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USACE’s Coastal Engineering Certificate Program

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Ocean and Marine Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1638.1 - 26.1638.9



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Paper Authors


Jose E. Sanchez P.E. Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory

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Mr. José E. Sánchez is the Director of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS.
ERDC R&D supports the Department of Defense and other federal agencies in military and civilian projects. Principal research mission areas include Warfighter support, installations, environment, water resources, and information technology.
CHL is the national laboratory for the specialized professional field of coastal and hydraulic engineering. Research is conducted primarily in Vicksburg, Miss., with one field location in Duck, NC. As director, Sanchez leads a team of more than 200 researchers, support staff and contractors. He is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating a multi-million dollar research program; developing new and strategic research program areas in coastal and hydraulics; and managing physical facilities with a total area of 1.5 million square feet. Ongoing projects range from design guidance to three-dimensional numerical models to produce cutting-edge products for successful coastal and inland water resources management.
Prior to his current position, Sánchez served as chief of Asset Management, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and was responsible for developing, coordinating, and executing an integrated national plan and investment strategy for maintenance and recapitalization that improved reliability and minimized the risk of more than $200 billion in water resource infrastructure assets critical to the United States.
Sánchez has more than 10 years experience as a research hydraulic engineer in CHL, responsible for planning, conducting, and reporting on a variety of complex hydraulic investigations utilizing both physical and numerical models. The majority of studies focused on navigation lock filling and emptying system evaluation, design, surface and groundwater hydrology, and computational fluid dynamics. He has also served as a consultant and as technical advisor in several international research efforts.
Sánchez received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in 1993 and 1995, respectively, and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute. He is a registered professional engineer in Mississippi and a member of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) and the Transportation Research Board. He is founder of the Mississippi Professional Chapter, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and has authored or co-authored numerous publications. He has received the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Conference’s Civil Engineering Distinction Award, Superior Civilian Service Award, Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, Achievement Medal, Emerald Honors’ Special Recognition, and has been twice recognized by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States.

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USACE’S COASTAL ENGINEERING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM MR. JOSE E. SANCHEZ, P.E., SES Director, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA. the Nation’s Coastal Engineer, the Corps of Engineers (USACE) recognizesthe necessity for maintaining highly qualified coastal engineers to meet presentand future challenges in this critical mission area. The growing interest amongengineers in this discipline was acknowledged, but the lack of a formaleducational strategy across academia, encouraged USACE to explore innovativealternatives. To meet this need, a unique course of study was developed,coupling the staffs and facilities of the U.S. Army Engineer Research andDevelopment Center (ERDC) and four universities. The Corps of Engineers’Coastal Engineering Certificate Program (CECECP) provides a means for USACEengineers and scientists to obtain certification in coastal engineering throughaccredited university programs while collaborating with ERDC’s Coastal andHydraulics Laboratory researchers. The program combines classroominstruction and computer modeling with hands-on research applied to real-world projects. It was designed for USACE employees that have quantitativebackground in scientific or engineering fields and are new to coastal engineering,or for coastal engineers to extend their knowledge and experience.The CECEP will provide engineering professionals with fundamental knowledgeof the dynamics of the coastal and ocean environment and equip them with thenecessary tools to solve engineering problems involving coastal and offshoreprocesses and structures. Students completing the CECEP will have the ability toapply fundamental math, science, and engineering principles using analyticaland numerical methods to solve problems in the coastal and ocean sciences.Although the program was developed for USACE professionals, the programmay be expanded in the future to include qualified consultants. This paper willpresent the approach and strategy that was developed to impart the neededknowledge to the intended community.

Sanchez, J. E. (2015, June), USACE’s Coastal Engineering Certificate Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24974

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