Johnathan Woodruff

Updated 2018/06/07

Ph.D. Candidate (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 third-year Ph.D. candidate 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. So far, I have successfully incorporated sub-mesh corrections into ADCIRC. I hope to push these corrections further by implementing them in storm surge forecasting scenarios to drastically reduce computational run times. During my tenure at NC State I have participated in rapid storm surge gauge field deployments which has given me an appreciation for field data collected during storm events. This data gives validation to our model results and demonstrates that our models are providing accurate predictions. In addition, I would like to investigate the interaction between storm surge and rainfall events and its effects on both coastal and inland structures.


Doctor of Philosophy, Civil Engineering

Master of Science, Civil Engineering

  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, 2018

Bachelor of Science, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, 2016

Research Experience

North Carolina State University

  • Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
    • Graduate Research Assistant, June 2018 to Present
      • Numerical modeling and development of the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model.
      • High Performance Computing (HPC) system usage in large scale storm surge modeling.
      • Geospatial analysis and development of model results.
      • Theoretical development of sub-grid corrections in a continuous Galerkin finite element framework.

Industry Experience

Collective Water Resources, West Palm Beach

  • Water Resources Engineer, June 2017 to September 2017
    • Applied the knowledge and skill set developed in undergraduate and graduate school to real world water resources problems.
    • Detailed bridge modeling in HEC-RAS and quality control of bridge models developed by other employees.
    • Project review and analysis.
    • GIS drainage basin and storm water analysis.

Atkins Global, Tallahassee

  • Engineering Intern, June 2015 to August 2015
    • Familiarized myself with the daily tasks of running an engineering business.
    • Assisted coastal and civil engineers in their tasks such as reviewing proposal and design documents and researching current projects.
    • Carried out general office duties such as updating databases, making Excel spreadsheets, and scanning documents to distribute to employees.

Teaching Experience

North Carolina State University, Raleigh

  • Fluid Mechanics Teaching Assistant, August 2018 to December 2018
    • Graded and assisted undergraduate fluid mechanics students with homework and exams.
    • Led lectures for the class in professor’s absence.

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

  • Hydraulics Graduate Teaching Assistant, January 2017 to May 2018
    • Taught and led senior undergraduate hydraulics laboratory.
    • Assisted students in homework, laboratory assignments, and hydraulics concept questions.
    • Graded lab reports, homework assignments, and exams.
    • Stepped in and taught lecture to 80 student class in professor’s absence.
  • Fluid Mechanics Grader, August 2016 to December 2016
    • Graded and assisted undergraduate fluid mechanics students with homework and exams.
    • Held office hours to guide students through difficult material.
    • Stepped in and led lecture for 70 student class in professor’s absence.

Research Interests

      • Increasing both the accuracy and efficiency of storm surge models by taking into account high resolution bathy/topo data.
      • Using machine learning to help better predict hurricane behavior.
      • Natural disaster preparedness (hurricane, earthquake, tsunami) and coastline resiliency.
      • Sea level rise and climate change effects on coastal cities.
      • Ocean energy from tidal and wave sources.
      • Sediment transport and the disappearance of sand sources.
      • Innovative teaching techniques, flipped classrooms, and group oriented learning with active student participation.


      • Student Educational Award – American Shore and Beach Preservation Association
      • Graduate Merit Award – North Carolina State University
      • Summa Cum Laude – University of Florida
      • Florida Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) scholarship recipient
      • Dean’s List – University of Florida
      • Freshman Leadership Council – University of Florida


      • Engineer in Training Certification
      • Open water diving certification: I have various specialty certifications and experience in offshore, near shore, and wreck diving.

Programming Languages

      • Python, Matlab, FORTRAN, C

Technical Skills

      • ADCIRC, XBeach, HEC-RAS, and CEDAS modeling experience.
      • I have advanced knowledge of using Python with both ArcGIS and GRASS GIS.
      • I have completed courses specializing in AutoCAD.
      • Common framing, concrete, and roofing experience.


List Indicators

* Presenter

Conference Presentations

  1. JL Woodruff*, JC Dietrich, A Kennedy, D Wirasaet, D Bolster, Z Silver, R Kolar. “Improving predictions of coastal flooding via sub-mesh corrections.” Virtual ADCIRC Users Group Meeting, 30-31 March 2020.
  2. J Woodruff, J C Dietrich, A Kennedy, D Wirasaet, D Bolster, Z Silver, S Medlin, R Kolar. “Improving predictions of coastal flooding via sub mesh corrections.” ASBPA 2020 National Coastal Conference, 13-16 October 2020.


  1. 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.
  2. JL Woodruff*, JC Dietrich, A Kennedy, D Wirasaet, Z Silver, R Kolar.  “Improving predictions of coastal flooding via sub-mesh corrections.” American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, Myrtle Beach, 23 October 2019.
  3. JL Woodruff*, JC Dietrich, AB Kennedy, D Wirasaet, D Bolster, Z Silver, RL Kolar. “Improving predictions of coastal flooding via sub-mesh corrections.” Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering Research Symposium, North Carolina State University, 6 March 2020.