ASCE has honored Harry Hsiu-Jen Yeh, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2021 John G. Moffatt–Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award for broad and interdisciplinary laboratory knowledge of coastal effects of tsunami to the general public.

Yeh is a professor of civil and construction engineering and an adjunct professor in the College of Earth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, both positions at the Oregon State University. He has had a long, productive, and impactful career in coastal engineering, especially in the area of tsunami science, engineering, and mitigation. He is being recognized for his broad and deep research contributions to coastal engineering science. Through his collaborative and interdisciplinary laboratory experiments and field studies, Yeh has helped spread our knowledge of coastal effects of tsunami to the general public. He is also instrumental in promoting interdisciplinary collaborative research in the coastal community.

Yeh’s innovative contributions include the following:

Advances in Tsunami Processes and Modeling. Tsunami hazards impacts are critical to harbor and coastal engineering design, particularly around the Pacific basin. Yeh’s theoretical, observational, and practical contributions in the areas of tsunami inundation, forces on structures, and erosion have contributed greatly to the coastal engineering profession’s ability to understand, model, and design for tsunami-based risk. His work has been adopted by FEMA to improve tsunami evacuation, structure design, and decision support. The lab and field data he has collected have served as benchmarks for community modeling efforts.  Yeh has been a long-time leader in the tsunami research field, organizing numerous workshops, serving on postevent investigation teams, leading research efforts, and collaborating broadly. He received the Hamaguchi Award in 2018 for his tsunami research contributions to coastal resilience.

Nonlinear Waves and Circulation. In addition to Yeh’s extensive research focused on tsunamis, he has also contributed to the theoretical and numerical modeling advances in nonlinear wave and circulation processes. The importance and scope of these contributions are reflected in the range of topics that he has published in top journals in the coastal engineering and science field and his nearly 5,000 citations.

Yeh has contributed extensively to the advancement of coastal engineering, directly benefiting coastal projects throughout the world. He has focused not only on theoretical advancements, but has built innovative tools that are applied to practical projects. He has published 10 book chapters and 90 journal articles along with numerous conference papers and reports, given 200 invited lectures, and served the community through journal editorship, organizing conferences and workshops, and teaching.

The John G. Moffatt–Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award is given to a member of ASCE who has made definite contributions in the field of harbor and coastal engineering in the form of either written presentations or notable performance, and who serves to recognize new ideas and concepts that can be efficiently implemented to expand the engineering or construction techniques available for the harbor and coastal projects.