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Monterey Peninsula College
980 Fremont Street
Monterey, CA 93940


Ocean engineering with specialization in Coastal and nearshore modeling

College or University: University of Rhode Island

Type of degree: M.S.

Brief overview of program: Coastal and nearshore modeling deals with the physical and numerical modeling of coastal and nearshore processes. Models are developed, applied, and verified with field and laboratory measurements. Wind-wave generation, wave refraction, diffraction, shoaling and breaking, surf-zone dynamics and littoral transport, pollutant and oil spill transport, harbor oscillations, tidal and wind- driven circulation in coastal and estuarine waters, and tidal inlet and barrier-island-related problems are studied. Finite difference, finite element, and boundary elements numerical methods are used. The department is also leading in the development of shell-based PC models, with advanced user-friendly graphic interface, model grid generation tools, envision mental management tools, and geographic information systems.

Website: Click here for program website

Description of Facilities: The Department of Ocean Engineering is located in the Sheets Building on the Narragansett Bay Campus, which also houses a marine geomechanics laboratory, a wave/tow tank facility, and faculty offices. The adjacent Middleton building contains office space, a machine shop, an acoustic test tank, an electronics laboratory, and an equipment staging area. The department also has computational facilities on the Bay Campus which include personal computers and SUN workstations. These computers are connected by high speed network to the rest of the Bay Campus, Kingston campus and the Internet. Over 3,000 square feet of laboratory space is available, with equipment specially designed for research and the testing of marine sediments in the Marine Geomechanics Laboratory. State-of-the-art geotechnical equipment is used for tests and studies on direct simple shear; anisotropic triaxial compression; drained creep; acoustic velocity; and special flow-pump systems for triaxial, permeability, and compressibility studies. The vessel also has a multi-sensor core logging system. Other associated facilities include X-ray diffraction equipment, a scanning electron microscope, and devices for seafloor sampling. The department maintains and operates a wave and tow tank that is 30 m long, 3.5 m wide, and 1.5 m deep. It is equipped with a flapper- type wave maker that generates both sinusoidal and random waves. A specially designed vertical multi-plate porous wave absorber is employed to damp waves. The tow carriage is equipped with a strain gauge system and is capable of making force and angular measurements of heave, roll, and yawing motions. The wave maker and data acquisition system are computer controlled and are capable of random or regular wave generation. Wave measurements are made using custom-designed wave height and pressure gauges. The tank has been used for a wide variety of experiments including ship resistance and propulsion, wave kinematics and dynamics, diver drag measurements, fishing trawl dynamics, buoy dynamics, and underwater vehicle drag. In the Middleton Building on the Narragansett Bay Campus, the department maintains and operates an acoustics test facility that is 4 m wide, 7.6 m long, and 3.6 m deep. It has two towers, with manual control in the horizontal direction and electrical control in the vertical. The towers can be rotated about the vertical axis with an accuracy of one degree. A third carriage, which is independent of the towers, is mounted on a separate track. A computer data acquisition system processes the data. The tank is filled with fresh water, which is cleansed by a standard filtration system. This facility has been used for extensive experiments including beam pattern measurements of acoustic transducers and arrays, studies of acoustic parametric sources, and the development of subbottom profiling sonar systems and underwater diver communication systems.

Program Faculty:

Student Support:


Institution address: 215 Sheets Building Naragassett Bay Campus
                             Naragassett,RI 02882


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .