Coastal Engineering


Barrier island are dynamic systems that present challenges to the residents who live on them. This aerial image is of the village of Salvo viewed from the south.

Coastal Engineering Research Program

The Coastal Engineering program at the Coastal Studies Institute is focused on investigating  coastal processes that potentially have a significant effect on residents of Northeastern North Carolina. The barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks are both dynamic and complex systems which can be greatly affected by storm events and erosion. As our natural environment continues to change, new challenges arise for existing and future infrastructure along the economically important and developing coastline.

The coastal engineering program studies both human-induced and natural changes to coastal systems by investigating the complex interactions between land and ocean processes.  Applied research on these important help policy and decision makers gain a clear understanding of what is happening to our dynamic coastal environment, and support their decision basis with meaningful engineering and science.

Research Focus: North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Research Program

Oregon InletOcean waves, tides and currents offer significant potential for electrical power generation.   The development of ocean energy technology is a critical step in the expansion of our nation’s energy portfolio. The Coastal Studies Institute, along with the Colleges of Engineering at North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, UNC Charlotte and East Carolina University are leading a research program designed to bring together the coastal, electrical and industrial engineering needed for the research and development of technologies to harness this form of energy and develop a strategy for future integration into the energy needs for the state of North Carolina.   MORE INFORMATION

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