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Tom Simons-Smith

Tom Simons-Smith
Member since: 3/05/18
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Coastal Specialist
Dunedin City Council
Bio: My research has primarily been centred around aeolian and coastal geomorphology more generally. I have considerable experience with a range of surveying methods. My coastal research has taken me to various settings such as Mason Bay (Stewart Island), Surat Bay (Catlins), Kaitorete Spit (Canterbury) and St and St Clair Beaches in Dunedin. In some cases this research has been focused on habitat mapping, while in others the focus has been dune morphology and the role of coastal dunes in mitigating storm surge erosion. I am an experienced operator of Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) or drones and continue to utilise the method in my current role at Dunedin City Council. My most significant piece of research and master thesis was situated at St Kilda Beach, Dunedin. The research involved the engineering of foredune morphology (notching) as a way to encourage landward dune rollback and mitigate dune erosion during storm surge events. The project has since been expanded to stretch 1km of St Kilda foredune and has received considerable attention from media and coastal managers for its usefulness and unique approach.

In my current role at the Dunedin City Council I work in the strategic planning space, managing coastal assets and providing coastal technical support to all groups within council. I actively engage with local coastal communities and work alongside consultants to manage and protect critical coastal infrastructure and communities more generally. I have remained in touch with academia, presenting at conferences and actively passing on coastal expertise to both secondary school and University level students.