Dr Tom Shand
Senior Coastal Engineer
Senior Coastal Engineer
Senior Engineer Dr Tom Shand is one of Australasia’s leading coastal engineers, he leads a specialist team of engineers and scientists that consult on and research complex natural hazard and coastal processes.
Tom and his team’s expertise is called upon to develop sustainable solutions for communities, public and private sites dealing with climate change, sea-level rise, erosion and seismic vulnerability.
Tom also specialises in developing design solutions for the construction of infrastructure and utilities in areas subject to the ocean’s raw power and challenges brought by the region’s seismicity.
Tom and his team have been involved with many of the major coastal structures and beach nourishment schemes that have been developed around New Zealand and across the South Pacific.
He has worked recently in Samoa, Fiji, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands on hazard assessment and mitigation projects for government departments and donor organisations. Tom was part of the multi-disciplinary team undertaking the Pilot Project for Climate Resilience in Samoa and produced a ‘Coastal Engineering Guide to Best Practice’ for government.
Tom has also published widely on surf zone processes, remote sensing techniques, advanced statistical analysis of environmental data and coastal hazard techniques.
Tom has a BE (Hons, Civil) and holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales in Australia. His thesis investigated the effect of wave grouping on wave breaking, surf zone processes, near-shore structural design and hazard.
Tom brings the combined attributes of a practical engineering background, academic analysis and a ‘Kiwi can-do’ attitude to resolve complex coastal and hydraulic problems.
Recent + Notable Work:
Tom’s recent work includes the complex modelling and mapping for tsunami evacuation planning for the Tauranga City Council.
In June 2017, the project – a New Zealand first – was the recipient of the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management’s Director's Award for Innovation.
He has recently undertaken research for the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility assessing the economics and effectiveness of various coastal protection measures used throughout the Pacific and the impacts of local material availability and transport costs. Innovative methods for coastal protection using locally available materials were developed and tested and design guidance produced.
Tom was the lead designer of the Xbloc Breakwater for the Waitangi Port upgrade on the strategically important but isolated and exposed Chatham Islands, which lie to the East of NZ. This is the first breakwater constructed using Xbloc in New Zealand.
Following Cyclone Evan, Tom’s team assisted the Samoa Tourism Authority in assessing damage and potential rehabilitation options at several economically vital coastal sites. This lead to the restoration of Manase Beach on the north coastal of Savai’i where the team designed offshore breakwaters, coastal protection works and imported sand to restore the beach amenity for tourists and locals, while providing improved protection for the adjoining land from coastal erosion and future storm damage.
Tom developed new probabilistic methods for assessing coastal erosion hazard. By incorporating the inherent statistical and process uncertainty, the hazard likelihood can be assessed and mapped enabling communities to better plan for their future on the coast. This method has been used at sites in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Gisborne and Christchurch.
Technical Skills + Expertise:
Coastal process and hazard assessment
Numerical and physical modelling of coastal, offshore and estuarine processes
Environmental effects assessments
Design of coastal, marine and geotechnical structures
Beach nourishment design
Coastal management and community engagement
Tsunami evacuation modelling and planning
Advanced statistical analysis
PhD, Coastal Engineering (2010)
BE (Hons), Civil (2003)