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Board 107: A Ph.D. in Engineering Degree: Coastal Engineering Emphasis Area

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Ocean and Marine Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

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Paper Authors


Robert W. Whalin Jackson State University

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Dr. Whalin, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director, Coastal Resilience Center, Jackson State University. He is Director Emeritus of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. He received his PhD in Oceanography from Texas A&M University in 1971 and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Dr. Whalin was Director of Army Research Laboratory (1998-2003; Adelphi, MD), and Technical Director /Director of Waterways Experiment Station (1985-1998; Vicksburg, MS). He has authored/co-authored over a hundred technical papers and reports during his career in private industry, government and academia. His current research interests are nearshore wave transformations, coastal structures, tsunami inundation, hurricane surges, high performance computing, and engineering education.

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A PhD in Engineering Degree: Coastal Engineering Emphasis Area


______________ University approved a new Coastal Engineering emphasis area for the PhD degree in Engineering in April 2018. This is the first Doctoral engineering degree, among this particular classification of minority serving institutions that emphasizes coastal engineering focused on coastal natural disasters. A Professor serves as Advisor for graduate students (MS and PhD) enrolled in the Coastal Engineering emphasis area. Minimum degree requirements are 72 credit hours beyond the BS degree or 36 credit hours beyond the MS degree, including 24 hours of dissertation research; a Comprehensive Qualifying Exam, a Preliminary Exam and a Final Dissertation Defense. Graduates are expected to have at least two publications in recognized professional journals upon graduation. There are eight core coastal engineering courses, one mandatory, of which a minimum of four are required. Practically speaking, the advisor will very likely require six to eight of the core courses depending on the dissertation research focus. Students may choose the remaining elective courses from the other four coastal engineering core courses and a large variety of civil and environmental engineering or other closely related courses (i.e. mathematics, computer science, urban planning, etc.), all requiring approval of their advisor. Laboratory experimental facilities and computational facilities potentially available to students for dissertation research are briefly described. Sources for a continuous supply of PhD coastal engineering students are discussed. Professors in all areas of coastal engineering are available. A description of ongoing coastal engineering research is illustrated. The programs coastal natural disaster focus is sponsored by the Office of University Programs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS sponsorship is most appropriate in view of Hurricanes Irma, Maria, Harvey, Florence and others within the past eighteen months

Whalin, R. W. (2019, June), Board 107: A Ph.D. in Engineering Degree: Coastal Engineering Emphasis Area Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32178

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