Coastal engineering

The group has carried out work on the marine environment in the near-shore region. Recent work includes: numerical modelling of wave propagation (Boussinesq/ shallow water equations) with sea-wall overtopping; coastal flooding and sediment transport.

Fluid structure interactions

Our research has encompassed many projects associated with wave scattering by fixed and floating offshore platforms, relevant to investigations of loading, motion responses and local free surface behaviour. As part of this work the group has developed two major software tools:

  • DIFFRACT for linear and second order analysis in the frequency domain;
  • OXPOT for fully nonlinear potential flow analysis in the time domain.

Both have been associated with extensive validation through experiments and alternative modelling. Recent projects have focussed on Floating Production, Storage and Offloading systems (FPSOs); water projection beneath semisubmersibles in extreme conditions; the dynamics of coupled systems (in close association with the Centre for Offshore Research and Engineering at the National University of Singapore, where Prof Taylor and Prof Eatock Taylor are Visiting Professors); and wave energy (see below).

Extreme waves

There is some evidence that large waves occur which are not predicted by our current models of the physics and statistics of these waves. Our work has looked at the physics of these extreme wave events. One aspect we are particularly interested in how the directionality of the waves effects the formation of an extreme wave event.

Wave climate and metocean

Understanding the statistics of the wave climate is fundamental to predicting the wave loading on offshore structures. Both Prof Taylor and Dr Adcock have industry experience of deriving metocean criteria. We are particularly interested in how the statistics of wave climate varies with climatic variations such as the North Atlantic oscillation and climate change.

Wave energy

We are currently using both DIFFRACT and OXPOT (see above) in projects concerned with the effects of interactions in arrays of floating wave energy converters. Implications of wave directionality, different power take-off devices, and the complex phenomenon of “near wave trapping” are under investigation.

Ice-road trucking


Historic structures

Prof Taylor has carried out several projects analysing various historic structures. Dr Adcock has a particular interest in the history and engineering of the Mulberry Harbours which were used during the Second World War.