Carter Rucker

Updated 2020/02/12

M.S. Student (Graduate Research Assistant)
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
North Carolina State University
Mann Hall, Room 428
2501 Stinson Drive
Raleigh NC 27607

I am a second-year graduate student in the CCHT at NC State University.  I am from Raleigh and grew up going to North Carolina beaches.  These beaches have driven my interest toward barrier island dynamics, coastal hazards, and forecasting effects of major storm systems.  I received my undergraduate degree in civil engineering from NC State where I focused my courses in water resources and coastal engineering.  During this time, I became involved with the coastal engineering team by attending weekly team meetings, joining the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI), and contributing to two research projects.

Continuing my education with a graduate degree, I have been working with Dr. Casey Dietrich to create a model which outputs predictions for high-energy storms.  I am excited to have joined the CCHT, and I look forward to gaining a better understanding of barrier islands, coastal hazards, and storms.

Aside from research, I am involved in Engineers Without Borders, with whom I have made four trips to Guatemala to build rainwater catchment systems to provide drinking water for a remote mountain community called Caserio Panhux.  I also played on the NCSU club lacrosse team, and in my free time, I like playing bass guitar and going to football games.  GO PACK!


Master of Science, Civil Engineering

  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, expected Spring 2020

Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering

  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 2018
    • Cum Laude


Research Experience

North Carolina State University

  • Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
    • Graduate Research Assistant, August 2018 to Present
      • Made improvements to physics and accuracy of a flood prediction downscaling system.
      • Increased Kalpana utility and ease of use.
      • Gained significant experience with numerous surveying techniques.
      • Participated in secondary project that used XBeach to assess effects of excavation pits along atoll reef flats.
    • Undergraduate Research Assistant, June 2017 to May 2018
      • Evaluated land cover change over time, comparing data before and after Hurricane Sandy (2012) for Pea Island, NC.
      • Estimated changes in sediment transport rates for Bodie Island, NC in response to construction of a terminal groin on the south end of Oregon Inlet.


Engineering Experience

Engineers Without Borders, NCSU

  • Project Mentor and Travel Mentor, August 2016 to Present
    • Traveled to assess the needs of villagers in Caserio Panhux, Guatemala and to implement 50 rainwater catchment systems.
    • Returning for my fifth trip in May 2020 to complete the remaining 10 systems.
    • Applied engineering knowledge to unique environments.
    • Improved skills communicating with end users of engineering designs.
    • Achieved moderate/working proficiency communicating in Spanish.

Commercial Site Design PLLC, Raleigh

  • Engineering Intern, June 2015 to August 2016
    • Gained experience with city ordinances and regulations, AutoCAD, and project management.
    • Achieved an understanding of surveying and how to use information found in a survey.
    • Improved understanding of the site design process.


Research Interests

    • Natural and anthropogenic forces on barrier island dynamics and sediment transport.
    • Flood level predictions of storms in complex environments.
    • Long-term effects of storms on hard structures, soft structures, and vegetation.
    • Sea level rise and its effects on coastal communities.
    • Influence of climate change on storms and the shore’s protective wildlife.



  1. CA Rucker, N Tull, JC Dietrich, R Luettich, R Cyriac. “Improving the accuracy of a real-time ADCIRC storm surge downscaling model.” ASBPA 2019 National Coastal Conference, Myrtle Beach SC, 23 October 2019.
  2. JL Woodruff, CA Rucker, AC Ortiz. “Atoll reef flat excavation pit influence on wave energy.” Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering Research Symposium, North Carolina State University, 1 March 2019.
  3. C Rucker. “Sediment transport at a historically migrating, partially stabilized inlet, NC, USA (2018).” Virtual Poster Symposium, American Geophysical Union, Spring 2018.
  4. C Rucker, E Sciaudone, JC Dietrich, A Karanci, and L Velasquez Montoya. “Coastal Land Cover Change for Pea Island, NC (2017).” Undergraduate Research Symposium, North Carolina State University, 01 August 2017.



  • Sloan Graduate Scholarship Award, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, North Carolina State University
  • Cum Laude, North Carolina State University
  • Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Award, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • Dean’s List, North Carolina State University



    • Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)
    • SCUBA
    • North Carolina boater’s license


Technical Skills

  • Surveyed using numerous techniques and systems in industry, research, and a surveying course. Some tools used include a Trimble R10 (RTK GPS), total station, penetrometer, ADV, ADCP, and Mastersizer (LDPSA).
  • Experienced in Python, ADCIRC, GRASS GIS, ArcMap, MATLAB, XBeach, Linux/shell scripting, SMS, High Performance Computing (HPC), AutoCAD, Microsoft office, and Google Earth.


Professional Organizations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
    • Coast, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI)


Student Organizations

  • Engineers Without Borders (EWB) – NCSU Guatemala Water Supply Group
  • Chi Epsilon Honor Society
  • NCSU Club Lacrosse


Graduate-Level Coursework


  • Coastal Modeling, Coastal Hydrodynamics, Engineering Aspects of Coastal Processes, Fluid Mechanics in Natural Environments, and River Mechanics & Sediment Transport


  • Geospatial Programming, Geospatial Modeling, and Advanced Mathematics for Engineers & Scientists