Dr David Simmonds

Dr David Simmonds

Associate Professor in Coastal Engineering

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Associate Head of Marketing and International Recruitment, School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

COAST Research Group

Marine Institute (MI)


PhD - School of Physics, University of Bath, 1993. "The use of a water filled impedance tube for the acoustic characterisation of polymers."

MSc - Marine Geotechnics, UCNW, University of Wales, 1989. Thesis Title "The detection of suspended sediment by acoustic backscatter measurement: a laboratory study.

MA - Natural Sciences, Cambridge, 1988.

Professional membership

Member of Institute of Physics

Chartered Physicist

Fellow HEA



Teaching interests

Associate Professor in Coastal Engineering

Teaches on Civil Engineering MEng, BEng and Foundation degrees.

  • Foundation Civil Engineering
  • Introduction to Coastal Engineering (2nd year)
  • Flood Risk (4th year)



Research interests

My research interests have focused on underwater and marine topics. Whilst studying, I investigated the optical reflectivity of young sea ice, the acoustic detection of sediment and the acoustic properties of polymer materials. At Plymouth I have studied the physical science of coastal systems, particularly the behaviour of beaches and the performance of man made coastal structures. I have contributed to understanding of flood defence science and flood risk – most recently in supervising a PhD focused on the representation of the statistics of failure mechanisms associated with structures such as sea walls and beaches. 

Research groups

Other research

I currently work in marine renewable energy studies, having contributed to the creation of our COAST laboratory with my colleagues Professors Deborah Greaves and Alison Raby. I have helped with the supervision of PhDs related to modelling of wave energy devices and laboratory measurement. I currently supervise PhD work focused on the statistics of wave energy device performance and reliability. I am also leading our contribution to the PORTOS project: Ports towards energy self sufficiency. This Atlantic Area Interreg project will provide tools and strategies which can be used by European port operators to enhance their adoption of sustainable energy sources.

I am also working the the Interreg project ICE: Intelligent Community Energy, which is also aimed at increasing the uptake of sustainable energy technologies, but this time in small isolated communities such as islands and university campuses.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

2005 Adrian Pedrozo-Acuna, PhD: Concerning Swash on Steep Beaches (Awarded)
2005 Ying Li, PhD: Investigation of multi-scale variability of beach profiles (Award pending)
1998 Francoise Ozanne, PhD: Performance of a Boussinesq Model for Shoaling and Breaking Waves.

Grants & contracts

Current funding:

EU Atlantic Area Interreg: PORTOS – Ports towards renewable energy

EU Channel Area Interreg: ICE – Intelligent Community Energy

Previous UK funding

SWRDA (SW Regional Development Agency): - Wave modelling for the Wave Hub (WM4WH) Peninsula Research Institute in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMARE, 387k) Prof D Reeve, Dr D Simmonds, Dr S Pan, Dr V Magar, Prof A Chadwick

EPSRC: - A Risk-based Framework for Predicting Long-term Beach Evolution (£423,123) Prof Dominic Reeve; Prof Andrew Chadwick; Dr Mark Spivack (Cambridge); Dr Ping Dong (Dundee); Dr David Simmonds; Dr Mark Davidson October 2005 - September 2006.

EPSRC i-CASE studentship in collaboration with HR Wallingford:- Fragility of Coastal Defences

Open University PhD led by HR Wallingford: The Effect of Grain Size Distribution and Bimodal Sea States on Coarse Beach Sediment Dynamics

Previous EU funding

EU project: Innovative coastal technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate (THESEUS) [244104/FP7-ENV-2009-1]

Interreg projects:





Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Francone A & Simmonds DJ (2023) 'Assessing the Reliability of a New One-Line Model for Predicting Shoreline Evolution with Impoundment Field Experiment Data' Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 11, (5) 1037-1037 , DOI Open access
Zhu G, Samuel J, Zheng S, Hughes J, Simmonds D & Greaves D (2023) 'Numerical investigation on the hydrodynamic performance of a 2D U-shaped Oscillating Water Column wave energy converter' Energy , DOI Open access
Tomasicchio GR, Francone A, Simmonds DJ, D’Alessandro F & Frega F (2020) 'Prediction of Shoreline Evolution. Reliability of a General Model for the Mixed Beach Case' Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 8, (5) 361-361 , DOI Open access
Zheng S, Zhu G, Simmonds D, Greaves D & Iglesias G (2020) 'Wave power extraction from a tubular structure integrated oscillating water column' Renewable Energy , DOI Open access
O’Shaughnessy KA, Hawkins SJ, Evans AJ, Hanley ME, Lunt P, Thompson RC, Francis RA, Hoggart SPG, Moore PJ & Iglesias G (2019) 'Design catalogue for eco-engineering of coastal artificial structures: a multifunctional approach for stakeholders and end-users' Urban Ecosystems 23, (2) 431-443 , DOI Open access
Collins KM, Stripling S, Simmonds D & Greaves D (2018) 'Quantitative metrics for evaluation of wave fields in basins' Ocean Engineering 169, 300-314 , DOI Open access
Dalla Valle L, Jane R, Simmonds D, Gouldby B, Simm J & Raby A (2018) 'Exploring the Potential for Multivariate Fragility Representations to Alter Flood Risk Estimates' Risk Analysis , DOI Open access
Tan Loh T, Pizer D, Simmonds D, Kyte A & Greaves D (2017) 'Simulation and analysis of wave-structure interactions for a semi-immersed horizontal cylinder' Ocean Engineering , DOI Open access
Ransley EJ, Greaves DM, Raby A, Simmonds D & Hann M (2017) 'Survivability of wave energy converters using CFD' Renewable Energy 109, 235-247 , DOI Open access
Ransley EJ, Greaves DM, Raby A, Simmonds D, Jakobsen M & Kramer M (2017) 'RANS-VOF modelling of the Wavestar point absorber' Renewable Energy 109, 49-65 , DOI Open access
Vyzikas T, Deshoulières S, Barton M, Giroux O, Greaves D & Simmonds D (2016) 'Experimental investigation of different geometries of fixed oscillating water column devices' Renewable Energy 104, 248-258 , DOI Open access
Jane R, Dalla Valle L, Simmonds D & Raby A (2016) 'A copula-based approach for the estimation of wave height records through spatial correlation' Coastal Engineering 117, 1-18 , DOI Open access
Rogan C, Miles J, Simmonds D & Iglesias G (2016) 'The turbulent wake of a monopile foundation' Renewable Energy 93, 180-187 , DOI Open access
Narayan S, Simmonds D, Nicholls RJ & Clarke D (2015) 'A Bayesian network model for assessments of coastal inundation pathways and probabilities' Journal of Flood Risk Management 11, (S1) Publisher Site , DOI
Villatoro M, Silva R, Méndez FJ, Zanuttigh B, Pan S, Trifonova E, Losada IJ, Izaguirre C, Simmonds D & Reeve DE (2014) 'An approach to assess flooding and erosion risk for open beaches in a changing climate' Coastal Engineering 87, 50-76 Publisher Site , DOI
Penning-Rowsell EC, de Vries WS, Parker DJ, Zanuttigh B, Simmonds D, Trifonova E, Hissel F, Monbaliu J, Lendzion J & Ohle N (2014) 'Innovation in coastal risk management: An exploratory analysis of risk governance issues at eight THESEUS study sites' Coastal Engineering 87, 210-217 Publisher Site , DOI
Hoggart SPG, Hanley ME, Parker DJ, Simmonds DJ, Franklin EL, White AC, Bilton DT, Rundle SD, Penning-Rowsell EC & Trifonova E (2014) 'The consequences of doing nothing: The effects of seawater flooding on coastal zones' Coastal Engineering , DOI
Hanley ME, Hoggart SPG, Simmonds DJ, Bichot A, Colangelo MA, Bozzeda F, Heurtefeux H, Ondiviela B, Ostrowski R & Recio M (2014) 'Shifting sands? Coastal protection by sand banks, beaches and dunes' COASTAL ENGINEERING 87, 136-146 , DOI
Jamal MH, Simmonds DJ & Magar V (2013) 'Modelling gravel beach dynamics with XBeach' Coastal Engineering n/a, Open access
Ransley EJ, Hann M, Greaves D, Raby AC & Simmonds D (2013) 'Numerical and physical modelling of extreme waves at Wave Hub' Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 65:1868-1873 30 Jun 201, Open access
Zacharioudaki A, Pan S, Simmonds D, Magar V & Reeve DE (2011) 'Future wave climate over the west-European shelf seas' OCEAN DYNAMICS 61, (6) 807-827 , DOI Open access
Ball I, Mendoza-Baldwin E, Simmonds D, Adri NP-AA & Reeve D (2011) 'LABORATORY OBSERVATIONS OF IMPACTS ON COARSE SEDIMENT BEACHES' Coastal Engineering Proceedings 1, Publisher Site
Mangi SC, Davis CE, Payne LA, Austen MC, Simmonds D, Beaumont NJ & Smyth T (2010) 'Valuing the regulatory services provided by marine ecosystems' Environmetrics 22, (5) 686-698 Author Site , DOI
Pedrozo-Acuna A, Simmonds DJ & Reeve DE (2008) 'Wave-impact characteristics of plunging breakers acting on gravel beaches' MARINE GEOLOGY 253, (1-2) 26-35 Author Site , DOI
Li Y, Simmonds D & Reeve D (2008) 'Quantifying uncertainty in extreme values of design parameters with resampling techniques' OCEAN ENGINEERING 35, (10) 1029-1038 Author Site , DOI
Reeve D, Li Y, Lark M & Simmonds D (2007) 'An investigation of the multi-scale temporal variability of beach profiles at Duck using wavelet packet transforms' Coastal Engineering 54, (5) 401-415
Pedrozo-Acuna A, Simmonds DJ, Chadwick AJ & Silva R (2007) 'A numerical-empirical approach for evaluating morphodynamic processes on gravel and mixed sand-gravel beaches' Marine Geology 241, (1-4) 1-18
Pedrozo-Acuna A, Simmonds DJ, Otta AK & Chadwick AJ (2006) 'On the cross-shore profile change of gravel beaches' Coastal Engineering 53 (4), 335-347 , DOI
vila-Armella A, Pedrozo-Acuna A, Silva-Casarin R & Simmonds DJ (2005) 'Prediction of tsunami-induced flood on the Mexican Pacific coast' Ingenieria Hidraulica en Mexico 20, (4) 5-18
Simmonds (2005) 'Descripción de la cinemática del oleaje por medio de ecuaciones tipo Boussinesq' Revista de Ingenieria Hidraulica en Mexico 20 (4), 69-75
Pedrozo-Acuña A, Simmonds DJ & Silva-Casarín R (2005) 'Wave kinematics from Boussinesq-type equations' INGENIERIA HIDRAULICA EN MEXICO 20, (4) 69-75
Pedrozo-Acuna A, Simmonds DJ & Silva-Casarin R (2005) 'Wave kinematics from Boussinesq-type equations' Ingenieria Hidraulica en Mexico 20, (4) 69-75
Ozanne F, Chadwick AJ, Huntley DA, Simmonds DJ & Lawrence J (2000) 'Velocity predictions for shoaling and breaking waves with a Boussinesq-type model' COASTAL ENGINEERING 41, (4) 361-397 , DOI
Baldock TE & Simmonds DJ (1999) 'Separation of incident and reflected waves over sloping bathymetry' COASTAL ENGINEERING 38, (3) 167-176 , DOI
Huntley DA, Simmonds D & Tatavarti R (1999) 'Use of Collocated Sensors to Measure Coastal Wave Reflection' Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering 125, (1) 46-52 Publisher Site , DOI
Voulgaris G, Simmonds D, Michel D, Howa H, Collins MB & Huntley DA (1998) 'Measuring and modelling sediment transport on a macrotidal ridge and runnel beach: An intercomparison' JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH 14, (1) 315-330
Jane R, Gouldby B, Simmonds D, Simm J, Dalla Valle L & Raby A 'Understanding the Role of Fragility in Flood Risk Analysis: A Justification for Multivariate Fragility' Shore and Beach 84, (4) 10-22
(2015) 'Case Studies Worldwide' Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate Elsevier 325-628 Publisher Site , DOI
Burcharth HF, Zanuttigh B, Andersen TL, Lara JL, Steendam GJ, Ruol P, Sergent P, Ostrowski R, Silva R & Martinelli L (2015) 'Innovative Engineering Solutions and Best Practices to Mitigate Coastal Risk' Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate Elsevier 55-170 Publisher Site , DOI
Conference Papers
Tosdevin T, Jin S, Simmonds D, Hann M & Greaves D (2022) 'On the use of constrained focused waves for characteristic load prediction' CRC Press 609-617 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Tosdevin T, Jin S, Caio A, Simmonds D, Hann M & Greaves D (2021) 'Extreme responses of a hinged raft type wave energy convertor'
Jane R, Simmonds D, Gouldby B, Simm J, Dalla Valle L & Raby A (2018) 'Improving the Representation of the Fragility of Coastal Structures: Brunel Seawall (Dawlish, UK)' ICE Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters ICE Publishing , DOI
Banfi D, Raby A, Simmonds D, Rafiq Y & Bullock G (2018) 'Wave impacts on the Eddystone lighthouse: a field and laboratory investigation' ICE Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters ICE Publishing Publisher Site , DOI
Jane R, Simmonds D, Simm J, Gouldby B, Raby A & Dalla Valle L (2017) 'Improving the Representation of the Fragility of Coastal Structures' American Society of Civil Engineers , DOI Open access
Raby A, Banfi D & Simmonds D (2017) 'Wave Impacts on Rock Lighthouses' Coastal Structures and Solutions to Coastal Disasters Joint Conference 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers Publisher Site , DOI
García-Hermosa I, Brossard J, Cohen Z, Perret G, Pinon G, Abcha N, Bennis A, Ezersky A, Mouazé D & Rivier A (2015) 'Experimental characterisation of wave induced flow fields due to an offshore wind farm mast' CRC Press 791-797 Publisher Site , DOI
Rogan C, Miles J, Simmonds D & Iglesias G (2015) 'The hydrodynamics of monopile foundations – Experimental measurements of near bed and free stream turbulence' CRC Press 815-821 Publisher Site , DOI
Gonzalez Santamaria R, Simmonds D, Zanuttigh B, Reeve D, Nicholls R, Thompson R, Pan S, Horrillo-Caraballo J, Hoggart S & Hanson S (2014) 'Application of a novel decision support system to assess and manage coastal flood risk in the Teign estuary, UK' International Conference on Coastal Engineering , DOI Open access
Pan S, Horrillo-Caraballo JM, Reeve D & Simmonds D (2014) 'Morphological modelling of V-shaped submerged breakwaters' 1300-1309
Vyzikas T, Greaves DM, Simmonds D, Ransley EJ & Brown SA (2013) 'Shape optimization of perforated caissons for wave energy harnessing' in Proceedings of the 6th PanHellenic Conference of Marine Structures Athens, Greece 1-/-1/20131-/-1/2013
Vyzikas T, Ransley E, Hann M, Magagna D, Simmonds D, Magar V, Conley D & Greaves DM (2013) 'Integrated Numerical Modelling System for Extreme Wave Events at the Wave Hub Site' ICE Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters 2013: From Sea to Shore - Meeting the Challenges of the Sea Edinburgh, UK 9-/-0/20139-/-0/2013Open access
Ransley EJ, Hann M, Greaves D, Raby A & Simmonds D (2013) 'Numerical and physical modelling of extreme waves at Wave Hub' in Proceedings of the 12th International Coastal Symposium 4-/-0/20134-/-0/2013Open access
Horrillo-Caraballo JM, Reeve DE, Simmonds D, Pan S, Fox A, Thompson R, Hoggart S, Kwan SSH & Greaves D (2013) 'Application of a source-pathway-receptor-consequence (S-P-R-C) methodology to the Teign Estuary, UK' 1939-1944 , DOI
Reeve D, Horrillo-Caraballo J, Fox A, Simmonds D, Kwan S, Pan S & Greaves D (2012) 'COASTAL DEFENCE EVALUATION: AN SPRC APPROACH' Publisher Site
Horrillo-Caraballo J, Pan S, Reeve D, Simmonds D, Greaves D & Fox A (2012) 'MODELLING EXTREME WAVE EVENTS (PRESENT AND FUTURE SCENARIOS) IN SOUTHWEST ENGLAND' Publisher Site
Reeve DE, Chen Y, Pan S, Magar V, Simmonds DJ & Zacharioudaki A (2011) 'An investigation of the impacts of climate change on wave energy generation: The Wave Hub, Cornwall, UK' 2404-2413 , DOI Open access
Martín-Grandes I, Hughes J, Simmonds DJ, Chadwick AJ & Reeve DE (2009) '<b>106.</b> NOVEL METHODOLOGY FOR ONE LINE MODEL CALIBRATION USING IMPOUNDMENT ON MIXED BEACH' Coastal Dynamics 2009 - Impacts of Human Activities on Dynamic Coastal Processes WORLD SCIENTIFIC Publisher Site , DOI
Simmonds D, Davidson M, Reeve D, Chadwick A, Dong P, Spivack M, Kizhisseri A, Karunarathna H & Wu X (2007) 'A RISK BASED FRAMEWORK FOR PREDICTING LONG-TERM BEACH EVOLUTION' Proceedings of the 30th International Conference World Scientific Publishing Company Publisher Site , DOI
Pedrozo-Acuña A, Simmonds DJ, Otta AK & Chadwick AJ (2006) 'A Numerical Study of Coarse-Grained Beach Dynamics' Fifth International Conference on Coastal Dynamics American Society of Civil Engineers Publisher Site , DOI
Kizhisseri AS, Simmonds D, Rafiq Y & Borthwick M (2005) 'An evolutionary computation approach to sediment transport modelling' CD05 5th International Conference on Coastal Dynamics, Barcelona, Spain, ASCE. 4-/-0/20054-/-0/2005
Pedrozo A, Chadwick AJ & Simmonds D (2004) 'Modelling swash zone morphological changes in gravel beaches' Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas, Merida, Mexico
Simmonds D, Lawrence J & Chadwick A (2001) 'Characterization of Wave Sequencing in Surface Elevation Time Series' Fourth Conference on Coastal Dynamics American Society of Civil Engineers Publisher Site , DOI
Simmonds DJ, Lawrence J & Chadwick AJ (2001) 'Characterisation of wave sequencing in surface elevation time series' in Hanson H; Larson M 82-91
Van Wellen E, Baldock TE, Chadwick AJ & Simmonds DS (2001) 'STRAND - a model for longshore sediment transport in the swash zone' in Edge BL American Society of Civil Engineers 3139-3150
Ilic S, Chadwick AJ, Pan S, Simmonds DJ & O'Connor (2001) 'The evolution of an equilibrium bay' in Hanson H; Larson M American Society of Civil Engineers 16-25
Simmonds DJ, Chadwick AJ, Bird PAD & Pope DJ (1997) 'Field measurements of wave transmission through a rubble mound breakwater' 734-743
Mason T, Voulgaris G, Simmonds DJ & Collins MB (1997) 'Hydrodynamics and sediment transport on composite (mixed sand/shingle) and sand beaches: A comparison' 48-57
Simmonds DJ, O’Hare TJ & Huntley DA (1997) 'The Influence of Long Waves on Macrotidal Beach Morphology' 25th International Conference on Coastal Engineering American Society of Civil Engineers Publisher Site , DOI
Huntley DA, Simmonds DJ & Davidson MA (1996) 'Estimation of frequency-dependent reflection coefficients using current and elevation sensors' 57-68
Simmonds D, Voulgaris G & Huntley D (1996) 'Dynamic processes on a ridge and runnel beach' 868-878
Tosdevin T, Giassi M, Thomas S, Engstrom J, Hann M, Isberg J, Goteman M, Ransley E, Musliedlak P & Simmonds D 'On the calibration of a WEC-Sim model for heaving point absorbers' European wave and tidal energy conference (EWTEC) Open access
Presentations and posters
Collins KM, Arber P, Greaves D, Hann M, Iglesias G, Simmonds D, Stripling S & Toffoli A Collins KM, Arber P, Greaves D, Hann M, Iglesias G, Simmonds D, Stripling S & Toffoli A 'Facilitating coastal and ocean research in the laboratory' Open access