Matt Blacka

Matt Blacka
Principal Engineer - Coastal
UNSW Water Research Laboratory
Contact details:
0438 812 978

One of Australia’s foremost experts in the application of physical models for analysis of coastal and marine structures, having modelled over 30 coastal structure projects in the past 13 years.


Matt Blacka has completed a Master of Engineering Science degree, with specialisation in Coastal Engineering and Management, and a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree, with first class honours in Coastal Engineering. He has over a decade of experience working at WRL, and manages projects in the fields of coastal processes and hazards, coastal structures, vulnerability assessments, climate change adaptation, physical and numerical modelling, field data collection and coastal monitoring.

Matt has published many papers on coastal structure physical modelling methods and case studies, with expertise in the application of both 2D and 3D physical models for assessing rock and precast concrete armoured structures as well as the measurement of wave loading on rigid marine structures such as caissons, platforms, jetties and wharves.

Matt also regularly undertakes desktop and field investigations for coastal process, hazards and inundation studies. He has completed desktop based coastal process studies ranging from assessment of small property developments, through to regional coastal climate change vulnerability assessments. Matt’s work extends from Tasmania in the south to Darwin in the north, and includes several projects in the Pacific. Matt currently manages WRL’s Coastal Imaging programs including analysing shoreline variability, erosion and accretion trends for a range of beaches.

Matt is an active member of Australia’s coastal engineering community, regularly publishing work in technical conferences and journals. He is a committee member of the Engineers Australia NSW Coastal, Ocean and Port Engineering Panel (COPEP) and was secretary of the committee in 2013 and 2014. Matt currently coordinates WRLs professional training courses in the field of coastal engineering and coastal management, helping to provide valuable training for future coastal engineers and managers.