Undergraduate students Kelsey Perez and Maria Bower, and Michael Tadesse a PhD student, win awards during UCF Student Research Week, April 1-5 2019

Kelsey Perez won the  Judges’ Choice Award at the 2019 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence for her poster, “The Impact of Wave Energy Conversion on Coastal Erosion.” She is working to understand the environmental impacts of wave energy converters, specifically as they relate to coastal erosion in Florida. Kelsey is a sophomore Civil Engineering student and works in the research group of Dr. Talea Mayo.  She is also mentored by Water Resources Engineering graduate student, Cigdem Ozkan.

Undergraduate student Maria Bower also received a Judges’ Choice Award for her research on the “Timescales of global tidal flooding”, which she has been working on with her advisor Dr. Thomas Wahl. We all hear stories about Miami being flooded by high tides during otherwise sunny days, and the city has started to address the issue. With future sea level rise and given the often limited protection measures in place, other coastal cities and countries will start to experience the same type of flooding in the future, and Maria tries to find out when it will be. This award comes only shortly after she has also been selected to receive UCF’s highest honors by joining the Order of Pegasus.

Michael Tadesse, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Wahl’s group, was invited to give an oral presentation during the Graduate Research Forum. His presentation on “Statistical models to simulate global storm surges” received the designation of Exemplary Oral Presentation. He showed preliminary results from a project sponsored by NASA to develop efficient tools to simulate storm surges everywhere along the coast and use these tools to analyze past changes in the storm surge climate and project possible future changes, e.g. from more frequent or more extreme tropical cyclones or Nor’easters.