James Carley

James Carley
Principal Engineer - Coastal
UNSW Water Research Laboratory
Contact details:
(+61) 2 8071 9863

One of Australia’s foremost experts in the practical application of coastal process models, James if frequently engaged as a fair and balanced peer reviewer; regularly consulted by Government for policy advice on coastal hazard identification and management.


James Carley is a Principal Engineer at the Water Research Laboratory. He has over 25 years experience in coastal engineering, specialising in coastal processes, coastal hazards and physical modelling. James holds a Master of Engineering Science degree, majoring in Coastal Engineering and Physical Oceanography, and was the 2007-08 Chair of the NSW Maritime Panel of the Institution of Engineers Australia.

James has extensive experience with the best currently available numerical and analytical models from around the world. He has undertaken detailed studies of beaches throughout Australia, the South Pacific, South-East Asia and the Middle East. These studies have involved a review of historical events, prediction of future response to major storms, climate change and sea level rise, and beach response to structures. The techniques used include detailed historical analysis of beach profile survey data, computer/numerical modelling, and physical laboratory modelling of beach shape and the response of structures to waves.

James has authored more than 100 WRL Technical Reports and more than 20 papers for state, national and international conferences. He has been a surfer, surf life saver and ocean swimmer for more than 30 years, which allows him to closely understand coastal processes and community issues.