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Assistant Professor receives research grant for predicting flood hazards in Texas Coastal Zone

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Dr. Adnan Rajib, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has received a new $59,681 grant to fund his research on flood hazard predictions. In less than a year, Rajib has secured more than $300,000 of federal and state research grants as the Principal Investigator.

With the additional funding, Rajib’s research team will develop new-generation, highly robust computer simulation models capable of predicting flood hazards in one of America’s worst flood-affected areas ⎼ the coastal zone of Texas.

“Flooding has become a real threat to Texas communities,” said Dr. David Ramirez, chair of the environmental engineering department, “But how ready are our communities to utilize the latest data and computer technologies and survive the next big flood? Rajib’s work will address this question by making the latest science of flood predictions readily useful for local stakeholders.”

Dr. Rajib said his team will develop a new way of flood prediction that will allow anyone to link computer models with emerging information about the earth surface. The project will begin in June 2021 and will continue for two years.

“Traditionally, scientists use computer model simulations to map areas that may be inundated after a big storm event. Over time, local authorities and managers have adopted the basic skills to run these model simulations. But times have changed. With the increasing availability of satellite data and supercomputers, traditional flood simulation models are being rapidly modified, and as a result, operating these models now a days demands state of the science techniques,” Dr. Rajib said.

“This research is going to be unique in many ways. It will show how to make model simulations realistic by using satellite observations of changing natural ecosystems. It will also show how to calibrate model results using satellite observations of flood inundation patterns over large areas, as opposed to the traditional approach of using water depth in specific river locations,” he added.

The different tasks proposed under this flood research grant is being co-funded by an industry partner, state agencies, and county governments.

In addition to studying floods, Rajib’s research team is exploring emerging concepts of climate risks to foster environmental protection and stewardship.

Category: General Univ , Engineering

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