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Ocean engineering connects the world - bringing together a multidisciplinary and diverse group of researchers to help solve global issues. As such, the expert faculty in the Department of Ocean Engineering pursue an active research program in the areas of coastal and ocean engineering, including:

  • Offshore Systems
  • Coastal and Nearshore Processes
  • Ocean Surface and Subsurface Robotics
  • Naval Architecture
  • Renewable Energy

This research program is supported by two major centers (the Offshore Technology Research Center and the Center for Dredging Studies) as well as significant laboratories and computational resources. Learn about the department's research groups, labs and facilities by exploring the links, below.

Students doing field research in the ocean

Research Groups and Laboratories

Ocean System Simulation & Control Laboratory

The goal of the Ocean System Simulation & Control Laboratory (OSSCL) is to develop Integrated Suite of Variable Fidelity Computational Tools including Control for Ocean Systems, and provide solutions to existing challenges through the combined efforts of faculty, research staffs, and highly qualified graduate students, in synergistic cooperation with industry.

Lead Faculty Members: Dr. Moo-Hyun Kim and Dr. HeonYong Kang


Tsunami Research Group

Involved in the development of numerical tools for tsunami calculation, the Tsunami Research Group (TRG) has developed and been continuously improving a 3D numerical model based on the Navier-Stokes equations. The 3D model is mostly used for tsunami generated by submarine landslide. 3D model results is then coupled to a 2D non-hydrostatic model for wave propagation and detailed calculation of run-up (inundation) in coastal areas. The 2D numerical model has been developed by the UAF and UH. Both models have been extensively validated and used for assessment of tsunami hazard, inundation, mapping and prediction of tsunami arrival time.

Lead Faculty Member: Dr. Juan J. Horrillo


Non-Intrusive Flow Measurement Laboratory

Fluid physics are investigated using optical and other non-intrusive measurement techniques that include planar laser-induced fluorescence, particle image velocimetry and particle tracking velocimetry. Particular emphasis is given to friction drag reduction and free-surface flow dynamics. The overall population benefits through the reduction of energy consumption and ancillary pollution by reduced friction drag on surface and sub-surface vehicles, by knowledge of air-sea boundary conditions for numerical simulations, and by knowledge of dangerous extreme/freak wave events.

Lead Faculty Member: Dr. Marc Perlin


Coastal Engineering Laboratory

The Coastal Engineering Laboratory (CEL) is a center of excellence for coastal engineering research and design. Coastal areas worldwide are under ever increasing pressure from changes in water levels, storms, erosion, population increase, and commerce. CEL researchers perform field experiments, physical model tests, and numerical model simulations to better understand the complex processes impacting our coastal systems and to help solve engineering problems related to coastal dynamics, sediment transport, and storm protection. Current research efforts involve field experiments and numerical model analysis of nearshore and barrier island system dynamics, as well as physical model testing of vegetated dunes and hybrid coastal structures under wave attack.

Lead Faculty Member: Dr. Jens Figlus


Marine Dynamics Laboratory

The Marine Dynamics Laboratory investigates the various problems and issues associated with the nonlinear and stochastic dynamics of ships and floating offshore platforms. The primary focus has been the development of an integrated design environment to simulate the large amplitude motions and stability of both ships and floating offshore platforms. Both government and commercial projects have been used to support the development of analysis tools to determine wave loads and motion response in realistic METOCEAN conditions.

Lead Faculty Member: Dr. Jeffery Falzarano

Research Facilities