September 6, 2023 YCSEC-A Conference: Advancing the coastal science and engineering community Written By: Stephanies Vang Departments: Civil & Environmental Engineering Categories: Faculty|Graduate|Research|Students Bringing together engineers from around the Americas to the Badger State, the University of Wisconsin-Madison held the 9th Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference – Americas (YCSEC-A) in the midwest for the first time. The conference was led by Nimish Pujara, assistant professor civil and environmental engineering (CEE) and chair of the steering committee, along with 8 students: Joo Young Bang, Jamie Brenner, Ben Davidson, Sara Hartke, Claudio Meza-Valle, Sarah Peterson, Chelsea Volpano, Anya Wolterman. Nimish Pujara, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, welcomes attendees. The event was held for three days providing graduate students with the opportunity to interact and network with other engineers, researchers, and young scientists from across the Americas interested in coastal processes. Students with current research were invited to present their findings and further their professional development. The conference allowed them to bond as a community as they enriched their understanding of coastal dynamics and advanced their professional trajectories through the opportunities provided from YCSEC-A.“The feedback I received from attendees was very positive. Many commented on the beauty of the UW-Madison campus, Dejope Hall, and the city of Madison,” shares Pujara. “Students were inspired by all the different topics they heard about in research presentations and invited speaker talks. I also received positive feedback on the professional development activities, which included insights on the career and graduate school trajectories of senior students, faculty members, and industry professionals.” The YCSEC-A was made possible through financial support from government agencies, industry, and academia, and the Department looks forward to holding similar professional development opportunities in the future. “As part of the student organizing committee and presenter, I consider the conference a milestone in my academic career. I had the opportunity to interact with many people from different places and institutions, from whom I learned about the current cutting-edge research in coastal science that is being carried out in various areas of study, such as waves, sediment transport, coastal morphology, etc. I feel enriched by this experience,” shares Meza-Valle. Graduate students and researchers gather for opening remarks during the 2023 YCSEC-A at Dejope Hall. Ali Shahabi, a PhD graduate student from Old Dominion University, discusses his research on the prediction of coastal flooding with deep neural networks. A panel of coastal science and engineering academics share insights and lessons learned from their research experiences. Poster sessions encourage networking and relationship building among the coastal science and engineering community at YCSEC-A. Attendees gather for dinner and an awards presentation during the last evening of the conference. YCSEC-A 2023 presentation award winners from left to right: Oral 2nd place – Nhu H.V. Pham, Ecological Sciences and Engineering, Purdue University; Oral 3rd place – EJ Rainville, Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington; Poster 2nd place – Jack Aldrich, Oregon State University; Oral 1st place – Luis D. Pérez-Squeo, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University; Poster 1st place – Esme Hirsch, Queen’s University; Not pictured, Poster 3rd place – Vindhyawasini Prasad, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.