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President's Message - Spring 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Andrew Cairns, COPRI President

As a resident of the Northeast I have always enjoyed the passing of the seasons. As we move from winter to spring I will miss the beauty and fun of playing in the snow, but I am excited about the warmer temperatures and flowers and leaves bursting to life. It reminds me that life is a journey filled with many chapters. This past month, the Coastal Community lost a great teacher and inspiration to many COPRI members. On February 28th Dr. Robert Dean passed away. He was 84 years old. 

Dr. Robert Dean

Dr. Dean was a Diplomate in Coastal Engineering and spent most of his professional career as a Graduate Research Professor at the University of Florida, with brief stints at M.I.T., University of Washington, and seven years at the University of Delaware. He is remembered for all his contributions to the Coastal community, and by the many lives he touched. As many reading this message will think back fondly of a class they had with him, a problem he helped work through, or a book he wrote, his legacy continues in you: his students and colleagues. 

North Atlantic Comprehensive Study

Of great importance and note, this past January, the USACE NAD published the North Atlantic Comprehensive study. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently completed a report detailing the results of a two-year study to address coastal storm and flood risk to vulnerable populations, property, ecosystems, and infrastructure affected by Hurricane Sandy in the United States' North Atlantic region.

The study is designed to help local communities better understand changing flood risks associated with climate change and to provide tools to help those communities better prepare for future flood risks. It builds on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and attempts to bring to bear the latest scientific information available for state, local, and tribal planners.

The conclusions of the study, as detailed in the final report, include several findings, outcomes, and opportunities, such as the use of a nine-step Coastal Storm Risk Management Framework that can be customized for any coastal watershed. This is a tremendous effort that included the work of many coastal engineers and planners and is an excellent example of how coastal engineers are working to make a positive impact on our coastal communities.

New COPRI Student Chapter

2015 also marks the establishment of a new COPRI Student Chapter at Stevens Institute, in Hoboken New Jersey. I had the pleasure of addressing the chapter in February. It is inspiring to see the enthusiasm in the students and know there are many bright individuals looking to advance the fields of coastal, ocean port, and navigation engineering. I continue to encourage other institutions to establish student chapters and for professionals to establish local Chapters of COPRI. 

Upcoming Events

In closing, I would like to bring our members attention to a few upcoming events:

  • Abstracts are due for PORTS '16 on April 8
  • The Offshore Technology Conference will be held May 4 - 7 in Houston, TX
  • The ASCE OTC Hall of Fame Gala celebrates it's 10th Anniversary on Tuesday, May 5 in Houston, TX
  • Coastal Strcutures & Solutions to Coastal Disasters will be held September 9 -11 in Boston, MA
  • Dredging 2015 will be held October 19-22 in Savannah, GA

These events all provide great opportunity to share knowledge and ideas, as well as networking with friends and colleagues. I hope to see many of you there.