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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
(023) 8059 6205

Dr Hachem Kassem PhD, MSc, BEng(Hons), HND, GICE

Teaching & Research Fellow in Coastal Morphodynamics and GIS

Dr Hachem Kassem's photo

Hachem Kassem is a Teaching & Research Fellow in Coastal Morphodynamics & GIS in Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton. His current research focuses on physical processes governing sediment dynamics in the coastal zone. He is member of the Geology & Geophysics research group (coastal research theme). 

Hachem's research is focussed on understanding physical processes governing sediment transport in the coastal zone, with emphasis on turbulence and loose boundary hydraulics, coastal erosion and flooding, and interactions between waves, currents, sediment, vegetation and structures; employing prototype-scale experimental data, fieldwork measurements and complex numerical tools. He has worked on collaborative projects with industry, local government and academia; studying nearshore sediment entrainment and barrier beach dynamics, exchanges between coastal lagoons and open seas, turbulence and sediment dynamics in wave-current flows, flooding and barrier erosion in bi-modal seas, flow and sediment dynamics in seagrass and mangrove fields, and scour around marine structures. He currently coordinates a large project studying shoreface dynamics in a mixed/composite gravel-sand barrier beach in the UK.

Academically, Hachem is primarily involved with the MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment (ECE) course, coordinating MSc level modules in coastal sediment dynamics and applied coastal oceanography, as well as the practical component (physical modelling, lab work and field campaigns) of a module on modelling coastal processes. He supervises several MSc research projects, and contributes to the general administration of this masters programme.. Hachem also contributes to a 2nd year undergraduate module in GIS & Remote Sensing for Geology/Geophysics students and general outreach and curriculum development in the school.  

Hachem’s background is in Civil Engineering, with focus on engineering and environmental hydraulics. He completed a PhD in 2016 studying coherent turbulence structures and sediment resuspension in the coastal benthic boundary layer, focussing on wave-dominated flows in the nearshore, and on combined wave current interactions. He has worked on the development of Artificial Neural Networks to predict groundwater and river flows, and taught hydraulics and surveying to civil engineering undergraduates. He has also been involved in a number of research projects, including the EU-funded Hydralab IV Barrier Dynamics Experiment II; and the Italian Ritmare framework for marine research.

Hachem also directs the coastal labs (sediment analysis lab, coastal processes lab and sediment dynamics lab) in Ocean and Earth Science.

Academic qualifications:

2016: PhD in Ocean and Earth Science (Coastal Sediment Dynamics), University of Southampton

2012: MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment, University of Southampton

2010: BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, London South Bank University

2008: HND Civil Engineering, The London College, UCK 

Research interests

Hachem's main research interests focus on understanding the fundamental physical processes that govern the transport of sediment in coastal environments, with emphasis on small-scale turbulence processes in wave dominated environments and under combined wave-current flows. He employs proto-type scale experiments and field measurements, coupled with complex numerical processing and computational modelling to study coherent turbulent motions and fluid-sediment-bedform interactions with/without vegetation and structures.

Hachem is also interested in the morphodynamics of wave-dominated coastlines at engineering time scales, with a view to inform process-based modelling as well as practical engineering interventions designed to tackle coastal erosion and flooding.

Hachem is also involved in monitoring and modelling coastal processes, including  a study into the hydrodynamic controls of mega-scour at a triple Junction (Torcello, Venice lagoon), exchanges between a coastal Lagoon and the open sea (Cabras, Sardinia), bedload transport in a tidal inlet (Lido, Venice Lagoon), field measurement of physical and hydrodynamic roughness (Cabras Lagoon). He is currently involved in a study of the shoreface dynamics of a mixed/composite gravel/sand barrier beach in Pevensey Bay, UK and in the development of novel scour control /protection for offshore monopile structures. 


Sediment Dynamics, Coastal Processes, Turbulent Boundary Layers, Coherent Turbulence Structures, Wave-Current Interactions, Marine Scour

Research projects

Shoreface Dynamics and regional sediment budgets in Pevensey Bay, UK:  Two PhD studentships currently advertised (PhD 1: Shoreface dynamics ; PhD 2: regional sediment budget)

Fluid-sediment interaction and bed morphology in combined wave-current flows: HRW Fast Flow Facility Sediment Turbulence Experiment

Tomographic imaging of near bed process in unidrectional flow: CT Scan Lab turbulence Experiment at INRS, Canada

Research group

Geology and Geophysics

Affiliate research groups

Computational Modelling Group, Coastal Engineering and Management, Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Research project(s)

Vertical turbulence structures in the benthic boundary layer as related to suspended sediment

Barrier Dynamic Experiment II

Ritmare: WP4.A5 - Hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modelling of lagoon systems

Venice lagoon

Hachem coordinates and supervises the MSC dissertations for Engineering in the Coastal Environment Course, and supervises undergraduate projects in coastal oceanography, and coastal sediment dynamics.

Hachem also directs the coastal labs (sediment analysis lab, coastal processes lab and sediment dynamics lab) within the School of Ocean and Earth Science. 

Hachem also coordinates marketing and online-media presence for the MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment (MSC ECE) programme, and contributes to outreach by the coastal theme in OES and the Geology and Geophysics (G&G)research group. He is the chief editor of the G&G blog, the MSC ECE blog, and the Coastal Processes blog, and maintains the relevant twitter handles and other online platforms (MSC ECE facebook, and LinkedIn).



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Book Chapter

  • Amos, C., Kassem, H., & Friend, P. (2019). Ripple marks. In C. W. Finkl, & M. Christopher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Coastal Science, Second Edition (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 1447-1454). (Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series). Springer International Publishing AG.


CT Scan & PIV experiment, INRS

An experiment conducted by University of Southampton coastal research group at the CT scan Lab, INRS Centre Eau Terre Environnement University Quebec.

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Barrier Dynamics Experiment II

Waves breaking on a prototype scale beach, during Barrier Dynamics Experiment, BARDEX II. At Deltares (old) delta flume.

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Dr Hachem Kassem
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK

Room Number NNN: NOCS/164/03

Dr Hachem Kassem's personal home page
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