Bret M. Webb, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE
University of South Alabama
150 Jaguar Drive, SH3142
Mobile, AL 36688 USA
Phone: (251) 460-6174
Fax: (251) 461-1400

Research Positions

Currently seeking multiple graduate students to fill positions at the MS, PhD, and Postdoc levels. Research topics include: living shorelines, beach and tidal inlet dynamics, barrier island response to extreme events, groundwater impacts to coastal lagoons, and infrastructure resilience. Research assistantships are available. Click here for more information.

Current Research Assistants

PhD Students
Garland Pennison


MS Students
Kelsey Carpenter
Sean McQuagge
Elizabeth Winter
Jackie Wittmann


Undergraduate Students
Ian Cox

Former Students

MSCE Students
Patrick Hautau (2018)
Marshall Hayden (2018)
Kate Haynes (2018)
Justin Lowlavar (2017)
Bryan Groza (2016)
Kari Servold (2015)
Chris Marr (2013)
Richard Allen (2013)
Miyuki Matthews (2012)


Post Docs
Jon Risinger
Jungwoo Lee

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The University of South Alabama’s Department of Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce the creation of the Center for Applied Coastal Engineering and Science (ACES). The ACES center provides contract services for unique laboratory testing and field data collection and/or monitoring. Dr. Bret Webb currently serves as the Director of the ACES center.

This page provides some brief information about the ACES center and describes its general service capabilities. Additional information about inquiries and the contract process is provided below.

Laboratory Testing Services

Laboratory testing services are billed on the basis of time and materials plus required facilities and administration costs (41% of total direct costs). The laboratory facilities covered by the ACES center include our 30-ft-long by 20-ft-wide wave basin as well as our new 75-ft-long by 5-ft-wide recirculating wave-current flume. These lab facilities can be setup to accommodate a variety of testing scenarios, typically at a reduced geometric scale (some full scale testing is possible). The ACES center has specific expertise in performing wave attenuation studies for reef-style breakwaters and unconventional breakwater alternatives. We can also model other general wave transformations including shoaling, breaking, diffraction, and reflection. The ACES center also has demonstrated expertise in modeling wave loads on bridges and bridge decks. Other examples of possible laboratory studies include beach and dune erosion, marsh stability and erosion, wave-structure interactions, hydrodynamic loads, sediment transport, and scour.


Large recirculating wave-current flume in Shelby Hall

Field Data Collection & Monitoring


Installation of wave and tide gages in Mobile Bay for a one-month monitoring study.

Field data collection and monitoring services are billed on the basis of time and materials plus a flat daily field work rate plus required facilities and administration costs (41% of total direct costs). The flat daily rate is a pro-rated (daily basis) fee that covers direct costs associated with the use and maintenance of our standard equipment in the field. Our field data collection and monitoring services include shallow water coastal mapping, land-based GPS surveying and mapping, water level monitoring, wave monitoring, flow monitoring, and water quality monitoring. Our shallow water coastal mapping system the {Jag Ski} is capable of performing multi-beam hydrographic surveys, limited sub-bottom profiling, velocity and flow profiling, and water quality sampling/analysis. We commonly use these systems for performing beach profile surveys, nearshore bathymetric surveys, velocity profiling and mapping, and water quality mapping.

Inquiries & Contracting

Inquiries regarding ACES center capabilities and services should be directed to Dr. Bret Webb {contact}. The process for initiating a service contract is simple and straightforward. After a discussion and/or meeting about your specific needs, Dr. Webb will prepare a letter proposal describing the scope of work, tentative schedule, and estimated budget. Once the client is satisfied with the contents of the letter proposal Dr. Webb will send a basic Service Agreement that will serve as the contract between the two parties. The service work will only commence after the University has received the final, executed contract signed and dated by both parties. The proposal development and contracting process generally takes two to four weeks depending on the complexity of the work.