Current Lab Members

Graduate Students

Hazem Abdelhady
Hazem Abdelhady

Hazem is working on performing in-situ quantifications of nearshore sediment transport, and developing shoreline change models for sandy shorelines subjected to large and rapid water level changes. Hazem received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Cairo University.

Tasmiah Ahsan
Tasmiah Ahsan

Tasmiah is a M.S. student from Dhaka, Bangladesh working on the quantification of sediment transport along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Tasmiah has a B.Sc. of Water Resources Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

Nhu Pham
Nhu Pham

After working as a Purdue SURF student developing a 1-D mixing model for Lake Michigan, Nhu has been working on her Ph.D. through the Ecological Sciences and Engineering interdisciplinary program with a focus on the quantification of mixing rates in nearshore waters. Nhu obtained her B.S. from Purdue.

Undergraduate Students

Macy Baxter
Macy Baxter

Macy has been working on shoreline delineation using ArcGIS. She is working on her B.S. in Civil Engineering.

Nicky Benedict
Nicky Benedict

Nicky is researching the influence of large coastal structures on alongshore sediment dynamics.

Ben Nelson-Mercer
Ben Nelson-Mercer

Ben is analyzing aerial and satellite imagery using GIS and DSAS to quantify shoreline changes in Lake Michigan during recent and historical high water periods. Ben is working on his B.S. in Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue.

Hannah Tomkins
Hannah Tomkins

Hannah is working as a SURF student researching recent shoreline changes in Lake Michigan. Hannah is working on quantifying and analyzing shoreline changes to Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline, by analyzing and collecting shoreline and beach profile data. Hannah is working to complete her B.S. in Civil Engineering at Purdue.

Alumni Lab Members

Name Degree, Year /
Where are they now?
Skylar Randall

Skylar worked on developing and testing a sonar system to map the bathymetry of lakes and rivers, as well as working with aerial imagery to analyze shoreline changes in Lake Michigan.

Kira McCorry SURF, 2020

Kira performed research on the influence of surface waves on near-bottom currents in Lake Michigan, writing and applying signal processing code in Matlab to analyze field data collected near Milwaukee, WI. She developed several spectral analysis protocols for identifying and quantifying surface waves from field data. Kira is completing her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue.

David Cannon SURF, M.S., Ph.D., 2019

After working as an undergraduate researcher in the SURF program, David collected and analyzed measurements of mean flow and turbulence characteristics at several sites in Lake Michigan for his Ph.D. His work examined the spatial and temporal distributions in turbulent mixing, and the effects of thermal stratification (including unstable stratification). Through his Ph.D., David worked on almost every large research vessel in Lake Michigan. David is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Central Florida, studying interactions between waves, tidal flows, and natural features such as mangroves and oyster reefs.

Nicholas Olsen M.S., 2019

Nicholas wrote a M.S. thesis that examined long-term trends in Lake Michigan waves, analyzing historical buoy data and wave model output. His work showed that few statistically-defensible long-term trends can be found in Lake Michigan’s waves, and if anything waves and storms appear to have reduced in their intensity since 1980. Nicholas now works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS.

Bella Chinbat Independent Study, 2017

Bella worked to develop a wavemaker for the Troy Lab research flume.

Daniel Moon
L'Focus Consultancy Inc.

Daniel developed a web page calculator for the water wave dispersion relation.

Kyla Prendergast SURF, 2017
City of Pittsburg

As part of her SURF work, Kyla performed field measurements of turbulence and velocities in Lake Michigan, to determine the relationship between vertical mixing, thermal stratification, and flow structure.

Umair Sarwar SURF, 2017
Modineer Company

Umair researched turbulent boundary layers under waves, in Purdue’s Tow and Wave Basin, for his SURF project.

Jonathan Benoit
University of Kentucky, Ph.D. student

Jonathan analyzed near-bottom interactions between turbulence and phytoplankton for his SURF project.

Rebecca Essig M.S., Ph.D., 2016

Becca collected field and historical data and examined the dynamics of tributaries to Lake Michigan, including long-term trends in streamflow and loading, physical and chemical characteristics of river plumes, and temporal traits of storm events. She spent many days collecting water samples and many nights crunching data in Matlab and Excel. Becca also performed research on incorporating writing exercises into engineering classes. Becca is now an Assistant Professor at Purdue University – Fort Wayne where she teaches first year engineering and rocks the world daily.

Jun Choi Ph.D., 2015

Jun performed field experiments to quantify near-surface lateral dispersion and mixing characteristics offshore in Lake Michigan. To do this, Jun acquired and analyzed velocity data from the center of Lake Michigan’s central basin, showing the offshore importance of the tide-like near-inertial oscillations for most of the year. Jun also planned and carried out a seven-day research cruise to the middle of Lake Michigan on the R/V Blue Heron , where we released and tracked both dye and drifters to quantify lateral dispersion in the lake. Jun now is an Assistant Professor in Pukyung National University in Busan, South Korea where he teaches courses in oceanography and performs research on mixed layer dynamics.

Stephen Davis SURF, 2014

Stephen worked to develop a coastal upwelling index for Lake Michigan for his SURF research project.

Barnard Mondal SURF, 2013

Barnard worked on developing techniques for measuring and modeling turbulence and currents in swimming pools. (this is actually a super-hard problem!)

Emily Grimm

For her M.S. thesis work, Emily did extensive field sampling of river plumes in Lake Michigan, and quantified the physical characteristics of river plumes and river inflows. After working as a water resources engineer at Baxter and Woodman in Chicago, she is now the Assistant Village Engineer / Stormwater Manager for the village of Winnetka, IL.

Sultan Ahmed Ph.D., 2013

Sultan analyzed near-inertial internal waves and coastal upwellings for his Ph.D. He performed numerical simulations using the unstructured hydrodynamic model SUNTANS, adapting the model to simulate the annual thermal cycle of large lakes. Sultan also conducted and analyzed several field experiments in Lake Michigan to quantify nearshore currents and temperatures, and their relationships to near-inertial internal waves and coastal upwellings. Since graduating, he has worked in industry on desalination at several companies, including Dusan Water. He now works as a Senior Process Engineer at Tahliyah.

Naoki Wada

Naoki was an Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant intern who worked on the first deployment of our <real-time buoy.

David Christiansen SURF, 2011
Freese and Nichols

For his SURF project, David used our autonomous underwater vehicle in local lakes to try and measure velocity profiles.

Allison Goodwell SURF, 2010

As a SURF student, Allison used Matlab to analyze wind, temperature and velocity data from Lake Michigan, focusing on the quantification of coastal upwellings and their effects on nearshore water temperatures. Following graduation from Purdue with her B.S., she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. She is now an assistant professor at University of Colorado, Denver.

Nahlin Sahni M.S., 2010

Nalin researched Indiana glacial lakes, both collecting field data as well as running and developing 1-D models to simulate the annual cycle of temperature and oxygen variation. After graduating from Purdue, Nalin completed a MBA at Northwestern University and has worked at CH2MHill and BNP Paribas.

Will Black SURF, 2010
Raytheon Missiles and Defense

As a SURF student, Will developed a low-head hydroelectric self-oscillating body for power generation.

Mallory Barkdull SURF, 2009

Mallory worked as a SURF student, helping to perform a field experiment in Lake Michigan, near Michigan City, IN, to quantify currents and temperatures during the stratified period. She also ran our Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to survey local lakes and performed 1-D lake modeling. After graduating with a B.S. from Virginia Tech, Mallory completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University, researching the hydrodynamics of coral reefs, and went on join the engineering faculty at Laney College in Oakland, CA, where she is now the Department Chair.

Martin Jang SURF, 2009
Samsung Engineering

Martin worked as a SURF student to develop an underwater mooring system to deploy an acoustic velocimeter capable of measuring near-surface currents.

Simrat Karamjeet M.S., 2009

Simrat investigated the drag characteristics of a towed acoustic device, by performing computational fluid dynamics simulations using FLUENT as well as laboratory tests in Purdue’s Tow and Wave Basin. After obtaining her M.S., Simrat has worked as a water resources engineer at Golder Associates.

Nam Nguyen SURF, 2008
Sargent and Lundy

Nam performed 1-D modeling of lake thermal structure. He has gone on to work as a structural engineer.

Nilay Patel SURF, 2008
Walker Consultants

Nilay performed FLUENT modeling of circulation and mixing in swimming pools, to help better understand the transport and fate of harmful chemicals.

David Brock SURF, 2007
Brock Associates

David worked as a SURF student on the development of a low-cost thermistor chain using novel temperature sensors.

Divyanshu Kamboj SURF, 2007
Invest Ottawa

Divyanshu worked as a SURF student on the development of a wireless, real-time weather station for use in lake studies.

Mattew Plumlee SURF, 2007
Northwestern University

Matthew worked as a SURF student on the development of an instrumented thermistor chain to measure the vertical distribution of temperatures in lakes.