Impact Award

Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence receives DHS Impact Award 

The Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence was presented with the DHS Impact Award on November 7.

The Coastal Hazards Center received the award for its work with the ADCIRC storm surge and inundation model ahead of Hurricane Irene in 2011.  ADCIRC is used to predict water heights and flooding in coastal areas under storm conditions. In the past, federal, state and local agencies have used the model for risk analysis, risk reduction system design and preparation for coastal storms.

Hurricane Irene brought widespread flooding to the East Coast in 2011. The ADCIRC model helps predict where severe weather events may cause high water levels, dangerous wave conditions and flooding.

“This represents the efforts of a large group of individuals spanning several federal agencies, multiple universities and the private sector,” said Rick Luettich, Center Director and leader of the ADCIRC modeling team.  He added that this collaboration has provided an opportunity to “enhance, harden and ultimately transition an important research capability into an important operational capability.”

The award was presented during the fall Centers of Excellence directors meeting of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate. Dr. Daniel M. Gerstein, Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology at DHS, presented the award. Dr. Gavin P. Smith, Executive Director of the Coastal Hazards Center, received the award on the Center’s behalf.

The Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence previously won the 2010 DHS Impact Award. That award was also given in recognition of contributions by the ADCIRC model team.