OS Ocean Sciences
The 2013 Division Outstanding Young Scientists Awards is awarded to Roham Bakhtyar for the development and application of novel two-phase hydrodynamics models, based on the combination of hydrodynamic, contaminant and sediment transport, and coastal aquifer processes.
Roham Bakhtyar broke new ground in developing two-phase (sediment and water phases) numerical models of wave breaking, beach morphology and hydro-dynamic processes in the surf and swash zones. His models, which have undergone rigorous validation with experimental data, predict cross-shore sediment transport more precisely than any existing models and thus provide unique, fundamental tools for predicting beach morphology changes. Detailed mechanistic understanding of hydrodynamic, contaminant and sediment transport in the near-shore zone is now possible. For example, Bakhtyar has investigated coastal aquifer/coastal sea interactions by combining wave breaking/swash zone with aquifer/porous media processes, a problem long-recognised as complex in that in both domains there exist difficult, strongly nonlinear processes operating on different time scales. He has recently extended this to 3D modelling of wave and tidal forcing on groundwater, morphodynamics and contaminant fate in natural beaches.
His work allows, for the first time, mechanistic investigations of important engineering problems such as design of beach dewatering – a ‘green engineering’ means to combat beach erosion – as well as fundamental phenomena such as the role of wave-produced turbulence in coastal sediment transport.