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Robert J. Weaver

Associate Professor | College of Engineering and Science - Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences

| Coastal Engineering

Contact Information

Personal Overview

Dr. Weaver’s research focuses on coastal eco-engineering and coastal hydrodynamics / storm surge inundation.  Dr. Weaver joined Florida Tech (2011) after working as a post-doctoral research assistant at UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences developing 2D/3D high resolution coastal models for predicting wave and storm surge, tracking particles (e.g. oil from Deepwater Horizon Blowout, oyster larvae). In 2013, he was instrumental in founding the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute at Florida Tech and initiated the Living Dock program. His current research includes real-time coastal modeling of waves and water levels, coastal flooding and transport, living shoreline/living dock design, and coastal eco-engineering.  Dr. Weaver trains the next generation of coastal engineering professionals to develop science-based engineering solutions to coastal challenges (e.g., habitat loss, sea level rise, coastal water quality, hurricanes and storm surge inundation).

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, 2008, University of Florida, Dept. Civil and Coastal Engineering
  • M.S. Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, 2004, University of Florida, Dept. Civil and Coastal Engineering
  • B.S. Mathematics (MINOR Physics), 1999, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University Stuttgart, 1999

Professional Experience

Post-Doctorate Researcher, 2008-2011, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, IMS

Research Intern, 2006-2008, URS Corps.

Additional Duties

Director of the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute at Florida Tech

Research in coastal circulation / nearshore hydrodynamics

Founder/CEO of Engineering for the Earth, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which promotes sustainable design, building and engineering practices (2007-present)

Current Courses

  • OCE 2901 Surf Engineering Analysis 
  • OCE 3030 Fluid Mechanics
  • OCE 3521 Hydromechanics / Wave Theory
  • OCE 4522 Coastal Processes & Shoreline Design
  • OCE 4563 Port & Harbor Design
  • OCE 5525 Coastal Processes & Engineering
  • OCE 5563 Port & Harbor Engineering
  • ENS 3911 / 4911 Environmental Field Projects


Selected Publications

Journal Special Editions

  • Real-Time Forecasting of Waves and Storm Surge, Guest Editor: Weaver, R.J., Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 2024

  • Coastal Water Quality: From Science to Solutions, Guest Editors: Weaver, R.J. and Hunsucker, K.Z., Marine Technology Society Journal 52 (4), 5-5, 2018

  • Marine Dredging Engineering: Environmental Dredging, Guest Editor: Weaver, R.J., Journal of Marine Science and Engineering , Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2019

Briefings to Congress/ Letters Entered into Congressional Record

  • Weaver, R. J., (2019).”Written Testimony to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in sup-port for the COAST Act and the NEAR Act”, prepared for The Honorable Bill Posey and the Committeeon Science, Space, and Technology. Letter introduced into Congressional record February 27th, 2019.
  • Weaver, R. J., Zarillo, G., Shenker, J., (2014). ” Indian River Lagoon Research Institute”, IRLRI Briefingto Congressman Posey, January 21, 2014.

Peer Reviewed


Technical Reports

  • Hearin, J. M., Swain, G.,Weaver, R.J., Hunsucker, K. Z., Erdogan, C., Braga, C., Wassick ,A., (2018). ”APHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE MID-REACH MITIGATION REEF SET NUMBER”, pp.1-7.
  • Weaver, R.J., Trefry, J. H., Bostater, C. R., Shenker, J. M., Johnson, K. B., Maglio, C. M. Trocine, R. P.,Fox, A. L., Fox, S. L. (2015). ” Assessment of muck movement, discharge water quality and biological impacts at FIND Dredging Site IR-1: Sebastian River to Wabasso Bridge ” Prepared for Florida InlandNavigation District. Project No. ICW-IR-14-01. October 2015, pp 1-63.
  • Weaver, R. J., (2014). ”Independent review of report by Davidson Laboratory: “Water Level Oscillationsin Response to Vessel Passages through Fresh Kills Reach Carteret, New Jersey”, TR-2870”, Preparedfor: C.M.E. Associates, pp. 1-4.

Invited Talks

  • (2023) "Earth Day at Aquarina: What Can We Do To Create A Positive Impact?" Aquarina COmmunity, MElbourne Beach, FL. 
  • (2018), " Our Indian River Lagoon: Problem, Solutions and Timeline, Sea Oaks Community, Vero beach, FL
  • (2014), ”Circulation, Climate Change and Resilience”, Lagoon Action Assembly, Florida Institute of Technology, May 2014
  • (2014), ”Indian River Lagoon Research Institute”, IRLRI Congressional Briefing, January 21, 2014
  • (2012), ”Our Backyard Laboratory for Water Quality Solutions: The IRL, Lagoonal Circulation, and Engineering/Biological Solutions to Water Quality”, Spacecoast Science Cafe, Fall 2012, Invited Oral Presentation/Discussion
  • Weaver, Lazarus, Splitt (2016), "Forecasting of Hurricane Matthew and for future storms", Board of Trustees Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology. 

Recognition & Awards

  • 2020 Engineering Unleashed Fellow
  • 2017 Florida Tech Rising Star
  • AAUS Certified
  • NAUI DiveMaster Cert.
  • Sigma Pi Sigma
  • Pi Mu Epsilon


  • Real Time Forecasting of Waves and Storm Surge
  • 3D hydrodynamics and development and validation of 3D capabilities in ADCIRC
  • Phytoremediation of eutrophic waters in coastal lagoons
  • Indian River Lagoon Experiment (IRLEX) 2012
  • Circulation modeling for IRL and coastal waters
  • Remediation of coastal lagoons
  • Sand bypassing solutions for hardened inlets
  • 3D wave forcing for ADCIRC
  • 3D surface mixing for circulation models
  • Managed system for flushing Banana River
  • Removal of fine grained sediments and Muck

Doctoral Dissertation:

  • 2019. Taeb, ”A coastal estuarine ensemble forecasting system”

Master of Science Theses:

  • 2014. Todd, ”3D Barotropic Hindcast of Water Levels and Vertically Distributed Currents Generated by Hurricane Gustav: Implementing Vertically Distributed Wave Forcing in ADCIRC+SWAN(ADSWAN)”
  • 2015. Saberi, ”Impact of Constructing a Low Crested Weir in Cape Canaveral on Flushing in the Banana River”
  • 2016. Baboolal, ”A Physical and Computational Study of Semi-Hemispherical Artificial Reef Breakwater Designs to Optimize Efficiency for Use as Shoreline Protection and Marine Habitat”
  • 2017. Kledzik, ”Hydrodynamic Resistance of a Surfboard: An Analytical, Empirical, and Statistical Analysis”
  • 2017. Stehno, ”A Physical and Computational Comparison of Floating Breakwater Design Efficiencies for Habitat Restoration in the Indian River Lagoon”
  • 2018. Provost, ”Development, Testing, Analysis, and Efficiency of a Variable Area Dredge in Combination with a Mobile Ferrate-Based Treatment Facility”
  • 2018. Grisanti, ”Controlled Intake Area Dredging for Fine Sediment Removal to ImproveWater Quality in the Indian River Lagoon”
  • 2019. Lahlou, ”Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Drag Force on Surfboards with Different Shapes”
  • 2019. McCarthy, ”Wind Power and Aquaculture: A Natural Fit”
  • 2020. Christiansen, ”Living Docks: Structural Implications and Determination of Force Coefficients of Oyster Mats on Dock Pilings in the Indian River Lagoon”
  • 2020. Boyd, ”Improving the Efficiency of Coupled Hydrodynamic Predictions by Implementing a Fetchbased Parametric Wave Model”
  • 2020. Soucy, ”Alternative Material Selection for Oyster Restoration with an Emphasis on Living Docks” 
  • 2020. Austin, ”Effect of Simulated Mangrove Forest Width on Shoreline Stabilization at Multiple Tidal Water Levels”
  • 2021. McClain, ”Design and Analysis of a Pipe and Pump System Constructed to Connect Port Canaveral to the Banana River”
  • 2021. Katrina, ”Near-Shore Sediment Transport Under Cnoidal Waves Using Particle Image Velocimetry"
  • 2021. Lodge, "Coupling a Parametric Wave Model into Hydrodynamic Ocean Circulation Forecasts to Improve Efficiency of Nested Estuarine Storm Surge Predictions"
  • 2023. Komita, ”Engineering Design and Permitting for a Pilot Inflow Project to Improve Water Quality in the Indian River Lagoon”
  • 2023. Wissmach, ”Biomimicry of Natural Reef Hydrodynamics in an Artificial Spur and Groove Reef Formation Proposal”
  • 2024. Walker. "Computational Fluid Dynamics through Perforated Monopiles"
  • 2024. Reddy. "Numerical modeling studies for selection of suitable disposal locations for combined common Effluent Treatment Plant discharges into deep waters off Hazira coast, Surat, Gujarat"

Research & Project Interests

  • NPF / NPS, PI: Create Marine Hazard Warning System for Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (TIMU), (10/01/2023-09/30/2026).
  • State of Florida DOE, PI: Restoring Lagoon Inflow Phase III Task 1: Engineering (07/01/2022-06/30/2023).
  • State of Florida DOE, PI: Restoring Lagoon Inflow Phase II Task 1: Modeling & Engineering (07/01/2020-06/30/2021).
  • State of Florida DOE, PI: Restoring Lagoon Inflow Task 1: Modeling & Engineering (07/01/2019-06/30/2020).
  • USACE / CRP, CO-PI: Nearshore Sediment Transport and Sediment Budgets Over Decadal Scales DUNEX (12/2019-12/2021)
  • Brevard County, PI: County Muck Dredging Meetings (03/2019-05/2020)
  • KEEN (Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network), CO-I: Reframing Making Spaces in Engineering Education (12/2018-12/2021)
  • USACE / CRP: Development and Coupling of a Parametric Wave Model to Improve Efficiency of High - Resolution Storm Surge Modeling Allowing an Ensemble Approach Using ADCIRC (W912HZ18P0133 BAA 18-0074), (10/2018-09/2020)
  • State of Florida DEO/Brevard Zoo/Brevard County, PI: Living Shoreline Design and Implementation (DEO HL037) (07/01/2016-06/31/2017).
  • State of Florida FDEP/Brevard County: Feasibility of muck removal at fixed locations in the IRL and subsequent treatment to remove nutrients and contaminants , (08/01/2015-09/31/2016).
  • F.I.N.D.: Assessment of muck movement, discharge water quality and biological impacts at FIND Dredging Site IR-1: Sebastian River to Wabasso Bridge, (11/01/2014-08/31/2015).
  • EPA IRL NEP (SJRWMD): Development of Bioremediation and Habitat Restoration Platforms to Improve Lagoon Water Quality, Restore Seagrasses, and Rebuild Bivalve Populations,  (10/01/2014-09/30/2015).
  • EPA IRL NEP (SJRWMD): Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program Education Coordination, 210K, (10/01/2014-09/30/2017).
  • NWS-CSTAR: An Ensemble-Based Approach to Forecasting Surf, Set-Up, and Surge in the Coastal Zone, (07/01/2014-06/30/2017).
  • NCAR COMET: Ensemble prediction of estuary set-up and set-down using operational WRF winds and their error characteristics. Component 2: Hydrodynamic modeling, (05/31/2012-05/31/2013). 
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