In the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering at Stevens, our faculty and students facilitate research in fields such as smart infrastructure, forecasting, experimental ship design, new environmental technologies and sustainability. We've categorized these research applications into four areas of interest:
Urban infrastructure systems
Environmental systems and sustainability
Coastal and oceanic systems
Urban Infrastructure Systems
Building durable and adaptive structures and modernizing transportation networks and water and sewer systems present challenges for future planners, engineers, and developers. These challenges are exacerbated in urban environments due to growing populations that stress the use of these systems. Our research in this focus area addresses issues related to the design, construction, and monitoring of infrastructure systems through the development of new technologies related to the implementation of:
Combination of sensing networks and machine learning and analytics to enhance real time and long-term infrastructure deterioration prediction and maintenance decision making.
Decentralized and infrastructure-less systems for proactive disaster management and emergency operations in smart cities.
Resilient, sustainable and durable materials.
Geo Risk modeling for subsurface infrastructure.
A combination of earth observation using in situ and space borne sensors along with other sources like citizen science and IoT to improve the modeling of hydrological and meteorological events with a focus on urban/coastal areas.
Cross-disciplinary research is covered through the coastal resilience and construction research programs in the coastal and oceanic systems focus area, and through groundwater modeling in the sustainable environmental systems focus area.
Environmental Systems and Sustainability
Polluted air, contaminated water supply, and infertile soil pose serious risks to human health and water, food and energy resources. Our research in this focus area aims at mitigating these problems through:
Quantification of physicochemical processes that determine the fate of contaminants in soil, water, and sediments.
Physicochemical and biological treatment of pollutants in waste streams prior to disposal in sensitive environmental receptors.
Valorization of industrial wastes through resource recovery and reuse.
Nano-remediation and treatment technologies of contaminated sites.
Assessment of ecological and human health risk in relation to environmental decision-making.
Green technology development for environmental protection.
Coastal and Oceanic Systems
Human well-being is very much connected to oceans, which regulate the climate, provide food, water and energy, support transport and trade, and are used for waste disposal. Our research in this focus area supports development of technologies related to enhancing the resilience of coastal communities and design of advanced marine systems including:
Combination of physics-based simulations with machine learning to support prediction of low-probability/high-consequence coastal flooding.
Development of broadly applicable approaches for flood modeling, risk assessment, climate change analysis, and benefit-cost analysis for flood risk reduction scenarios.
Development of numerical models to support and improve coastal planning and design.
Development of technologies to monitor coastal changes, improve design of shore protection technologies (living shorelines).
Leveraging progress in earth observation using in-situ and space-borne sensors along with other sources like citizen science and IoT to improve the modeling of hydrological and meteorological events with a focus on urban/coastal areas.
Development of innovative technologies to design and deploy wave energy converters.
Development of experimental techniques and computational tools to design, verify and validate hydrodynamics of advanced surface and subsurface vessels.
Stabilization and control of supercavitating bodies.
Dynamics and control of unmanned underwater vehicles.
Development of bio-inspired swimming robots.
Development of underwater vector sensing.
Applied Cross-disciplinary Research
Offshore Wind Farm Research at Stevens
Stevens Institute of Technology’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering and Davidson Laboratory support the deployment and monitoring of offshore wind farms in a variety of ways, including education, workforce development and research in the fields of ocean, coastal, structural and foundation engineering, marine systems, computational fluid dynamics, computational structural mechanics, remote sensing, green engineering, sustainability management and coastal resilience.
The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates and specialized courses in naval, coastal and ocean engineering.
Learn about some of our cross-disciplinary projects related to offshore wind farms below.
Stevens’ Davidson Laboratory has operated the New Jersey Coastal Protection Technical Assistance Service since 1993. Its capabilities include field data collection and numerical, physical and data-driven modeling. The Laboratory operates two research vessels, a personal watercraft, a fleet of drones and experimental stations in support of measuring and predicting waves, currents and coastal erosion. Drs. Jon Miller, Philip Orton and Reza Marsooli bring expertise in the impact of climate change, harbor flood risk reduction, and traditional and non-traditional (“living shoreline”) coastal stabilization techniques.
Atmospheric and Oceanographic Modeling
The Stevens Flood Advisory System team (Drs. Muhammad Hajj, Raju Datla, Jon Miller, Philip Orton, Marouane Temimi and Reza Marsooli and Mr. David Runnels) operates a unique forecasting system that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year to predict storm surge levels. Collectively, they bring experience in installing and operating experimental stations at multiple locations along and off the New York and New Jersey coastlines and in assimilating wind fields from numerical Canadian, American (NOAA) and European weather prediction models to provide 24/7 high-resolution predictions of local wind, wave, current and storm surge forecasts over broad regions along the shores of New Jersey and New York.
Materials and Structures
Drs. Weina Meng and Yi Bao have developed extremely strong and resilient materials and structures capable of sustaining multi-hazards in the harsh maritime environment.
Dr. Meng, a winner of the prestigious NSF Career Award, has developed advanced structural materials for impermeable foundations that achieve unprecedented durability, resilience, sustainability and multi-functionality. She is a leader in the development of cost-effective seawater-resistant ultra-high-performance concrete, which can be cast underwater, provide corrosion protection and last for 50 years or more without maintenance.
Dr. Bao has established procedures for modular structural design to enhance the construction of offshore wind turbines with extended service lives. He has integrated multiple types of distributed sensors for monitoring variables such as temperature distribution, damage and corrosion. These technologies have been verified and adopted by the Engineering Division of NIST. He has also integrated machine learning with these sensing networks to further enhance their predictive capabilities. Drs. Dimitri Donskoy and Muhammad Hajj bring experience in gathering vibrational data and performing linear and nonlinear analyses to monitor and identify damage progression in structures and structural elements of wind turbines.
Geophysical and Geotechnical
Dr. Rita Sousa has developed capabilities to map potential geo-logical hazards through in situ characterization of the seabed. Her experience in geomechanics, stochastic subsurface characterization and foundations is directly related to geotechnical characterization for offshore wind farms. These analyses yield optimal foundation locations by providing assessments of geohazards such as cyclic liquefaction, slope instabilities, subsidence and creep.
Scour Protection Strategies
Proper foundation elements in a wind farm structure can significantly improve offshore ecological habitats, which in turn can protect structures from damage. These enhancements come in the form of modifications to foundation elements (shape, size, orientation, material) or adaptations. Drs. Yi Bao, Reza Marsooli, Jon Miller and Rita Sousa bring unique capabilities to monitor and predict scouring using computational fluid dynamics simulations and to optimize scour protection strategies by integrating eco-friendly and cost-effective materials.
Search and Rescue Assistance
Drs. Yi Bao and Jon Miller have experience in using drones to aid in search and rescue efforts. The Stevens Flood Advisory System continuously provides maps of surface currents in offshore regions of New York and New Jersey — predictions essential for performing search and rescue missions.
Passive and Autonomous Monitoring of Marine Mammals and Fish
Stevens researchers have developed undersea technologies for sensing and data collection. This work includes Dr. Muhammad Hajj’s development of self-powered fish tags and wireless powering technologies of underwater sensors and devices; Dr. Alexander Sutin’s systems for acoustic monitoring and passive acoustic threats detection, tracking and classification, including the Stevens-patented Passive Acoustic Detection System (SPADES), which has been applied in the detection of divers, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV), surface boats and swimmers; and Dr. Dimitri Donskoy’s innovative low-frequency vector sensing technology for passive underwater surveillance and acoustic monitoring of marine mammals, developed in collaboration with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
Electromagnetic Communications and Research
Drs. Alexander Sutin and Barry Bunin have developed equipment capable of providing quantitative estimates of electromagnetic radiation produced by wind farms and their consequent influence on navigation systems and radio communications. Dr. Bunin performs research and trains students on principles of GPS and radio communication in the presence of interfering signals and on methods for estimation of interfering signals’ influence on the reliability of GPS and other communication systems and determinations of zones where communications may be disturbed by wind turbine generator presence.
Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar brings expertise in assessing the sustain-ability of wind farms in terms of their environmental impacts, life cycles and costs/benefits.