MS in Engineering position available — Coastal Geotechnics
Start Date: June 1, 2016
The University of New Orleans, Louisiana
We are seeking a motivated Masters student to work within our interdisciplinary team starting 1st June 2016. The position is limited for a period of up to two years and includes a research assistantship.
Coastal property development, oil and water extraction, global climate change, coastal land subsidence, loss of barrier islands, and other natural and man-made factors have resulted in high rates of wetland loss, water quality degradation, decline in fisheries and reduced storm surge protection in coastal areas in Louisiana and throughout the world. The loss of marshland in Louisiana coastal zones has also exposed significant infrastructure to open water conditions and has degraded the habitat of nearby areas. The proposed research aims at developing a comprehensive engineering design tool to predict and evaluate long term performance of Louisiana coastal restoration and protection projects. The research project will (a) compile historical geotechnical data and perform Data Gap Analyses of the different soil parameters commonly utilized in design of coastal restoration and protection projects, (b) develop a GIS based database of foundation soil and dredged sediments for use by coastal and geotechnical engineers, (c) perform laboratory testing on new coastal sediments, (d) develop a geotechnical design tool, and (e) develop a geotechnical instrumentation plan for current and future marsh creation projects. The proposed research will offer the following significant contributions to the advancement of coastal science and engineering in Louisiana:
· Improved outcomes: the use of measured and applied consolidation data will allow for more accurate total consolidation settlement estimates for the marsh creation fill areas.
· Reduced time: the design tool will use properties of local Louisiana soils obtained from field exploration and laboratory testing. This will make the design more efficient based on local knowledge and lessons learned from similar projects in Louisiana.
· Lowered costs: marsh creation fill area volumes account for 70% of the total construction cost for marsh creation projects in Louisiana. The geotechnical design tool suggested in this proposal aims at reducing design uncertainty of the total marsh fill area volume. This would potentially result in lower estimated volumes and therefore lower construction costs.
· Applicant for the position must have a Bachelors degree in Civil and Environmental engineering or in a closely related field.
Candidates should have good communication skills and team-oriented personality with a high ability to work independently. The applicant should possess high problem-solving skills and willingness to do interdisciplinary research. It will be expected to publish results in peer-reviewed international journals and conference proceedings.
· Furthermore, to fulfill the requirements of the award, the student will complete an internship of 240 hours at a Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) office during the period of the funding.
· Depending upon the courses taken, the selected student maybe able to obtain an additional graduate certificate in Coastal Engineering from UNO. Additional information about the certificate program can be found atceas.uno.edu
To apply, please send (i) a cover letter describing your research interests, (ii) a complete CV, and (iii) names, email addresses and phone numbers of two referees by email as a single pdf-file to the address below. Review will start on 15 March and will continue until the position is filled.
Malay Ghose-Hajra, Ph.D., P.E., ENV SP
Assistant Professor & Graduate Coordinator
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana 70148