Jackson State University to Participate in Research on Coastal Flooding

The College of Engineering, Science and Technology at historically Black Jackson State University in Mississippi recently established a multi-year, three-pronged partnership with Woolpert, an international architecture, engineering, and geospatial firm.

Working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center, Woolpert and university researchers are exploring ways to improve and expand upon current numerical coastal inundation modeling systems developed to simulate storm surge, waves, tides, and coastal circulation and flooding problems impacting coastal communities. The models are primarily utilized to prepare, respond, and effectively recover from natural disasters as a community. The goal of the new project is to make these models cloud-based, open-sourced, and community-based.

As part of the investment, Woolpert will offer university students the opportunity to enroll in a specialized course – Advanced Topics in Water Resource Engineering. The course will give students a fundamental understanding of numerical models, cloud-based system architectures, model applications and place them in a prime position to create an immediate industry impact.

Richard Washington, Jr., a vice president at Woolpert, said  that “the ultimate idea behind the partnership is workforce development, which is a huge focus right now. With resources available through this program, we intend to provide opportunities for communities to use this research and development to adapt to evolving climate issues and become more resilient. We want to protect coastal communities as best as we can. By making this numerical model available via the cloud, communities will have access to the research and predictive models to better understand the impacts of hurricane surge and other seasonal weather events that affect them.”

“This allows Jackson State to become part of the future. With this funding, we can expand our capacity and improve the collegiate experience for undergraduate and graduate students,” said Wilbur Walters Jr., dean of the College of Engineering, Science and Technology at Jackson State. “We are beginning to raise a generation of students capable of influencing the future.”

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