Dr Mead is a world-leader in the discipline of surf science and multi-purpose reef design and research, enabling the incorporation of high-quality surfing reefs into multi-purpose coastal structures. This work has also been applied to the development of recreational wave-pool designs and patents, and advising on wave generation techniques for a range of applications (e.g. for water scenes in the King Kong movie, the development of a multi-wave surf pool facility, etc.). He has also applied surf science to the protection and understanding of natural surfing breaks, was instrumental in the incorporation of New Zealand’s nationally significant surfing breaks into the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS, 2010), and was recently part of a government-funded research team developing the world’s first set of management and protection guidelines for surf breaks.

Dr Mead’s research and consulting have led to major advances in our knowledge of offshore reefs for the development of multiple-use structures (coastal protection, amenities such as surfing, wind-surfing, diving, fishing, and ecological enhancement), and have incorporated numerical modelling of waves, currents and sediment transport to develop the designs and assess the impacts of coastal structures over a large range of spatial and temporal scales. Commercially, Dr Mead has been involved in development of beach management and coastal remediation/protection strategies, assessments of coastal hazards, marina and beach design, ecological and physical effects of marine construction, dredging, oil industry and aquaculture ventures, ecological and physical effects of subdivisions and outfalls, development of climate change resilience strategies to sea level rise, and the management and protection of surfing breaks.

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