Dr Colin Nicholas Whittaker

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Auckland), PhD in Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) in Civil Engineering (University of Canterbury)

Biography

My research includes the generation, propagation and impacts of tsunamis and extreme (rogue) waves, and the mitigation of coastal and fluvial flood events. More specifically, I have investigated tsunami generation by underwater landslides and volcanic eruptions, and investigated tsunami impacts on different types of infrastructure. I have used particle tracking and flow visualisation methods to investigate scour around weirs and bridge piers, and other applied problems in open channel hydraulics and sediment transport. My coastal work considers the statistics of extreme waves, efficient ways to simulate extremes within long-duration storms, and coastal responses to extreme wave attack such as runup, overtopping and forces exerted on coastal structures. I have also undertaken recent research in particle transport beneath wave groups, with applications to the transport of microplastics in the ocean.

Research | Current

I am always interested to hear from motivated students who wish to pursue doctoral studies on the following topics:

  • Coastal Engineering
  • Tsunami generation, propagation and inundation
  • Mechanics of destructive waves
  • Wave runup, overtopping and impacts
  • Innovative laboratory measurement techniques

Teaching | Current

  • CIVIL 202 - Fluid Mechanics and Pipe Flow (formerly CIVIL 230 - Fluid Mechanics 1)
  • CIVIL 331 - Hydraulic Engineering
  • CIVIL 732 - Coastal Engineering Design
  • CIVIL 733 - Coastal Engineering Dynamics
  • CIVIL 782 - Water Resources Engineering

Postgraduate supervision

  • Peter Quilter, ME
  • Holly Blakely, ME
  • Maddy Witney, ME
  • Matty Hayward, PhD
  • Lily Batthershill, PhD
  • Teresa Scott, PhD
  • Natalia Lipiejko, PhD
  • Yaxiong Shen, PhD

Distinctions/Honours

  • 2020: University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award
  • 2020: Faculty of Engineering Teaching Development Award
  • 2020: Senior Fellow of Advance HE (Higher Education Academy) 
  • 2019: Faculty of Engineering Early Career Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2019: Faculty of Engineering Student Choice Top Teacher Award
  • 2018: Faculty of Engineering Teaching Development Award
  • 2018: Faculty of Engineering Student Choice Top Teacher Award
  • 2012: IMBROS Best Student Presentation Award, Physical Oceanography Workshop, NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2010: PhD Scholarship, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury
  • 2009: Third Professional Scholarship, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury

Areas of expertise

Coastal engineering, tsunamis, wave mechanics, fluid mechanics and hydraulics, physical modelling

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Deputy Chair, University and Education Coordinator, New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS) Management Committee
  • Member of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
  • Member of Engineering New Zealand (formerly Graduate Member of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand, IPENZ)
  • Member of Rivers Group and New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS)
  • Associate Editor of Journal of Coastal and Hydraulic Structures (TU Delft) 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Wang, L., Melville, B. W., Whittaker, C. N., & Guan, D. (2020). Temporal Evolution of Clear-Water Scour Depth at Submerged Weirs. JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING, 146 (3)10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0001712
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50210
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruce Melville
  • Wang, L., Melville, B. W., Whittaker, C. N., & Guan, D. (2019). Scour Estimation Downstream of Submerged Weirs. JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING, 145 (12)10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0001654
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruce Melville
  • Van Den Bremer, T. S., Whittaker, C., Calvert, R., Raby, A., & Taylor, P. H. (2019). Experimental study of particle trajectories below deep-water surface gravity wave groups. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 879, 168-186. 10.1017/jfm.2019.584
  • Calvert, R., Whittaker, C. N., Raby, A., Taylor, P. H., Borthwick, A. G. L., & van den Bremer, T. S. (2019). Laboratory study of the wave-induced mean flow and set-down in unidirectional surface gravity wave packets on finite water depth. Physical Review Fluids, 4 (114801).10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.114801
  • Knapp, M., Montgomery, J., Whittaker, C., Franklin, P., Baker, C., & Friedrich, H. (2019). Fish passage hydrodynamics: insights into overcoming migration challenges for small-bodied fish. Journal of Ecohydraulics10.1080/24705357.2019.1604091
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: John Montgomery, Heide Friedrich
  • Greenslade, D., Hermer, M., Babanin, A., Lowe, R., Turner, I., Power, H., ... Williams, G. (2019). 15 priorities for wind-waves research: An Australian perspective. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, online first10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0262.1
  • Prieto, N. P. D. P., Raby, A., Whittaker, C., & Boulton, S. J. (2019). Parametric Study of Tsunamis Generated by Earthquakes and Landslides. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 7 (5).10.3390/jmse7050154
  • Whittaker, C. N., Fitzgerald, C. J., Raby, A. C., Taylor, P. H., & Borthwick, A. G. L. (2018). Extreme coastal responses using focused wave groups: Overtopping and horizontal forces exerted on an inclined seawall. Coastal Engineering, 140, 292-305. 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2018.08.004

Identifiers

Contact details

Primary office location

ENGINEERING BLOCK 1 - Bldg 401
Level 10, Room 1009
20 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND CENTRAL
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

Social links

Web links