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Current Work

Professor Rodger Tomlinson is the Foundation Director of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management at the Gold Coast Campus. His current research interests address the major challenges to coastal community of natural hazard and climate change. Current research ares include:

* Coastline changes in response to climate variability
* Modelling of the impact of extreme events under climate change
* Storm Tide Modelling for Emergency Management Response
* Natural sand bypassing mechanisms at tidal entrances
* Numerical modelling of wave and tide dominated entrances and estuarine processes
* Behavioural analysis for tidal entrance stability
* Small Island Beach Processes and sea level rise
* Modelling of coastal hydrodynamics including wave transformations and sediment transport
* Effluent Dispersion and Disposal Strategies
* Innovative Coastal Protection Technology
* Urban catchment management including the assessment of canal water quality, sediment and erosion control, stormwater management


Expertise Keywords

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Coastal and island studies
  • Coastal processes
  • Estuaries and coastal catchments

Subject Area Codes

  • Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified
  • Maritime Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Water Quality Engineering

Country Affiliations

  • Vanuatu

Research Publications and Outputs

Recent Publications

Publications: 171 (Other: 171)

Funded Griffith Research

Engagement and Impact

Learning and Teaching

Research by Higher Degree Supervision or Scholarship

Supervision Overview

Professor Tomlinson currently supervises 9 Research Higher Degree students in are field of coastal engineering and management.

Theses Supervised at Griffith



Professor Tomlinson is the Gold Coast City Council Professor of Coastal Management and Foundation Director of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management at the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University. He also convenes the Coastal Node of the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure. He is a Director of the Board of the Gold Coast waterways Authority.
He has over 35 of experience in applied research and specialist consultancy in the fields of coastal and water engineering. His early experience was in investigation and design studies with the Sydney Water Board, followed by academic and project appointments with the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory. Since 1992 he has been at Griffith University initially as Head of School of Environmental Engineering and since 2000 in his current position. Professor Tomlinson has also led the planning, management and restoration options theme of the National Coastal Cooperative Research Centre and the education program of the Catchment Hydrology Cooperative Research Centre. His research interests are in the area of climate variability and climate change and the implications for open coastline and coastal waterway dynamics, and urban water management. The emphasis of this research is on providing advice to local municipalities on the sustainable management and planning of coastal settlements. Professor Tomlinson has given keynote addresses or invited seminars in Australia, Spain, the UK, France and Italy on his coastal climate impact research. He has published over 300 journal papers, conference presentations, applied research reports and seminars on coastal and estuarine engineering and management. Additionally, since 2007 he has received 3 major state-funded competitive grants (exceeding $3 mill); 5 National Competitive Grants; over 40 external research contracts; and 2 internal infrastructure grants. Since 1992 he has supervised 32 Research Higher Degree and 60 honours equivalent students.

Education and Training

  • PhD Doctor Of Philosophy, University of NSW 1978 - 1986
  • BE Bachelor of Engineering, University of NSW 1972 - 1976

Academic experience

  • Professor and Director Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, 2000 - Present
  • Associate Professor and Head of school of Environmental Engineering, 1994 - 1999
  • Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School of Environmental Engineering, 1992 - 1994

Awards and Honours

  • Outstanding Achievement in Coastal Management, Australian Coastal Society 2015 - Present
  • Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Sustained Collaboration between Business and Higher Education, BHERT 2014 - Present

Professional experience

  • Project Engineer, Water Research Laboratory University of NSW 1978 - 1991
  • Project Engineer, Sydney Water Board 1977 - 1977
  • Project Engineering Trainee, Sydney Water Board 1972 - 1976

Visiting appointments

  • Visiting Professor, Graduate Research School, Southern Cross University 2003 - 2010

Professional memberships

  • FIEAust Fellow, Engineers Australia 2000 - 2016