Carter Rucker

Updated 2018/08/27

M.S. 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
carucker@ncsu.edu

I am a first-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 Coast, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI), and contributing to two research projects.

Continuing my education with a graduate degree, I will be 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 two 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!

Continue reading

Autumn Poisson

Updated 2018/08/16

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
apoisso@ncsu.edu

I am a first year PhD student in the CCHT at North Carolina State University. I am originally from Michigan where we have a different kind of coastline, but a very large one none the less. Living near the Great Lakes, my love for the natural environment was always present. I studied environmental science and mathematics at the University of Michigan for my undergraduate degree and then ecology for my masters. After graduating, I worked with various organizations on things related to environmental education, communication and outreach, and fresh water studies, and in a more pivotal position working on a coastal watershed restoration project on a small island in the Pacific Ocean. It was here where I fell in love with that other coast, the salty one. Afterward, I worked in landscape limnology (freshwater) research at Michigan State University with some truly amazing people who helped me develop an interest in the research process. From there I decided I needed a new challenge and needed to develop my own research interests, so I decided to apply to go back to school for my PhD.

During the start of my PhD, I will be working on the the NSF project “Subgrid-Scale Corrections to Increase the Accuracy and Efficiency of Storm Surge Models,” which has the goal of incorporating the more nuanced structure of coastal landscapes available in higher resolution storm surge models into broader scaled models thus reducing computation times while also maintaining model accuracy. Since I am just starting, my research interests have not been fully formed and are still rather broad. However, I hope to use my numerical modeling and quantitative skills to assist coastal communities as they prepare for the unforeseen changes they will experience. This includes learning more about coastal processes and coastal modeling to understand how storm events and subsequent storm surge will impact and alter the coastal landscape.

In addition to my work at NC State, I am also passionate about my personal health and fitness so I spend most of my free time either at the gym or cooking in the kitchen. I also love to read and spend time in the outdoors. I hope to experience all that North Carolina has to offer from the mountains to the sea.

Continue reading

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
jlwoodr3@ncsu.edu

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 effects on both coastal and inland structures.

Continue reading

Alireza Gharagozlou

Updated 2017/03/06

Alireza-Thumbnail PhD 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
agharag@ncsu.edu

I am a PhD student in Coastal Engineering at NC State University. My research interests mainly include coastal hydrodynamics, numerical modeling, and sediment transport. During my masters at the University of Tehran, I worked on morphological modeling methods to speed up the simulation time of coastal erosion and sedimentation near a breakwater.

Currently, I’m involved in the NC Sea Grant project “Interactions between Waves, Flooding and Beach Morphology during Storm Events.” As part of my research, I am modeling the breaching of the Outer Banks during storm events. The goal is to extend the domain and provide a guidance for the entire Hatteras Island. For this purpose, we are using XBeach as a morphological modeling tool and ADCIRC+SWAN to model the tides and water circulations during the hurricane. Eventually, we will develop a two-way coupled ADCIRC+SWAN and XBeach models so that the wave and tidal boundary condition for the XBeach domain will be provided by ADCIRC computation and after the morphology run, new topography and bathymetry data will be sent back to ADCIRC to continue the simulation.

Continue reading

Ajimon Thomas

Updated 2017/10/04

Ph.D. 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
athomas9@ncsu.edu

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Coastal Engineering at NC State University. My research interests include Numerical Modelling of Water Systems, Ocean and Coastal Engineering, Offshore Structures and Dynamic Response of Structures. During my masters at National Institute of Technology, Calicut, my project dealt with finding the Response of Semi-Submersibles under Multi-Directional seas. The semi-submersible was modeled as a rigid body with six degrees of freedom and the multi-component mooring lines as nonlinear springs at its fair-lead point. Modified Morison equation was employed to find the wave forces and the dynamic equilibrium equation was solved in time domain using an iterative procedure by Newmark-Beta method.

During my initial years of research at NC State, I was involved in the NC Sea Grant project “Strengthening the Hurricane Wave and Surge Forecast Guidance provided to Coastal Communities in North Carolina.” Our aim was to improve the accuracy of storm surge prediction for the North Carolina region. This was done by refining the mesh used for running the coupled ADCIRC-SWAN model at selected regions based on the errors in mass conservation. I was also a part of the DHS project “Improving the Efficiency of Wave and Surge Models via Adaptive Mesh Resolution.” This project aimed at implementing an adaptive, multi-resolution approach to increase resolution during a simulation. We will be starting with a relatively coarse resolution mesh and as the storm approaches, we will be adding regions from a fine resolution mesh. We will be also trying to optimize the use of computational resources through dynamic load balancing in which we will be reallocating computational resources to improve parallel efficiency.

My current research deals with Hindcasts of Winds and Surge during Hurricane Matthew (2016) and is also being funded as part of the above DHS Project. This work aims at understanding how Matthew impacted the US East Coast. We will be looking at various sources of meteorological forcing in order to identify how the impact varied between coastal and inland regions. We also want to understand the implications of using different meshes. Using various meshes that concentrate its resolution in different areas along the east coast will help us to understand how resolution plays a role in mesh performance.

Continue reading

Rosemary Cyriac

Updated 2017/02/10

Ph.D. 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
rcyriac@ncsu.edu

Hello! I am Rosemary Cyriac, a coastal engineering graduate student at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Over the past four years, I have worked with Dr. Casey Dietrich on improving the visualization of storm surge forecast products and modeling the hydrodynamics of estuarine systems. I find coastal modeling fascinating and have enjoyed using numerical modeling tools to understand coastal processes and being involved in delivering scientific products that aid decision makers in coastal communities. I look forward to learning more about the impacts of extreme events such as hurricanes, tropical storms, tsunamis etc along the coast, impacts of sea-level rise, mixing of riverine freshwater within estuarine systems and its interactions within the continental shelf, sediment transport and beach morphodynamics.

During my first 2 years I was a part of the NC Sea Grant project “Strengthening the Hurricane Wave and Surge Forecast Guidance provided to Coastal Communities in North Carolina”. For this project, I developed a Python tool named Kalpana that converts hurricane forecast products that are in the form of ASCII based text files into more popular formats such as ArcGIS based shapefiles and Google Earth compatible KMZ files. These file formats enhances the utility of hurricane forecast products allowing end users such as emergency managers of coastal communities to overlay forecast results with other types of geo-spatial data. Kalpana was tested during a hindcast analysis for Hurricane Arthur, a Category 2 storm that made multiple landfalls along the North Carolina coast in early July 2014. I validated forecast results (for water levels, waves heights and wave periods) issued in real-time during Arthur by the ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS) with available observations and hindcast results. Currently, I am investigating the sensitivity of these model results to uncertainties in the track and intensity predictions during the event.

Another important focus of my research, being a part of “The Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE)”, is to examine coastal ocean processes that can influence nearshore oil transport. Currently, I am working with Dr. Dietrich to develop an ADCIRC 2DDI/3D model to examine the mixing of fresh and saline waters within the Choctawhatchee Bay and River system situated along the Florida Panhandle. A series of near-shore experiments collectively known as the Surfzone Coastal Ocean Pathways Experiments were performed by CARTHE in December 2013 in this region. Satellite imagery acquired during SCOPE indicated the presence of a surface freshwater plume at the Destin Inlet that connects Choctawhatchee Bay to Gulf of Mexico. Our objective is to investigate the spatial extent and vertical profile of this river plume using the capabilities of ADCIRC 3D to simulate baroclinic flows.

Apart from research, I spend my time hanging out with my husband, cooking and catching up on current affairs and friends. I also enjoy reading books and being involved in activities at church.

Continue reading