Cathy (Zhi) Liu

Coastal Scientist, Waikato Regional Council

Key Info

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Earth Sciences

Maintaining healthy harbours and estuaries is just one of the projects that Waikato PhD graduate Cathy Liu has been involved in during her time at the Waikato Regional Council (WRC).

"As a Coastal Modeller my main duties include setting up numerical models to analyse relevant coastal processes and provide data and information on Waikato's coastal environments. This includes developing models which can help the council to access changes, threats and impacts on the coastal and marine areas and make decisions about the management of these areas."

One highlight for Cathy has been her work on the Whitianga Marina project. "A plan was introduced to change the current marina access channel direction by dredging. I developed a set of hydrodynamic and sediment transport models of the Whitianga Harbour which were used to estimate the impacts of the physical process on the channel, and also the impacts of channel dredging on the harbour's health."

Cathy began working with the WRC in 2012 during her PhD research into Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport in the Tairua Estuary. Her research involved substantial field data collection from waves, tidal currents, river flow and suspended sediment concentrations as the basis for establishing a fully calibrated and verified hydrodynamic and sediment transport numerical model of the Tairua Estuary on the East Coromandel Coast of New Zealand.

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