Contact

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

Research Positions

None available at this time

Current Research Assistants

SE Students
Garland Pennison

 

MSCE Students
Patrick Hautau
Marshall Hayden
Kate Haynes
Justin Lowlavar
Vijaya Satya Lohitha Mukkamala
Jackie Wittmann

 

Undergraduate Students
Derek Kelly
Rh'Monte Wilson

Former Students

MSCE Students
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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I use SonTek’s HydroSurveyor (HS) software on our Jag Ski when collecting bathymetric data. I prefer to use this instead of their RiverSurveyor Live software because of its line planning, navigation, and absolute RTK capabilities. One of the nice things about HS–when it was released–was its ability to reference aerial imagery via online map tile servers. However, this capability disappeared in early 2017 when the MapQuest tile server ceased to exist.

Not wanting to lose the ability to plan surveys with current aerial imagery in the background, I decided to figure out how to import imagery. While this capability of HS has always existed, and while it is documented in the user manual, I never had the patience to figure it out. Until I had to! Here is a step-by-step process that I followed to make this work. Note that I will reference the GIS software “QGIS” in my steps. This stands for Quantum GIS (click here). Any GIS software could be used as a substitute, but I prefer to use QGIS because it works across all computing platforms and I commonly have to swap back and forth between a Mac and a PC.

 

  1. Download NAIP imagery from USGS National Map Viewer (click here)
  2. The image will be a JPEG2000 (jp2). Images after 2013 are projected in WGS 1984 Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere projection (EPSG 3857), which is exactly what you need for the HS software.
  3. Open your image in QGIS, define the CRS as EPSG 3857 (WGS84 Mercator)
  4. Save your file with a new name as a rendered GTIFF using the same CRS (EPSG 3857)
  5. In QGIS, go to Raster / Projections / Extract Projection. Select your file created above (tiff) and then process.
  6. Rename the world file with extension “tfw” instead of “wld”. (Note that the remaining steps will not work unless you complete this one. The HS software requires a world file, but you don’t get one when you download the imagery from the USGS National Map Viewer.)
  7. Open HydroSurveyor, select Tasks / Import Georeferenced Image, and then select your tiff file(s).
  8. Select WGS-84 Mercator in the following window.
  9. Save the tiled data with a new name.
  10. In HydroSurveyor, click “Add Layer” and then “Browse for File” … select your tile files.
  11. Note that you may need to expand your image layer using “>>” and then select “zoom to layer” in order to see your imagery.

 

Do you have to use imagery from the USGS National Map Viewer? No, not at all. Any georeferenced aerial imagery will work so long as you can 1) reproject it to WGS84 Mercator (EPSG 3857) and 2) extract/create/obtain the image world file. That said, another good option for imagery is TerraServer, but those images can be expensive.

 

 

Interested in living shorelines? Want to learn more? Please watch and listen to this video provided by Restore America’s Estuaries…

 

 

 

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The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama is seeking to fill a funded Graduate Research Assistantship for a student interested in pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree, or a Doctor of Science in Systems Engineering, with concentrations in structural and/or coastal engineering. The initial appointment is for one year (1/2016 – 12/2016) and renewal will be contingent upon quarterly performance reviews (for up to three years ending 12/2018). The position will be competitively funded with a stipend and tuition. The qualified applicant should have an earned BS or MS degree in civil engineering by 12/31/2015, have an interest in coastal and/or structural engineering, and meet all admission standards of the Graduate School, and Department of Civil Engineering, at USA. Applicants should prepare the following materials and upload them to Academic Jobs using the link below: (1) brief statement of interest, (2) resume, (3) university transcripts, (4) a list of three references, (5) a technical writing sample, and (6) GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable).

Application Submission Link: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/5724 (click on the “Apply” link)

 

Position

 

The successful candidate will be appointed to a Graduate Research Assistant position at the University of South Alabama (USA) in the Department of Civil Engineering and will be expected to pursue a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), or a Doctor of Science in Systems Engineering, in the specialty areas of coastal and/or structural engineering. The University of South Alabama is a public university in Mobile, Alabama and the campus is located 30 miles from the white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The MSCE program at USA focuses on civil engineering in the coastal environment and department faculty research expertise includes the traditional areas of water resources, environmental, transportation, geotechnical and structural engineering as well as coastal engineering.

 

Research

 

The research responsibilities of the student will be to assist in a five-year funded research project focused on improving the resiliency of the built environment to disasters and natural hazards. The project requires original research, laboratory work, numerical analysis, and interpretation of results. The student will perform physical modeling of wave-structure interactions in our new 25-meter wave channel. Additional project details will be made available at an appropriate time. The ideal candidate will:
1) Have demonstrated knowledge of common numerical analysis software (e.g., Matlab)
2) Have demonstrated experience working in a laboratory
3) Have experience or the ability to learn 3D rendering software (e.g., SolidWorks)
4) Be familiar with 3D printing (rapid prototyping) and conventional fabrication techniques
5) Be physically capable of performing their duties in the laboratory facility
6) Be able to travel to meetings and conferences
7) Be legally able to attend school in the United States without sponsorship or travel assistance

 

 

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Last week I was honored to receive my Board Certification as a Diplomate of Coastal Engineering (D.CE) from the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE). This certification demonstrates that I have specific technical expertise in civil engineering acquired through advanced education and training, as well as professional practice experience. In lieu of a specific licensing process that distinguishes specialized practitioners from general ones, this relatively new certification program (2009) plays an important role in elevating the competence of the civil engineering profession.

 

ACOPNE is one of three academies of the American Society of Civil Engineers participating in the Civil Engineering Certification process.  Board Certification through ACOPNE was established in 2009 to recognize those engineers possessing advanced knowledge, skill, and training in the fields of coastal, ocean, port and navigation engineering. The distinction of Board Certification and the credentials (diplomate status) that it provides represent one of the highest designations available to identify those civil engineers with exceptional skill and reputation.

 

Board Certification through ACOPNE requires that individuals be actively engaged in the practice of their specialized area of engineering, have obtained a baccalaureate degree in engineering, a master’s degree (or over 25 years of experience) in their area of specialization, and a professional engineering license. Click {here} to learn more about the ASCE Civil Engineering Certification academies and their requirements.

 

 

Welcome to my new site!  This is sort of an ongoing work in progress, so please check back often as more content is uploaded.