Coastal and Ocean Engineering

Lecturer(s): Richard PERKINS
Course ⋅ 16 hPW ⋅ 4 hStudy ⋅ 8 h


The aim of this course is to provide a physical understanding of the basic processes involved in Ocean and Coastal engineering. The first part of the course addresses the dynamics of surface waves and the second part applies this to interaction with structures and with the sea bed.


Ocean, coastline, waves, currents, tides, fluid-structure interaction, sediment transport, offshore engineering, coastal protection


  1. Introduction The composition and physico-chemical properties of the oceans - stratification and vertical stability - Ocean currents and their interaction with the seabed and the atmosphere -tides

  2. Small amplitude surface waves Different wave regimes - General formulation, linearisation of the boundary conditions, the dispersion relationship, fluid particle kinematics - Energy, reflection, shoaling, refraction, diffraction - wave current interaction - mass transport, momentum flux

  3. Wind-wave interaction Wind generation of surface waves - the short-crested sea - Spectra of wave height and wave energy - the use of wave spectra for design calculations

  4. Wave impact Fluid-structure interaction (e.g. cylinders) - application to offshore structures - wave and current interaction with the seabed, friction, sediment transport - coastal protection works (sea walls, groynes, breakwaters....)

Learning Outcomes

  • Students should be able to calculate the properties of a wave as a function of period, depth and wave height.
  • Students should be able to calculate the variation in wave properties as the wave approaches the coast.
  • Students should be able to calculate the wave and current-induced forces on a simple structure.
  • Students should be able to estimate the threshold of movement for sediments exposed to the action of waves and currents.


Written exam (2h): 40%; Lab reports and design exercises (3): 60%