I am a hydraulic and coastal engineer. My students and I utilize hydraulic laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and post-event field surveys to investigate the resilience of cities exposed to both increasing hazard due to climate change and increasing consequences due to expansion of development in coastal and flood-prone areas.
This research focuses on four main themes:
Damage: We quantify damage to infrastructure and structures from extreme events such as tsunami, storm surge, and floods. Here, we measure damage and hindcast physical forcing, with the goals of clarifying damage mechanisms, relating damage level to forcing strength and structure type, and evaluating proposed countermeasures to damage.
Flood phenomena: We investigate physical flow phenomena that cause damage during extreme events. Since low-probability, high-consequence events such as tsunamis and landfalling Category 5 hurricanes and typhoons are difficult to predict and instrument, data describing their effects are insufficient. We use laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, field measurements, and crowdsourced data to investigate extreme flood events.
Countermeasures: We assess the effectiveness of damage countermeasures based and their uptake by society. Countermeasure like seawalls, for example, are only effective at protecting lives and property if they do not create a false sense of security. The interaction among engineering and planning with sociology and culture requires investigation in an interdisciplinary manner, to assess how effective countermeasures will be in a given context.
Hydropower: We assess the feasibility of new and retrofit sites, and evaluate technologies, for hydropower and pumped hydro storage. With the proliferation of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar, energy storage is increasingly necessary to meet demand and regulate the grid, while pumped hydro storage is the most mature and environmentally friendly method of utility-scale energy storage available.