The Marine Studies Initiative is an exiting effort to address the most daunting challenges and important marine opportunities facing the world.
Edward J. Ray, President
Oregon State University
The College of Engineering leads research and innovation to drive breakthroughs that change the world. As a partner of choice for industry, government, and academia, the college invests in and advances research in many areas that support the Marine Studies Initiative, including coastal and ocean engineering and energy systems.
Merrick Haller directs research on how and where to deploy arrays of power-generating wave energy converters for maximum efficiency and minimal impact to the shoreline. Researchers are trying to determine how arrays change the distribution of wave energy on shore so they can build a design tool that will help developers design low-impact devices.
David Hill completed one of the most precise evaluations to date on the impact of a major tsunami on the Columbia River. He determined which forces are most important in controlling unusual water flow and developed maps to predict which areas might face tsunami-induced flooding. The study will help landowners and land-use planners improve emergency preparations. It's found that a tsunami would increase river height by 13 feet at the river’s mouth, but dissipate within 50 miles.
The 2013 deployment of the Ocean Sentinel, a wave-energy-device testing platform, provided an opportunity for three studies related to wave energy production. Josh Baker assessed the integrity of the Ocean Sentinel’s mooring system, Sarah Henkel took steps to determine how the presence of wave energy devices could affect life on the sea floor, and Malachi Bunn attempted to test a more sustainable solution to prevent equipment biofouling.