35409 - Coastal Engineering

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Sustainable cities Oceans

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The course focuses on sustainable nature based solutions for beach protection and recovery in the presence of climate change. Students will be introduced to processes that characterize the evolution of the coastal environment and beaches, by considering future climate scenarios and environmental impact assessment. Dune mainteinance and recovery, management of freshwater in coastal areas in the presence of salt intrusion and sea level rise, and ecology of beaches will be the main focuses.

Course contents

The teacher will adopt an innovative approach to learning, which makes extensive use of interaction with students. Accordingly, students will be given the optional opportunity of delivering presentations to the class and the public, developing software, preparing open source contributions to be published on the web, substitute the final assessment of learning with a continuous time and interactive verification. The educational approach adopted by the teacher takes the technical application as the central thread of the lectures. An intensive interaction with the students will be established through web based discussions (see also https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/155 and https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/60. An example of tutorial is given at https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/130).

The lectures include: (1) Introduction to coastal engineering and coastal morphology; (2) Coastal hydrodynamics and coastal morphodynamics; (3) Observation of sea environment; (4) Salt water intrusion; (5) Climate change impact and mitigation.

Computer based exercises will be developed which will focus on technical applications.


The teacher will prepare dynamic documents to support the learning process, which will be made available in the form of open web pages, which will be open to interactive contribution by students (see https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/267).

Teaching methods

Students should preliminarily possess knowledge of ocean engineering and in particular wave theory.

The course is taught through lectures. Part of them are dedicated to the solution of practical exercises, that are developed at the computer.

Assessment methods

At the exam, students are asked to reply to 3-4 questions focusing on the topics that were treated during the lectures. Students may be asked to solve a short exercise. The exam is passed if the student proves to be prepared on the theoretical principles and analytical derivations that were taught during the lectures. The teacher will explicitly mention to students during the lectures what are the basic questions that one needs to rigorously address in order to pass the exam. The speaking capability will also be evaluated but it is not a cause of failure. The laude is reserved to students who are excellently prepared and prove to have integrated their preparation with personal in-depth analysis.

Teaching tools

The teachers will made available notes on the web. Scientific papers will be distributed during the lectures as well as summaries of recent research outcomes. Moreover, the teachers make available videos of the lectures at http://www.youtube.com/user/albertomontanari/videos?view=1.

Office hours

See the website of Alberto Montanari

See the website of Armando Brath