Created in 2000, the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) is a semi-autonomous institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the country's oldest national engineering society. COPRI's services are designed to complement ASCE's traditional civil engineering base and to attract non-engineering allied professionals who seek to enhance their professional and technical development.
COPRI serves as a multidisciplinary and international leader in improving knowledge, education, development and the practice of civil engineering and other disciplines in the sustainable management of coastal, ocean, port, waterways, riverine and wetlands resources for the benefit of society.
COPRI serves its membership and society by uniting the disciplines working to sustainably develop, protect and restore coasts, oceans, ports, waterways, rivers, and wetlands; integrating the key stakeholders into decision-making processes; advancing technological state of art and practice; and influencing public policy.
COPRI Governing Board
Victoria Colleen Johnson, Ph.D., EIT, A.M.ASCE
Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the United States Naval Academy. Her research focuses on the effects of hurricanes and tsunamis on coastal communities. She hopes to understand the hydrodynamic conditions that cause houses to be damaged during these events and to contribute to the the development of resilient and sustainable coastal design. She has participated on damage reconnaissance surveys including in the Philippines after Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), in coastal New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, and the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma. She has also collaborated on physical model experiments at Kyoto University and Oregon State University. She was a graduate researcher and teaching assistant at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame from 2011–2016, and a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University from 2016-2017.
Dr. Johnson has been an ASCE member since 2008. She serves on the ASCE 7-22 Subcommittees on Flood Loads and Tsunami Loads and Effects, as well as the Infrastructure Resilience Division's Disaster Response and Recovery Committee.
Stephen Balint, P.E., D.OE, F.ASCE
Steve Balint has worked in the offshore industry for nearly 40 years as a designer, engineering team leader, project manager, and executive. He has lectured at University of Texas and Singapore University on dynamic and fatigue analysis of offshore fixed and floating structures, written many technical papers and holds three patents for unique offshore structural designs. He has been associated with ASCE since college when he was president of the Virginia Tech student chapter. He also represented ASCE on the Offshore Technology Conference Board of Directors for 10 years, including 2 years as Chairman of the Board. Steve was the recipient of ASCE's 2014 William H Wisely Award.
Albert Lee Barco IV, P.E., D.PE, F. ASCE
Lee Barco has a degree in Ocean Engineering from the US Coast Guard Academy, a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MBA. Following a distinguished Coast Guard engineering career, Lee retired as a Commander to consult on organizational issues with Navy and Coast Guard engineering clients for several years. He then joined APM Terminals, where he was involved in constructing what at the time was the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly marine container terminal in the Americas. He has since continued on with APM Terminals in various engineering positions related to marine container terminal design, construction, and infrastructure modernization. Lee has Chaired a variety of National Committees for ASCE, including the Board Committee on Advancing the Profession, and most recently the COPRI Ports and Harbor Committee. He is a Life Member and Fellow of both ASCE and the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), and a founding member of COPRI.
Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE
Dr. Mattei is professor and past chair at the University of New Orleans' (UNO) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has been active in ASCE for more than 20 years in local, regional and national leadership roles and was elected by the Society's membership as the 2017 ASCE President. She has served on ASCE's Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering and the Committee on Licensure and Ethics. In 2012, President Obama named Mattei one of three civilian members of the Mississippi River Commission, which researches and provides policy and work recommendations covering flood control, navigation and environmental projects. In that capacity, she helped oversee a drainage basin that covers 41 percent of the nation. The governor of Louisiana appointed her to the state's licensing board for professional engineers — LAPELS. She also serves on the board of directors for both the Louisiana Transportation Research Center Foundation and the Louisiana Technology Council.
Dr. Mattei has been a member of the UNO faculty since 1995. Her technical research interests include large watershed management, material and structural testing, sustainable reuse of spent construction and fabrication materials, and residual stress measurement. She is also interested in diversity, licensure and ethics issues.
Catherine Dunn, P.E., D.NE, D.PE, M.ASCE
Mrs. Dunn is retired from over 27 years with the Port of New Orleans where she served as Director of Port Development. There she was responsible for the design, construction, condition, and maintenance of over 22 million square feet of buildings and cargo‐handling areas along 22 miles of waterfront, Port owned vehicles and equipment, four Port owned lift bridges, and Industrial real estate. In addition, Mrs. Dunn has over fifteen years of private sector engineering and management experience, primarily in the marine sector.
Brian McFall, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE
Dr. McFall is a Research Civil Engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. He has more than 15 years of experience as a civil engineer in the private and public sectors. His expertise and research interests include wave mechanics and the beneficial use of dredged sediment. Dr. McFall developed the Sediment Mobility Tool to assist coastal engineers and planners identify nearshore areas suitable for placement of dredged sediment. He is currently leading the “SandSnap” initiative to create a beach grain size database using citizen scientists and their smartphones. Dr. McFall has been an active member of ASCE since he joined as a student in 2001. He was an officer in his university’s ASCE chapter and the Corpus Christi branch. Additionally, Brian served on the Local Organizing Committee for the 2018 COPRI-sponsored International Conference of Coastal Engineering.
Meagan Wengrove, Ph.D., EIT, A.M.ASCE
Dr. Wengrove’s teaching interests include hydraulics, coastal engineering, sediment transport, turbulence and boundary layers, and engineering nature-based features. Before coming to OSU in 2018 she spent almost two years doing research projects in the Netherlands and has done consulting focused in coastal wave mechanics and hydraulic dam removal. Much of her present research interest is related to the mechanics of sediment transport and hydraulic design of nature-based features. Specifically, focusing on the relationship between scales of sediment transport (e.g., a ripple feeding morphologic change of a sandbar), the effects of large storm events on deep seated erosion, and the hydraulics of nature-based features such as living shorelines, marsh restorations, and coastal dunes. Other research efforts are related to the effect of combined waves and currents on sediment transport, boundary layer momentum flux, and the physical mechanics of nutrient diffusion and mixing from surficial sediments. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, Graduate Women In Science, the PADI Foundation, and Fulbright.