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Coastal Engineering


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

By the end of the course, students will be able to: (1) Quantify key coastal processes related to waves, water levels, and sediment transport; (2) Apply coastal principles to preliminary designs of coastal protection measures and structures.


This course provides students with an introduction to the discipline of coastal engineering, with a strong focus on coastal processes (waves, water levels, and sediment transport) as well as applied design principles for shoreline protection measures and coastal structures.

Topics Covered:

Basic wave mechanics (wave descriptors, wave propagation, wave shoaling and refraction, and surf zone processes); water level fluctuations (storm surge, tides, and longer-timescale processes); breakwater design (armor stability, run-up, overtopping, transmission); sediment transport (wave- and current-caused); shoreline protection measures.


A first course in fluid mechanics or hydraulics.

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50


Homework is assigned every 1-2 weeks; regular, short quizzes are also given.


Several design projects are assigned during the course, typically involving breakwaters, coastal structures, and/or shore protection measures.


3 exams are typically given for the course


Computer Requirements:

Students need internet access, Microsoft Excel or Matlab, Microsoft Word (or similar), and access to Google Earth/Maps.

ProEd Minimum Requirements: