Oil Rig photo credit: Dr. Randall

The faculty in the Department of Ocean Engineering pursue an active research program in the areas of Coastal and Ocean Engineering. This research program is supported by two major research centers (the Offshore Technology Research Center and the Center for Dredging Studies) and three significant laboratories (the Haynes Coastal Engineering Laboratory and the Ocean Engineering Wave Tank) as well as by significant computational resources.




Areas of current active research include:

Dredging  Mooring and riser systems
Dynamics of Offshore structures subject to irregular waves and winds  Coastal Sediment Processes
Tsunami modeling Dredged material placement
Analysis and design of deep water and coastal structures Beach nourishment
Bridge scour Coastal engineering processes
Coastal zone management Computational ship and submarine hydrodynamics
Dredging technology Environmental fluid mechanics
Floating breakwaters Hydroelasticity
Internal waves Laboratory measurement and analysis techniques
Multiphase flow and direct ocean carbon sequestration Non-linear wave/structure/wake interactions
Offshore structures Remote sensing of ocean surface
Sediment dynamics Shallow flows
Tsunami propagation and run-up Turbulence modeling
Underwater life support and diving technology Unsteady three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations
Wave and current interaction Wave breaking
Subsea Systems Renewable Ocean Energy

Research Centers, Facilities, and Labs

Center for Dredging Studies

Center for Dredging Studies

The Center for Dredging Studies was established in 1968 as a result of conferences held between educators, representatives of the dredging industry, manufacturers, and officials at Texas A&M University. The Center is located in the Department of Ocean Engineering and is supported by gifts and research grants from the dredging industry and the government and continuing education courses.

In addition to research and industrial testing, the Center’s activities include teaching university courses and providing annual seminars and short courses concerning advances in dredging engineering technology. The center sponsors two annual dredging short courses: Dredging Engineering Short Course and the Cutter Suction Dredge Simulator Short Course. The Center for Dredging Studies also actively generates reports, participates in regional, national and international dredging conferences and has a unique model dredge carriage in the Haynes Coastal Engineering Laboratory.

Offshore Technology Research Center

OTRCThe Offshore Technology Research Center (OTRC) provides technology, expertise, and services needed for the development of drilling, production, and transportation systems that enable the safe and economically viable exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in deep and ultra-deep water.

The OTRC develops technology through a balanced program of basic and applied research projects that is focused in the following core technical areas:

  • characterization of the ocean environment
  • characterization of the seafloor environment
  • environmental forces on structures and foundation systems,
  • structural responses and integrity, and
  • advanced composite materials.

The research program is balanced and optimized based on the interests and needs of OTRC’s sponsors, and emphasizes areas of common interest that provide opportunities for leveraging resources. In executing this program the OTRC seeks to maximize sponsor interaction in order to enhance the effectiveness of the research.

Haynes Coastal Engineering Laboratory

Haynes Lab 1 Dedicated in June 2003, the 25,000-square-foot Reta and Bill Haynes '46 Coastal Engineering Laboratory at Texas A&M University brings ocean and estuarine environments into a laboratory setting where engineers, researchers and educators can tackle the most challenging problems of near-shore, offshore and estuarine regions.

Ocean Engineering Wave Tank

The Ocean Engineering Wave Tank is a fluid mechanics laboratory housed in theCivil Engineering Laboratory Building, CVLB 109. This laboratory is used both for graduate research programs and the undergraduate fluid dynamics laboratory (OCEN 336 and OCEN 410).

The laboratory houses a glass walled 2D wave tank that is 115 feet long, 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep. A variable height random deepwater wave generator is capable of making wave heights of 10 inches in 3 feet of water. The wave tank also has a 6 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and 2 feet deep sediment pit approximately 40 feet from the wave maker. It has a beach (3.3:1), beach wave absorber nd a portable 30:1 beach. A towing carriage is mounted on rails and has a variable speed drive with maximum speed of 2 ft/s.

A new research tank in the laboratory is a 2 m long by 1 m wide by 1.3 m deep glass-walled experimental tank. The tank is designed for conducting Particle Image Velocimetry measurements of multiphase plume flows.

Measurement technology in the laboratory includes several sophisticated systems. A 3D Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV) is installed in the lab with fiber-optic cables so that velocity measurements can be made at any point along the glass-walled flume. The laser can also be used for Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) measurements. A dual-head, high-powered Nd:YAG laser is available with 10 bit and 12 bit cameras for Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The laboratory also has data acquisition and control hardware, a vibration free optical table, wave gauges, and other equipment needed in ocean engineering research.

Marine Dynamics Laboratory

Marine Dynamics Lab1 Marine Dynamics Lab2Marine Dynamics Lab3

Marine Dynamics Laboratory is a research group organized to investigate problems and issues associated with the dynamics of ships and floating offshore platforms. The primary focus is the development of an integrated design environment to simulate the large amplitude motions and stability of ships and floating offshore platforms. 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. The tools are based upon the frequency domain potential flow wave structure interaction computer code MDL HydroD. This computer program is a three dimensional panel code able to calculate first and second order wave loads and motion response at zero and forward speed in deep and shallow water. A related computer program SYMDYN uses the frequency domain hydrodynamics from MDL HydroD and then calculates the nonlinear Froude-Krylov and Hydrostatics loads and simulates the nonlinear vessel motions in time domain. Additional efforts include multi-body and irregular frequency removal and steady wave resistance using nonlinear Rankine source method and linear Neuman-Kelvin approaches. Currently the group is also developing a system identification tool to predict hydrodynamic coefficients form experimental test data and can be utilized to improve the predictions from numerical simulations. Finally a significant amount of effort has also been devoted to long term probabilistic prediction of design wave loads and stochastic dynamics.

Wave Laboratory (Galveston)

Wavetank Sweetman _Wave

Materials Laboratory (Galveston)

Materialslab1 Materialslab2 Materialslab3

Electrical/Electronics Laboratory (Galveston)

Electrical 1_small Electrical 2_small

Geotechnical Lab (Galveston)

Geotechlab 11 Geotechlab3 Geotch Student

Naval Architecture (Galveston)

Naval ARC_small

Fluids Mechanics Laboratory (Galveston)

Wood 018a Fluidslab1

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
  • to provide solutions to existing challenges

through the combined efforts of faculty, research staffs, and highly qualified graduate students, in synergistic cooperation with industry.