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Alumni Spotlight

Oscar Williams '20
Coastal Engineering oscarwork2
February 2021

I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean, and the complexities that govern its behavior. So, when I had an opportunity to take Dr. Farhadzadeh’s coastal engineering class in my senior year, I made sure to jump on it. Sure enough, it ended up being my favorite class that I had ever taken at Stony Brook. So much so, in fact, that I asked Dr. Farhadzadeh about graduate school studying Coastal Engineering. He recommended that I apply to the University of Delaware, where he obtained his master’s and PhD in coastal engineering. I applied, and I was offered a paid research assistantship while obtaining a master’s degree full-time. 

At UD, I’ve been working on a research project studying the effects of ship wake in an estuarine environment. The project is taking place on Pea Patch island, which is an important heronry and wetlands stop for migratory birds. This island is threatened by erosion and continued sea level rise. Our study aims to study natural, cost effective living shoreline solutions that can withstand the high-energy conditions created by the wake of large shipping vessels on the Delaware River. 

oscarwork1My courses so far have included Ocean Fluid Dynamics, Water Wave Mechanics, Transport and Mixing Processes, and Coastal Processes. I’m looking forward to future classes on Ocean Modeling, and Coastal Structures. I’m extremely eager to continue learning and developing as a coastal engineer.

Upon graduation, I’m hoping to find an industry job in Coastal Engineering, so I can help work to protect our shorelines and coastal cities from the looming threat of sea level rise. I’m very thankful that in my time at Stony Brook, I was able to discover a field that’s both fascinating to study, and crucial in protecting our coastal environments as climate change continues to threaten them. 




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