16 May 2016

DHI shapes future generation of oceanographers – and surfers

At DHI, our university collaboration and supervision of Master and PhD students often lead to value-added and exciting results such as in helping surfers find new surfing paradises.

One example of how DHI contributes to the development of the coming generation of oceanographers (and also surfers) is Karl-Søren Geertsen, an MSc student at DTU Aqua. During his first semester, Karl-Søren followed oceanography but he later became profoundly interested in the interactions amongst the biological, physical and chemical processes in coastal zones.

Reefs are protecting Australia’s coasts and creates waves for surfing. © Shutterstock/DAE Photo

Today, Karl-Søren participates in the development of the latest advanced methods for numerical hydrodynamic wave models. In his project, he applies DHI’s advanced modelling tool CFD to optimize a submerged control structure designed for coastal protection and surfing amenity. These structures not only protect the coast, but generates waves suitable for surfing. The project site is located on Palm Beach on the east coast of Australia. 

'The cooperation between DHI has given me ideal conditions to approach the issue from several points of view and provided an opportunity to work in an international environment. Scientists from DTU and DHI in both Denmark and Australia came together to participate in the project', says Karl-Søren, who will graduate in the summer.

Supervisors of the study include Professor Erik Damgård-Christensen, DTU-MEK, Professor Andre Visser, DTU Aqua and Dr Bjarne Jensen, Dr Johan Rønby from the Department for Ports and Offshore at DHI and Simon Mortensen from DHI Australia.

‘Surfers worldwide are constantly looking for locations where the wave conditions are ideal for surfing. The possibility of combining coastal protection with developing super surfing waves and surfing locations may provide a new and innovative approach to the development of coastal areas’ – Dr Ole Svenstrup Petersen, Head of Innovation, Ports and Offshore, DHI