Given enough advanced warning of potential coastal flooding and erosion hazards, mitigation actions such as evacuation, constructing temporary protection and shutting off utilities could have minimized the damaged. To address this, the Australian Research Council has funded a Linkage Project (LP 170100161) to investigate implementing a trial storm impact Early Warning System (EWS).

As part of this project, Chris' research is focused on forecasting regional scale storm impacts. In particular, he is investigating:

  1. What types of frameworks should be adopted by storm impact EWS’s where erosion hazards are the primary source of impacts?
  2. How can we forecast regional-scale flooding and erosion hazards where we may not have a lot of historical data about the site?
  3. How can we leverage recent advances in satellite products to create data-driven models to forecast coastal flooding and erosion?

Supervisors: Dr Kristen Splinter, Professor Ian Turner, Dr Mitchell Harley, Dr Michael Kinsela and Dr Meg Palmsten.