Tell us a little about your background
I’m from Tianjin, China. My undergraduate major is Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at Tianjin University. For my undergraduate education, I wanted to become an Engineer who designs a ship and improves ship performance. For now, I also want to become an Engineer, but on coastal engineering.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Delaware, Center for Applied Coastal Research?
Firstly, I applied for the U.S University based on my undergraduate major, Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. In the U.S, there are not too many universities that have the major of ocean engineering. There are three Universities: Florida, Delaware and Stevens Institute of Technology. The main reason I chose Delaware was that this is an Engineering program rather than a science program. When I applied for a masters degree, I remembered UD was the first university to give me an offer. The location, the resources and college ranking were are also considerations.
What was your masters research on?
My master research was studying bay flooding of Indian Bay and Rehoboth Bay through Indian River Inlet and by wave overtopping of the barrier beach. During the severe storm, Hurricane Sandy, we find wave overtopping and overwash from ocean to bay have the effect on inside bay water level increasing. The numerical model CSHORE computed the total wave overtopping volumes which increase the bay peak still water level 0.1 – 0.2 m. We also estimated the statistical values of inside bay peak water level at Lewes, DE for the recurrence interval as large as 500 years.
What are your research plans for your PhD?
For my PhD work, I plan to take the qualification exam in the Spring Semester, 2019. My topic is to generalize the findings of the small-scale bluff and beach experiments. The cross-shore numerical model CSHORE will be extended to predict bluff erosion.
The initial assessment of the bluff erosion model is performed using the small-scale laboratory flume data obtained by Skafel & Bishop (1994) and Skafel (1995) for a pre-consolidated cohesive material (till). The measured hydrodynamic variables are predicted by CSHORE within errors of 20% as in the previous CSHORE comparisons with laboratory and field data. The order of magnitude of the erosion rate is also predicted by the dike erosion model with F = 1 (no abrasion and no protection by cohesionless sediment) in CSHORE but the cross-shore variation of the erosion rate cannot be predicted using F = 1. The two parameters, abrasion parameter and protection parameter might be added to CSHORE to improve the prediction of erosion rate.
The second part is the experiment in a wave basin (19 m by 22 m) by Damgaard and Peet (1992), which will be used for the initial evaluation of extended CHSORE with multiple cross-shore lines.
The third part consists of flume experiments carried out by Ali Farhadzadeh at Stony Brook University. The CHSORE model will use the laboratory data for evaluation and improvement. The extended CSHORE model may be applied in the future to predict sand transport on an erodible cohesive bottom or shore where a bluff (sand source) is replaced by a salt marsh (sand sink).
What are your tentative plans after you obtain your PhD?
After I obtain my PhD, I want to find a job related to coastal engineering in a consulting company. I want to obtain a PE in the future.
What do you do for fun outside of your PhD studies?
Firstly, I spend time with my dog, playing with him and taking care of him. Secondly, I do some sports, like attending exercise classes, running and playing table tennis and golf. Thirdly, I like cooking at home and meeting with friends. Sometimes I will organize parties at home or some hiking and BBQ events at parks.