Research in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering (CEOE)

CEOE research includes exciting international collaborations that cross multiple disciplines. Through a wide range of centers of research such as the Maritime Security Center (MSC) and the Atlantic Center for the Innovative Design and Control of Small Ships (ACCeSS), as well as valuable partnerships with organizations like the NSF Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) (two-week program to study and improve the health of the Amazon), the CEOE continues to pioneer discovery in the fields of civil, environmental and ocean engineering.

Structural Engineering/Mechanics/Materials

The research from the mechanics/materials/structural engineering group at Stevens focuses its research on multiscale modeling and reliability/uncertainty/risk assessment of complex material/structural systems. Current research topics include:

  • Stochastic finite element methods
  • Multiscale computational algorithms
  • Numerical simulation of crack failure
  • Soil-structure interaction subject to cyclic loadings

Environmental Engineering

Material Surface Properties Modification by Nonequilibrium Plasmas

The research demonstrates a new low-temperature, environmentally sound, highly controllable method of depositing coatings or modifying surfaces using APJet's patented Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Jet (APPJ) technology.

Enzyme Deactivation of Energetics in Non-Aqueous Solvents

The proposed work will perform exploratory experiments in order to assess the feasibility of energetic compounds deactivation using small amounts of enzymes dispersed in organic solvents. The objective of this proof of concept phase is to identify suitable enzyme(s)/organic solvent combinations capable of deactivating energetic compounds at a controlled rate.

Fate, Transport and Toxicity of Tungsten Alloys Utilized in Munition Applications in Soil Environments

This research seeks to:

  • Evaluate the mobility of WHA components from fragments and grains in the subsurface environment (dissolved phase, soil-groundwater interactions)
  • Assess the bioavailability of WHA components
  • Evaluate the toxicity of tungsten and other WHA components
  • Evaluate the mobility of colloidal WHA components from fragments and grains in the subsurface environment (soil, groundwater interactions)
  • Assess remedial technologies to remove various forms of tungsten (i.e., particulates, colloids, dissolved) from contaminated soil and water

Fate and Transport in the Environment of Nano Aluminum Particles

The research is to evaluate the rate of release, mobility and environmental effects of nanoaluminum particles used in meta-stable Al-based intermolecular composites (MIC) and propellant formulations

Ocean/Coastal/Naval Engineering

Ocean Observing and Forecasting

The ocean observing and forecasting research is based on the use of the latest information on physical oceanography, hydraulic engineering and computer science for monitoring and predicting the movement and mixing of fresh and salt waters and the constituents they carry. The fate and transport of sediments are an integral component of this research area. The approach to the research is designed to take advantage of the rapidly evolving high performance computational and communications technologies. Through the work of the Stevens' Davidson Laboratory, the New York Harbor Observing and Prediction System (NYHOPS) - an Urban Ocean Observatory - is an example of this research area. It provides a wealth of real-time data about tides, waves, winds, currents, temperatures and salinities in the waters of New York and New Jersey. NYHOPS is an open-access network of distributed sensors and linked computer estuarine and coastal ocean forecasting models. All of the data is available over the Internet 24 hours a day by means of weather forecast-like maps that can be used effectively by sailors, power boaters, swimmers, fishermen, port security officials, and emergency management personnel.


An example of a tool in this area is AdaptMap. AdaptMap is an online mapping tool that dynamically demonstrates coastal flooding conditions in the 100-year flood zone of Jamiaca Bay. The tool enables users to select flood adaptation scenarios to see how they influence rising sea levels and coastal adaptation. Additionally, AdaptMap displays historic landscapes for the years 1609 and 1877 with associated historic flood zones.

Coastal Observations and Analysis

The New Jersey Coastal Monitoring Network (CMN) is designed to provide real-time information to local, state, and federal emergency management personnel, as well as long-term records of wave, weather conditions and shoreline response for use by the coastal scientific community.

Estuarine Circulation and Sediment Transport

The New York Harbor Contaminated Sediments Study coordinates water and sediment quality sampling studies undertaken at the head-of-tide and within the tidal reaches of the major New Jersey tributaries that discharge to NJ-NJ Harbor. The goal of these synoptic studies is to develop an understanding of the contaminant transport pathways within the estuary.

Computational Hydrodynamics

This research area encompasses both environmental hydrodynamics and naval architecture. The approaches to these disciplines are designed to take advantage of the rapidly evolving high-performance computational and communications technologies.

Marine Hydrodynamics

This research discipline is the focus of several related areas including:

  • Examination of the stability, control and behavior of all types of marine craft in environments ranging from calm water to random sea states
  • Physical model testing and computer simulation of advanced marine craft such as submarines, seaplanes, amphibious vehicles and planing craft
  • Fundamental research in marine hydrodynamics, including the analysis of flow around submerged vehicles, propeller-turbulence interaction and wave dynamics


At Stevens acoustic research is centered on the study and application of the nonlinear interaction of acoustic and vibrational energy in various media and materials. Research includes:

  • Nonlinear vibro-acoustic nondestructive testing
  • Acoustic and vibration characterization of porous materials
  • Detection and characterization of submerged/buried objects, such as land mines, pipes, etc.
  • The use of powerful sound and vibration for bio-fouling control
  • Development of low-frequency underwater sound sources
  • Noise and vibration control

Departmental Research

In addition to robust research in construction management and ocean engineering, the CEOE includes two National Centers of Excellence: the Maritime Security Center (MSC) and the Atlantic Center for the Innovative Design and Control of Small Ships (ACCeSS), as well as the Davidson Laboratory.