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Professor Ian Townend BSc, CEng, CMarSci, FICE, FIMarEST, FREng


Professor Ian Townend's photo

Ian Townend is a Professor within Ocean and Earth Science and Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I work as an independent advisor on coastal science and engineering applications and as a Professor at the University of Southampton. Previously I worked at HR Wallingford, where I was responsible for strategic direction and development of the research capability. Prior to that I spent 13 years as Managing Director of ABPmer and 18 years as a consultant with Halcrow.

My own work is largely related to estuary and coastal systems and involves a wide range of interests including hydraulics, sediment transport, and geomorphology, as well as the associated habitats and ecosystems. My main research interest is currently the dynamic response of these systems to change.

I have worked on a wide range of coastal and marine studies in the UK and overseas. This has included: directing the UK’s first climate change risk assessment for government; acting as an expert witness for a number of major development Inquiries, developing and contributing to the UK estuary research programme; piloting of the application of risk methods to examine coastal flooding at a national scale for the insurance industry; and leading one of the first regional scale coastal studies in the UK that helped frame the subsequent development of Shoreline Management Plans.

Research interests

Long-term geomorphology, coastal and estuary dynamics, sediment transport and biological controls.

PhD supervision

Naiyu Zhang

Affiliate research Group: HR Wallingford

Research group

Coastal Engineering and Management

Research project(s)

Coastal resilience in the face of sea-level rise

Chair of Stakeholder Advisory Board for Ocean and Earth Science.

Chair INSPIRE DTP Executive Steering Committee.

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Book Chapters

  • Niemeyer, H. D., Beaufort, G., Mayerle, R., Monbaliu, J., Townend, I., Toxvig, H., de Vriend, H., & Wurpts, A. (2016). Socio-economic impacts - coastal protection. In M. Quante, & F. Colijn (Eds.), North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment (pp. 457-474). (Regional Climate Studies). Springer International.
  • Hinton, C., Townend, I. H., & Nicholls, R. J. (2007). Coastal processes. In C. Thorne, E. Evans, & E. Penning-Rowsell (Eds.), Future Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risks (pp. pp.132-148). Thomas Telford.
  • Nicholls, R. J., & Townend, I. H. (2007). The management of coastal flooding and erosion. In C. Thorne, E. Evans, & E. Penning-Rowsell (Eds.), Future Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risks (pp. 392-413). Thomas Telford.



SOES6011 Modelling Coastal Processes

FEEG6012 MSc Research project: Engineering in the Coastal Environment


Professor Ian Townend
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number : NOCS/564/18

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