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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Wave basin testing of the bagged oyster shell was completed on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  The final two days of testing appear to have been as successful as the first, and some additional trials were added to the original experiment matrix.  The bags have been removed from the wave basin and stacked on a pallet, which will be stored in the engineering building, for future testing.  Over three days of testing, 129 tests were performed yielding 43 unique experiments.  The results of the experiment will provide us with 43 points of comparison for application of existing methodologies used to estimate wave transmission coefficients for porous breakwaters.

The first day of testing in the wave basin was a success. With the help of Caren Reid Dixon, Richard Allen and I completed about one-half of the 36 tests in the experimental design. The experiment matrix calls for 36 unique combinations of structure height and crest width. Three separate wave “bursts” are run for each unique test, resulting in a total of 108 experiments. Testing will resume on Monday, October 18, and should be completed the following day. Thanks also to Tom Herder from the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) who stopped by to check out the tests and lend a hand.

Faculty and students in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama are testing the wave attenuating capabilities of bagged oyster shell in the Coastal Transportation Engineering Research and Education Center’s wave basin.  An outcome of this research will be published wave transmission coefficients that can be used to determine appropriate breakwater characteristics, like height and crest width, to achieve a desired wave condition on the lee side of the structure.  More information will be posted to the {Research} page in the coming weeks.