Ayse Karanci wins Abstract Competition at iEMSs Conference

Ayse Karanci was a winner in the abstract competition at the 9th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software. The award included funding to support her travel to the conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she presented on “Cyberinfrastructure for Enhancing Interdisciplinary Engagement in Coastal Risk Management Research.”

Although Ayse was never an official member of the CCHT, she did contribute to our Risk Analytics Discovery Environment (RADE) project. Her presentation was related to that project, in which she developed containers for her models for coastal erosion and decision-making in coastal households. We are very proud of her good work.

News: Faster Storm Surge Forecasting

2018/06/12 – DHS Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence
NC State project aims to create faster storm surge forecasting


Planning for a hurricane is a complicated process involving many stakeholders and varying degrees of uncertainty. Accurate predictions of storm surge and wave heights are vital to decision-making before, during and after the storm. Creating these predictions through modeling software can be expensive and time-consuming. When dealing with hurricanes, time is critical for emergency managers and other officials.

Helping decision-makers to save valuable prediction time is CRC Principal Investigator Dr. Casey Dietrich of North Carolina State University (NCSU). His project, “Improving the Efficiency of Wave and Surge Models via Adaptive Mesh Resolution,” involves collaboration with co-PI Dr. Clint Dawson at the University of Texas at Austin. Their project focuses on speeding up a widely used prediction tool, ADCIRC. His work with North Carolina Emergency Management during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and his contributions to developing future disaster resilience specialists, have helped make significant contributions to disaster preparation and recovery.

Johnathan Woodruff

Updated 2018/06/07

Ph.D. Student (Graduate Research Assistant)
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
North Carolina State University
Mann Hall, Room 424
2501 Stinson Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607


Ahoy! I am a first year Ph.D. student in the Coastal and Computational Hydraulics Team (CCHT) at NC State. Having been born and raised in Florida, I developed a love for the coastline and a passion for understanding and protecting it. During my undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, I took a few classes in coastal/water resources engineering and decided to pursue it further with a master’s degree at Georgia Tech. There I specialized in coastal and water resources engineering and found my passion.

At Georgia Tech, I took a particular interest in Coastal Hazards work which led me to the CCHT here at NC State. I am currently working on the NSF project “Subgrid-Scale Corrections to Increase the Accuracy and Efficiency of Storm Surge Models,” which aims to reduce computation times of storm surge forecasting while retaining the same level of accuracy used in high resolution models. Although I am just starting out, I am extremely excited to dive deeper into this project so that I may better understand the complex numerical processes that are involved in storm surge prediction. I hope to incorporate rapid deployment field observations into my Ph.D. to help validate the results of our models. In addition, I would like to investigate the interaction between storm surge and rainfall events and its affect on both coastal and inland structures.

Continue reading

News: Improving Coastal Flooding Predictions

2018/05/14 – NC Sea Grant Coastwatch Currents
Hurricane Hindsight: Researchers Work to Improve Coastal Flooding Predictions


Computer models can make surge predictions based on limited information about storm characteristics such as track, size, maximum wind speed and central pressure. Those parameters are used to predict the surface pressures and wind speeds throughout a coastal region. Those atmospheric conditions are then used to predict how the ocean will respond by generating large waves and surge, and by flooding into low-lying areas.

Given all the variables involved, there’s a lot of room for error in storm wind and surge prediction modeling.

For our study, we wanted to know how forecasting errors affect subsequent coastal flooding predictions. To that end, we needed to answer a couple of questions: First, as a storm moves closer to the coast, how accurate are forecasts of certain storm parameters like track, size, and maximum wind speed? Second, how do those forecasts affect predictions of wind speeds and storm surge?

News: Outstanding Teacher Award

2018/05/14 – NCSU Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Two CCEE Professors inducted into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers


Teaching students from a wide range of experiences and interests, Dietrich has incorporated dynamic, team-based methods in his courses. He believes that students learn best by doing, and encourages students to become active participants in the classroom. Using required reading to introduce students to course material, Dietrich uses class time to move toward incorporating the material into an activity or problem, which is addressed in teams. He prefers his class sessions to be more discussion oriented, and for students to experience the material in a supportive atmosphere.

2018/05/03 – NCSU College of Engineering
Bryant, de los Reyes, and Dietrich receive Outstanding Teaching Awards


[Dr. Dietrich] has contributed to the teaching mission of the department with his teaching of required courses, restarting the department’s teaching and research program in coastal engineering and improving the teaching of fluid mechanics at all levels. A former student wrote: “Dr. Dietrich is a fantastic professor and organizes his class in a refreshing way. Everything is posted online and all one needs to do is fill in the work for the examples. He is clear and concise when presenting the material and values the opinions of all the students. He emphasizes group work, which is realistic in the real world.”

2018/04/11 – NCSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
2017-2018 University Teaching Awards Presented

NC State recognized more than 30 faculty for their dedication to teaching, mentoring and innovation at the 2017-2018 University Teaching Awards Ceremony on April 4. The Outstanding Teacher Award was presented to the following faculty members:

  • Casey Dietrich, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

The award recognizes excellence in teaching at all levels. Faculty must receive the Outstanding Teacher Award in order to be eligible for the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award. Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award become members of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers for as long as they remain NC State faculty. Recipients’ names are published in the commencement program.

CCHT Joins COPRI Field Trip to Wilmington-Area Beaches

CCHT members led the annual field trip by the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) student chapter at NC State University. The chapter traveled to Wilmington, NC, over two days to visit beaches from Ocean Isle to Kure through Wrightsville. The students learned about beach management practices from Greg Williams and his team at the Wilmington District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, as well as from NC Sea Grant extension specialist Spencer Rogers.

During the first day of the visit, the students visited an active dredge as it finished a beach nourishment project on Ocean Isle. The tour included a visit onto the dredge to learn how it operates, and also to the beach to see how the pumping is controlled and how the sand is worked to meet the design specifications. During the second day, the students visited several beaches closer to Wilmington to learn about terminal groins, nourishment projects, inlet stabilization, and construction practices.

This was the second annual field trip for the COPRI student chapter. During the 2017-2018 academic year, CCHT members served as President (Nelson Tull), Vice President (Rosemary Cyriac), and Treasurer (Alireza Gharagozlou).

Students preparing to board the dredge near Ocean Isle, during the 2018 COPRI field trip.

Continue reading