About Dr Phil Mulhearn

Dr Mulhearn’s current research covers several strands. Sydney Harbour and adjacent bays have been severely impacted by human activities and he is researching the bathymetric changes which have occurred as a result. These changes have been principally due to dredging and to increased sedimentation caused by land use changes. Charts exist from as early as 1788, and are certainly useful for quantitative purposes from the mid 19th Century. He is also involved in SHED (Sydney Harbour Environmental Data Facility) project to model real-time environment conditions in the Harbour and to monitor coincident environmental measurements. The plan is to display results on the Internet. Linked to this is an interest in modelling other aspects such as the dispersion of pollutants from incidents such as chemical spills from ships or industrial sites.

Dr Phil Mulhearn obtained his PhD degree in turbulent fluid mechanics from University of Sydney in 1973. He was a Principal Research Scientist in the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) and was with DSTO from 1977 to 2004. He worked on the physical oceanography of the East Australian Current and Tasman Front, uses of satellite remote sensing in oceanography, acoustic seabed classification, and mine burial processes. Since his retirement from DSTO in 2004 he has been, at University of Sydney, an Adjunct Associate Professor in School of Civil Engineering and an Honorary Associate in School of Geosciences. Here in the past he has worked on ocean colour remote sensing of coastal seas, and acoustic surveying for remains of Zheng He’s fleets (a joint Australian – Chinese project). He has an ongoing interest in Australian-Chinese scientific collaboration.

Selected publications

• Mulhearn, P.J., (2009) Ocean Colour Imagery in China's Coastal Areas, 2009 International Symposium on Marine Environmental Monitoring & Protection, 27 - 29 November 2009, Haikou, China.
• Mulhearn, P.J. (2005) Studies on the Sulu Sea, Australian - Chinese Ocean Science and Technology Conference,15 - 18 November 2005, Canberra..
• Mulhearn, P.J. (2003) Mapping Seabed Vegetation with Sidescan Sonar In Sydney Harbour, Eighth Western Pacific Acoustics Conference, 7-9 April 2003.
• Mulhearn, P.J. (2003) Influences of Penetrometer Tip Geometry on Bearing Strength Estimates, International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering, 13, (1), 73-78.
• Hamilton, L.J., Anstee,S., Chapple, P.B., Hall, M.V. and Mulhearn, P.J. (2002). Scattering in the Ocean. Acoustics Australia, 30 (2), 71-78.
• Hamilton, L.J., Mulhearn, P.J. and Poeckert, R. (1999). A Comparison Of RoxAnn And QTC-View Acoustic Bottom Classification System Performance For The Cairns Area, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Continental Shelf Research 19 (12), 1577-1597.
• Mulhearn, P. J. (1995) Landsat Reflectivities versus Secchi Disc Depths. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 16, (2), 257 - 268.
• Mulhearn, P. J. (1993) Experiments on Mine Burial on Impact, US Navy Journal of Underwater Acoustics, July 1993.
• Walsh, A.L. and P.J. Mulhearn (1987) Photographic measurements of bubble populations from breaking wind waves at sea. Journal of Geophysical Research 92, 14553-14565.
• Mulhearn, P.J. (1981) Distribution of Microbubbles in coastal Waters. Journal of Geophysical Research, 86, (C7), 6429 - 6434.