Dr David Wainwright
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
- Phone:(02) 4044 0589
Dr Wainwright is a Conjoint Lecturer with the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle. David has over 20 years’ experience including positions with academia state government and many years working as a consultant in coastal and environmental engineering. He is also presently a director of Salients Pty Ltd, a consulting firm which he established in 2015.
David’s work typically covers coastal engineering design, coastal geomorphology and land use planning. David is also broadly familiar with key aspects of coastal ecology, local government management, property law and community consultation.
His key areas of expertise and research include risk assessment methods for planning in the face of coastal and flooding hazards and sea level rise, engineering design, numerical modelling, and coastal lagoons. David also holds an Adjunct Research Fellowship with the coastal engineering research group at the University of Queensland.
- PhD, University of Queensland
- Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), University of Technology Sydney
- Beach Erosion
- Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
- Coastal Dynamics
- Coastal Engineering
- Coastal Geomorphology
- Environmental Hydraulics
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Numerical Modelling
- Risk Assessment
- Scientific Programming
Fields of Research
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|15/12/2015 - 1/9/2016||
Part Time Researcher, Coastal Climate Change Risk Assessment
Undertaking research into methods for coastal risk assessment, considering application around Australia. Development
|Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle
|1/8/2011 - 15/12/2012||
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
This position was with the University of Queensland’s coastal research group, undertaken during finalisation of my PhD thesis, with the following responsibilities:
• Extension of existing stochastic models of coastal erosion hazards;
Following completion of the 18 month fellowship, David has continued as an adjunct research fellow with the University
|University of Queensland | School of Civil Engineering
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
Director, Coastal and Environmental Engineer
David established Salients Pty. Ltd. in 2015 to provide consulting services in a range of coastal engineering, design,
|Salients Pty Ltd
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Chapter (1 outputs)
|2014||Woodroffe CD, Callaghan D, Cowell PJ, Wainwright D, Rogers K, Ranasinghe R, 'A framework for modelling the risks of climate-change impacts on Australian coasts', Practical studies in climate change adaptation: Applied climate change adaptation research, John Wiley & Sons Ltd (2014)|
Journal article (7 outputs)
Callaghan DP, Wainwright DJ, Hanslow DJ, 'Consideration of uncertainty in sea level rise in Australia's most exposed estuary: A discussion on allowances under different epistemic uncertainties', Coastal Engineering, 159 (2020)
© 2020 Water surface level exceedances and extreme flooding for Australia's most exposed estuary, Swansea Channel, was estimated using sea level rise epistemic uncertainty wi... [more]
© 2020 Water surface level exceedances and extreme flooding for Australia's most exposed estuary, Swansea Channel, was estimated using sea level rise epistemic uncertainty with symmetric and asymmetric shapes. Flood estimates were obtained using a simple hydraulic model what was applied within a statistical simulation, included atmospheric and oceanic forcing and their aleatory uncertainties. These predictions are then used to discuss vertical allowances for coastal planning. There are different allowance approaches to include sea level rise epistemic uncertainty ranging from asset independent (allowance includes a particular degree of sea level rise uncertainty) to asset specific approaches (allowance that ensures frequency of inundation does not increase). Regardless of the allowance approach, the sea level rise uncertainty distribution and its shape are expected to influence these allowances. The impact on flood estimates and derived allowances from symmetric and asymmetric uncertainties includes expected features of increasing water level variations and allowances in both time and in space (Swansea Channel becomes more hydraulically efficient as its depth increases). Using asymmetrical shaped uncertainty for coastal planning constrained by low risk tolerance would, for example, increase the 1% annual exceedance probability flood elevation that includes 99% of sea level rise uncertainty by ca 0.8 m along Swansea Channel when compared to symmetric uncertainties. If the future sea level rise uncertainty is indeed asymmetric then application of allowances based on the symmetrically shaped distributions underestimate possibilities of future extreme water levels and may be exceeded earlier than anticipated. Annual exceedance duration estimates indicate that in 2120, epistemic (sea level rise) uncertainty is greater than aleatory (weather related flooding) variational along Swansea Channel.
Tonmoy FN, Wainwright D, Verdon-Kidd DC, Rissik D, 'An investigation of coastal climate change risk assessment practice in Australia', Environmental Science and Policy, 80 9-20 (2018) [C1]
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Local government organisations in coastal Australia have historically commissioned studies aimed at understanding risks in their locality to future sea level r... [more]
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Local government organisations in coastal Australia have historically commissioned studies aimed at understanding risks in their locality to future sea level rise as a starting point for developing adaptation strategies to climate change. Therefore, the success of the overall adaptation activities of local government are strongly influenced by the way those initial risk studies are scoped and conducted, and how the outputs of those studies underpin subsequent adaptation planning activities within the organization. Mainstreaming of adaptation planning activities within local government is critical in terms of getting stakeholder support and required resources for its implementation. This paper analyses a sample of these coastal risk assessment studies across seven states and territories in Australia, with an aim to critically investigate the current state of practice among coastal local governments. First, we develop a typology of studies that have been undertaken by or for practitioners to understand coastal climate change risks, and discuss the applicability of the studies within the policy-making context of local government. Second, we identify a set of sample studies from the ¿grey literature¿ through a systematic process and investigate to what extent they adhere to best practice risk management guidelines and principles, such as ISO31000. Third, we interview stakeholders from top performing studies to identify how/if the risk studies helped their organization in progressing their adaptation planning. We find that there is a significant inconsistency among terminologies in the coastal climate change risk assessment unpublished literature as studies use ¿risk¿, vulnerability¿ and ¿hazard¿ concepts interchangeably despite their separate objectives and aims. Most studies perform poorly in evaluating risk against broader organizational criteria. Subsequently, it is difficult to integrate the findings of such studies into a broader organizational risk register, limiting opportunities for identified coastal climate change risks to be integrated into councils¿ long-term strategic decision making. Conversely, the follow up interviews of studies that performed well in scoping and consultation in our assessment demonstrate that these aspects were beneficial to stakeholders in terms of informing adaptation planning. Importantly, the findings presented in this paper confirm the need for a consistent risk assessment approach for local councils in the coastal zone to underpin successful adaptation planning. This is a critical issue, not only for Australia, but for local government organisations globally given that sea level rise is a projected threat for all populated coastal regions worldwide.
Wainwright DJ, Baldock TE, 'Measurement and modelling of an artificial coastal lagoon breach', Coastal Engineering, 101 1-16 (2015)
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. A field data set of the artificial breaching of a coastal lagoon berm is presented, and includes a detailed analysis of the breach evolution in plan and eleva... [more]
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. A field data set of the artificial breaching of a coastal lagoon berm is presented, and includes a detailed analysis of the breach evolution in plan and elevation, together with water levels and flow velocities. A semi-coupled two-dimensional (depth averaged) numerical model describing both the shallow water hydrodynamics and morphodynamics is developed and tested against the field data. Key hydrodynamic and morphodynamic processes are discussed, and strategies to model these processes are presented and evaluated, such as accounting for modified roughness under transcritical flows and testing an improved algorithm for widening of the breach channel through side wall erosion. While further research is warranted, the processes relating to the erosion of the breach side walls and sediment transport under transcritical flow regimes were found to be essential to developing a realistic model of the overall breach process. A new channel bank erosion model is developed and implemented, which shows improved performance.
Wainwright DJ, Ranasinghe R, Callaghan DP, Woodroffe CD, Jongejan R, Dougherty AJ, et al., 'Moving from deterministic towards probabilistic coastal hazard and risk assessment: Development of a modelling framework and application to Narrabeen Beach, New South Wales, Australia', Coastal Engineering, 96 92-99 (2015)
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Traditional methods for assessing coastal hazards have not typically incorporated a rigorous treatment of uncertainty. Such treatment is necessary to enable r... [more]
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Traditional methods for assessing coastal hazards have not typically incorporated a rigorous treatment of uncertainty. Such treatment is necessary to enable risk assessments which are now required by emerging risk based coastal zone management/planning frameworks. While unresolved issues remain, relating to the availability of sufficient data for comprehensive uncertainty assessments, this will hopefully improve in coming decades. Here, we present a modelling framework which integrates geological, engineering and economic approaches for assessing the climate change driven economic risk to coastal developments. The framework incorporates means for combining results from models that focus on the decadal to century time scales at which coasts evolve, and those that focus on the short term and seasonal time scales (storm bite and recovery). This paper demonstrates the functionality of the framework in deriving probabilistic coastal hazard lines and their subsequent use to establish an economically optimal setback line for development at a case study site; the Narrabeen-Collaroy embayment in Sydney, New South Wales.
Wainwright DJ, Callaghan DP, Baldock TE, 'Statistical modelling of the barrier height fronting a coastal lagoon and the impact of sea-level rise', Coastal Engineering, 75 10-20 (2013)
A temporal stochastic modelling method for predicting exceedance probabilities of the beach barrier elevations fronting intermittently closed and open coastal lagoons is developed... [more]
A temporal stochastic modelling method for predicting exceedance probabilities of the beach barrier elevations fronting intermittently closed and open coastal lagoons is developed. The method incorporates synthetic tides generated from measured tidal harmonics, and randomly sampled values relating to rainfall, beach face slope, lake opening period, and wave height, direction and period. Samples are derived from distributions of each of these parameters formed from standard long term data records. The method is applied to Tabourie Lake, on the south coast of New South Wales. This entrance is sheltered from the dominant wave climate by an island close to shore, the impact of which is separately assessed by phase averaged wave modelling. The barrier elevation is determined from the 2% run-up level arising from constructive waves. The sensitivity of results to a variety of assumptions is tested. The methodology is applied to determine the probabilistic distribution of barrier heights for both stationary and non-stationary (i.e. sea level rise (SLR)) scenarios. Such probabilities can be adopted in a risk based assessment of catchment flooding behind an enclosing barrier for present conditions, or provide management guidelines for future climate scenario, i.e. changes in rainfall, wave climate, sea level. The model can also be used to investigate different management strategies and how these alter the barrier elevation for given probabilities of exceedance. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
|Show 4 more journal articles|
Conference (10 outputs)
Wainwright DJ, Gaston T, Lord DB, MacDonald T, Brown W, 'Balancing Competing Objectives in Coastal Entrance Management', Australasian Coasts & Ports 2017: Working with Nature, Cairns, QLD (2017) [E1]
|2015||Wainwright D, Lord D, Crawley B, '40 Years of Change. Recent Evolution of the Port Stephens Flood Tide Delta' (2015)|
|2014||Wainwright DJ, Lord D, Watson P, Lenehan N, Ghetti I, '"Widely Accepted by Competent Scientific Opinion" Sea Level Projections for the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla Coast' (2014)|
|Show 7 more conferences|
Report (2 outputs)
Verdon-Kidd DC, Wainwright D, 'A local government framework for coastal risk assessment in Australia', National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, 91 (2016)
|2012||Woodroffe CD, Cowell PJ, Callaghan DP, Ranasinghe R, Jongejan R, Wainwright DJ, et al., 'A model framework for assessing risk and adaptation to climate change on Australian coasts' (2012)|
Dr David Wainwright
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science