Tomás & Molly get their Diplomas!

The CCHT celebrated the graduation of Tomás Cuevas López and Molly McKenna!

Tomás is now coastal scientist with DHI, but he worked remotely in Raleigh through the semester. Molly finished her BS and will pursue an MS degree and continue work in our DHS project. It was great to celebrate them at the graduation ceremony. We are proud of them!

Casey Dietrich, Molly McKenna, and Tomás Cuevas López after the graduation ceremony.

Brandon wins Outstanding Senior Award for Scholarly Achievement

Undergraduate student Brandon Tucker won an Outstanding Senior Award for Scholarly Achievement, which recognizes exceptional academic performance including participation in undergraduate research. Brandon was among four outstanding seniors recognized by our department.

[H]he continued undergraduate research as part of the Coastal and Computational Hydraulics Team with Associate Professor Casey Dietrich and graduate student Tomás [Cuevas] López. The project was related to predictions of coastal flooding due to hurricanes.

“I helped run more than 1 million CPU hours of hurricane models to train our machine-learning model called Concorde, which can predict storm-driven flooding in seconds,” Tucker explained. “I also created detailed Python examples for Kalpana, an intermediary model used by researchers across the country.”

“This was a lot of work,” Dietrich emphasized. “Each hurricane simulation can take several hours on a parallel computing cluster and generate gigabytes of data, and so it took about two months to complete the simulations. It would have taken much longer without Brandon’s help and creativity. He wrote scripts to automate the process to submit, monitor, and archive the simulations, and he contributed to a post-processing visualization script. His documentation and examples are now shared widely with all users of the software. Brandon is strong at the technical skills of computing and programming, but he also sees the larger picture and looks for ways to contribute.”

After graduation, Brandon will pursue a Master of Civil Engineering at CCEE with a focus on transportation systems, while also completing a Graduate Certification in City Design from the College of Design.

Congratulations to Brandon!

News: Oceans and Human Health Center

2024/03/19 – NCSU Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
CCEE faculty to advance understanding of toxic algae blooms, protect human health as part of new NSF, NIEHS Center at NC State


Obenour will lead a project with Dietrich and Natalie Nelson (Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering) focused on the development of models to predict the transport of cyanotoxins — toxins produced by cyanobacteria released in algae blooms — in coastal environments. The models will focus on coastal North Carolina, especially the estuaries and sounds where freshwaters mix with saline waters. With the models, researchers will evaluate where cyanotoxins may collect and where they may originate. They will also evaluate scenarios of future climate, such as how changes in temperature, river flows, and sea levels may affect the transport of cyanotoxin.

According to Obenour, “the research will protect public health by identifying cyanotoxin hotspots and by informing management actions to reduce cyanotoxin risks in the future.”

2024/02/28 – NCSU College of Sciences
NC State Receives $6.9 Million From NSF, NIEHS to Fund New Oceans and Human Health Center


NC C-CAPE will carry out three research projects. The goal of the first project is to understand the dynamics of harmful algal blooms and learn more about the presence and distribution of microcystin — a liver toxin — across the Pamlico-Albemarle Sound System, the country’s largest lagoonal estuary. They will then link spatiotemporal patterns to the contamination of seafood. The second project will define how microcystin mixtures influence mechanisms of liver toxicity in regulatory-relevant mammalian models and at-risk human populations. In the third project, researchers will work to predict microcystin distributions in water and seafood based on various environmental controls — and assess exposure risk in a changing climate. They will do so by integrating diverse data sets and coastal circulation modeling within a probabilistic modeling framework.

Jack selected for Climate Leaders Program

CCHT undergraduate researcher Jack Voight was selected for the 2024 cohort of the KIETS Climate Leaders Program. KIETS offers programming about climate change and adaptation, and the cohort of student/faculty teams will work with their internship partners to develop solutions that mitigate and adapt to the challenges of climate change. Read more about the program in the KIETS announcement.

Congrats to Jack!

Tomás wins Scott C. Hagen Excellence in Scholarship Award

MS Student Tomás Cuevas López won the Scott C. Hagen Excellence in Scholarship Award at the ADCIRC Users Meeting. The award is for the most outstanding oral student presentation at the conference, as judged by a panel of Scott’s former students. Tomás presented about his MS research to develop a deep neural network for the prediction of coastal flooding maps.

Congratulations to Tomás!

Tomás accepts the award from Denise Delorme and Robert Twilley

Scott Hagen was a professor at UCF and LSU, a leading researcher in the development of models for coastal circulation and flooding, a devoted educator and mentor to hundreds of students in his career, and a great friend. This award is a great way to honor his memory.

News: Department Social Media

2023/06/01 — NCSU Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

ncsu-engrJack Voight was featured on social media in a video about his summer research in our REU program. He is running simulations of storm surge and coastal flooding as part of a project about total water levels at coastal infrastructure. Glad he is part of our team!