RISE 2019 Conference

Transforming University Engagement In Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Thomas Richardson

Executive Director

Coastal Resilience Center


havidan rodriguez photo

Tom is Executive Director of the DHS Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence. He is an engineering graduate of The Citadel, the University of Miami, and the International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering in Delft, The Netherlands. In 2009, Tom retired as Director of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory of the Engineer Research and Development Center and began work at Jackson State University as Deputy Director of the DHS Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence. His career has focused on developing, performing, and managing applied research in coastal and hydraulic engineering. As examples, he led applied research teams that: a) developed the CORE-LOC® concrete armor unit for breakwaters and jetties and formed the international consortium that currently markets and manages it, and b) developed the Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne Lidar Survey (SHOALS) system for coastal mapping and charting and created the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise at Stennis Space Center, MS. He played a key role in developing the concept of Regional Sediment Management and in transitioning it to practice nation-wide. In his current position, he oversees the activities of a Center (https://coastalresiliencecenter.unc.edu/) with the mission of conducting research and education to enhance the resilience of the nation’s people, infrastructure, economies and the natural environment to the impacts of coastal hazards such as floods and hurricanes, including the effects of future trends.