Ian Coghlan

Ian Coghlan
Principal Coastal Engineer
UNSW Water Research Laboratory
Contact details:
(+61) 2 8071 9866

Oyster clump testing Ian Coghlan UNSW WRLIan has completed a Master of Engineering Science degree with specialisation in the field of Coastal Engineering and Management, a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree, with first class honours and a Diploma in Engineering Practice.

Ian has over a decade of experience working at WRL, and primarily manages projects in the fields of coastal structures, processes, hazards and coastal management. These studies include field investigations, physical modelling, numerical modelling, desktop analysis and data analysis. Ian is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia and regularly attends their Coastal, Ocean and Port Engineering Panel (Sydney Division) seminars. He has been a surfer for over 15 years. 

Ian is acknowledged as an Australian expert in sand-filled geotextile container structures in the coastal zone. As a junior engineer, he spent the best part of 2007 carrying out more than 200 physical modelling tests on scale geotextile containers in WRL’s 3 m wide wave flume. The results from this research went on to inform the seminal paper on the design of geotextile container seawalls published in the Geotextile and Geomembranes journal in 2011. He has also co-authored conference papers on geotextile container structures, including groynes. 
Ian has extensive experience with oyster shell filled bags for riverbank erosion protection, floating breakwaters for improving marina wave climate and more traditional coastal structures composed of rock and concrete. He is passionate about getting on-the-ground and collecting field data at project initiation to steer each study to success. Ian is regularly engaged as a fair and balanced peer reviewer.