Scripps Researcher Receives Coastal Engineering Award


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has awarded Richard Seymour, a research engineer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, the 2000 John G. Moffatt – Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award.

The award is one of only two medals ASCE grants annually in the field of coastal engineering.

The award recognizes new ideas and concepts that can be efficiently implemented to expand the engineering or construction techniques available for harbor and coastal projects.

Seymour received the award in December at the Carbonate Beaches 2000 Conference in Key Largo, Fl. He was cited "for his significant engineering contributions (research, teaching, design, and management) for many years in coastal sediment transport, and wave measurement analysis."

A research engineer and senior lecturer at the Center for Coastal Studies at Scripps, Seymour’s studies include ocean technology, robotic work systems, wave mechanics, variability in wave climatology, and nearshore processes such as sediment transport and shoreline erosion.

Seymour is the originator of the Scripps Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP), a coastal information resource used by boaters, fishermen, harbor pilots, lifeguards, and others. Wave, wind, sea temperature, swell predictions, and a host of information is accessed daily by more than 30,000 users (on the Web at

Although private citizens regularly use CDIP, organizations that access its information include the National Weather Service, which uses the information to make sea state and surf warnings; the U.S. Navy, which uses CDIP to determine safe entry times for ships to enter ports; and the U.S. Geological Survey, which accesses the data for its research on coastal erosion projects. CDIP data also have been used in coordinating search and rescue efforts.

Born in Harrisburg, Penn., Seymour received a B.A. in engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps.

He has served as executive director of the Foundation for Ocean Research and a member of the National Research Council's Marine Board. The author of more than 100 scientific papers, Seymour is a member of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a fellow in the Marine Technology Society. He is a professor emeritus in ocean engineering at Texas A&M University, where he held the Wofford Cain Senior Chair in Offshore Technology.

The ASCE recently elevated Seymour to fellow. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in La Jolla, Calif.

The ASCE, America’s oldest national engineering society, represents more than 123,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide.

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