Kris Ions

Kris Ions

PhD Civil Engineering

What Faculty are you based in?

I am based in the Faculty of Science and Engineering within the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering.

How did you come to study at Swansea University?

I initially came to complete my BEng Civil Engineering Degree. Following my degree I visited Zambia as part of Swansea University & Siavonga School initiative, a project based on Sustainable Engineering, which led to a change in direction in my career aims. I was fortunately awarded a KESS II MRes in Costal Engineering after completion of my BEng. During my MRes, I had my first paper published which opened a whole new career route resulting in my current EPSRC PhD.

What is your research topic?

My research area is in Coastal Engineering, with a focus on nature-based solutions such as saltmarshes, seagrass, and mangroves as a means of protection against coastal erosion with particular focus on the sediment dynamics through coastal and aquatic vegetation.

What led to your interest in this area?

The problems facing the world today, due to climate change, are now abundantly clear and they will only become worse. Whilst I enjoyed studying all aspects of Civil Engineering, I really wanted to utilise the knowledge and skills I had developed to be part of the solution. Living in Swansea meant I spent a lot of time both in, and observing, the ocean so naturally I wanted to discover more about its physics. This, combined with the urge to contribute to combating the effects of climate change, made it an easy decision to pursue research in Coastal Engineering and the nature-based solution aspect was what sealed the deal. I now get to research my passion which is an exciting prospect.

What do you hope to achieve with your research?

I hope to develop as a researcher and a person during my studies. There is so much to learn and discover. If my contribution can have some lasting effect or open new avenues of research, then I will be incredibly pleased.

What are the best things about conducting your research at Swansea University?

Being a coastal engineer studying in Swansea is the ideal scenario for me. Surrounded by the beautiful coastlines is really inspiring. Whilst the city is small it has a lot of endearing characteristics which are hard to dislike. It seems that everyone who chooses to come to Swansea is like minded and that is a great atmosphere to be around. Swansea University itself has unbelievable facilities, and the huge 30m long wave flume I’m using as part of my project is pretty amazing.

What are your future plans?

I have honestly not given them much thought. A 4-year PhD seems far enough ahead for me to think right now. Ideally, I would like to take my research around the world, combining research and travelling globally, utilising the skills and knowledge I’ve gained.