First crew from UNCW’s Coastal Engineering program to graduate | Jobs Vox

Friday, December 09, 2022

In 2019, UNCW launched the Bachelor of Science in Coastal Engineering, its first engineering degree and the first course of its kind in the U.S. This month 17 students will graduate from the program – another first for the university and the country.

The program prepares students to address beach renovation, dredging, sediment management, coastal structure analysis and design, wetland/marsh stabilization and restoration – all pressing issues for Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic coastal communities.

“Until now, a master’s in coastal engineering was required to enter the field, but there is a growing demand for entry-level engineers trained in the fundamental skills and practices needed to address coastal resilience challenges,” Dr. Joseph Long , said associate professor of coastal engineering and director of the program. “Our program aims to meet that need while building a curriculum specific to the skills and background needed for the profession.”

There are currently 96 students active in the program (declared or planning to declare major).

Professor of Physics and Physical Oceanography and former chair of the department, Dr. Dylan McNamara said that the impetus for the degree was former UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartorelli, current Chancellor Ashwini K. Voletti (who was then dean of the UNCW College of the Arts). and executive director of the Center for Science and Marine Sciences) and himself.

“The metaphor I used when building the program was that it was like walking along a bridge when you were building it,” he said.

After visiting about a dozen engineering firms and NC State University, it was clear that the need for engineers in the region was great and that there was significant support for UNCW’s plans.

“Once the program was approved, we hired engineering faculty, moving the first cohort of students through the program,” McNamara said. “Thankfully we were successful in every faculty search. We are also able to access professional engineers in this area as part-time faculty and we draw on some of our existing departmental expertise related to the physical oceanography field.

According to Long, the COVID pandemic affected the curriculum and students just like other programs, but the group showed resilience and adapted to new formats.

“Our graduating seniors (listed below) are a great example of the breadth of opportunities that students can pursue with this degree,” he said. “He has accepted jobs across the country, including graduate school positions and positions in state and federal government, private engineering consulting firms, and geospatial mapping companies.”

  • Andrew Scott Davey
  • nicholas daniel devson
  • Jacob Austin Donczek
  • scott finniss
  • Ethan Michael Guinn
  • Megan Elizabeth Hose
  • Ashley Noel Holesclaw
  • dawson james howell
  • grayson blaine jackson
  • tanner allan jernigan
  • Noah Christian Johnson
  • Colver J Kreitmeyer
  • William Heath Marston
  • Katherine Grace Riley
  • Claire Elizabeth Sorensen
  • jacob byron stasiewicz
  • Zane David Williams

group photo

UNCW takes advantage of its unique location by providing intensive curriculum and research experiences in coastal and oceanography. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including the Center for Marine Science and the recently built Coastal Engineering Facility. Learn more about the program here.

-Caroline Cropp


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