Casey Dietrich

Associate Professor

Dr. Dietrich pursues research in the predictive modeling of coastal hazards, especially storm surge, flooding, and erosion along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic coasts. His models have been used for the design of surge mitigation systems by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for floodplain risk assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and to support operational forecasting for the Department of Homeland Security. He has also applied these models in forecasting of storm surge, as well as oil transport following the BP spill in 2010.

Dr. Dietrich received three degrees from the University of Oklahoma before moving to the University of Notre Dame for his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. Then he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and research associate for three years at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

At NC State, Dr. Dietrich teaches courses in fluid mechanics and coastal engineering, including the undergraduate course CE 282 Hydraulics, and the graduate courses CE 580 Coastal Modeling, CE 581 Fluid Mechanics in Natural Environments, and CE 582 Coastal Hydrodynamics.



Ph.D. 2011

Civil Engineering

University of Notre Dame

M.S. 2005

Civil Engineering

University of Oklahoma

B.S. 2004

Civil Engineering

University of Oklahoma

B.A. 2004


University of Oklahoma

Research Description

My research focuses on applying numerical models to enhance physical understanding of and develop predictive capabilities for coastal engineering processes, especially storm-driven hazards of coastal flooding and erosion. I am a leading developer of the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model, which is used widely for real-time forecasting, analysis and design of coastal infrastructure, and development of risk maps for insurance purposes.

My research has three focii: (1) Extend model capabilities, via how density-driven circulation and transport affect coastal hazards, how coastal erosion is linked with regional circulation, how uncertainties in storm characteristics can propagate into uncertainties in coastal flooding, and how coastal infrastructure is vulnerable to multiple hazards; (2) Improve model efficiency, via how to use higher-resolution information to correct predictions of coastal flooding, and how to optimize the performance of storm surge simulations; and (3) Communicate flooding guidance, via how to use our flooding predictions to support decision-making.

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Teacher Award, NC State University, 2018


Adaptation pathways for climate change resilience on barrier islands
Anderson, D., Dietrich, J. C., Spiegler, S., & Cothron, C. (2022), Shore and Beach, 2, 16–26.
Effects of Model Resolution and Coverage on Storm-Driven Coastal Flooding Predictions
Thomas, A., Dietrich, J. C., Dawson, C. N., & Luettich, R. A. (2022), JOURNAL OF WATERWAY PORT COASTAL AND OCEAN ENGINEERING, 148(1).
Emulator For Eroded Beach And Dune Profiles Due To Storms
Gharagozlou, A., Anderson, D. L., Gorski, J. F., & Dietrich, J. C. (2022), JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE, 127(8).
Numerical extensions to incorporate subgrid corrections in an established storm surge model
Begmohammadi, A., Wirasaet, D., Poisson, A., Woodruff, J. L. L., Dietrich, J. C., Bolster, D., & Kennedy, A. B. B. (2022, December 28), COASTAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, Vol. 12.
Downscaling of real-time coastal flooding predictions for decision support
Rucker, C. A., Tull, N., Dietrich, J. C., Langan, T. E., Mitasova, H., Blanton, B. O., … Luettich, R. A., Jr. (2021), NATURAL HAZARDS, 107(2), 1341–1369.
Dynamic load balancing for predictions of storm surge and coastal flooding
Roberts, K. J., Dietrich, J. C., Wirasaet, D., Pringle, W. J., & Westerink, J. J. (2021), ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, 140.
Formation of a barrier island breach and its contributions to lagoonal circulation
Gharagozlou, A., Dietrich, J. C., Massey, T. C., Anderson, D. L., Gorski, J. F., & Overton, M. F. (2021), ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE, 262.
Improving coastal flooding predictions by switching meshes during a simulation
Thomas, A., Dietrich, J. C., Loveland, M., Samii, A., & Dawson, C. N. (2021), OCEAN MODELLING, 164.
Methodology for Regional Multihazard Hurricane Damage and Risk Assessment
Nofal, O. M., Lindt, J. W., Do, T. Q., Yan, G., Hamideh, S., Cox, D. T., & Dietrich, J. C. (2021), JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, 147(11).
Subgrid corrections in finite-element modeling of storm-driven coastal flooding
Woodruff, J. L., Dietrich, J. C., Wirasaet, D., Kennedy, A. B., Bolster, D., Silver, Z., … Kolar, R. L. (2021), OCEAN MODELLING, 167.

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Comparative Assessment of Total Water Levels for Coastal Military Facility Readiness and Resilience Using Numerical Models
US Dept. of Defense (DOD)(4/13/22 - 4/12/26)
Forecasting Coastal Impacts from Tropical Cyclones along the US East and Gulf Coasts using the ADCIRC Prediction System
US Navy - Office Of Naval Research(4/06/21 - 4/05/25)
Identifying the Drivers of Chronic Coastal Flooding: A Community-centric Approach
NCSU Sea Grant Program(2/01/22 - 7/31/24)
Establishment of Remote-Sensing Based Monitoring Program for Performance Limit State Assessment of the Sacramento Delta Levees
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(1/01/16 - 6/30/24)
Sustainability of Barrier Island Protection Policies under Changing Climates
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit - Piedmont-South Atlantic Coast(10/18/19 - 10/29/22)
Improving Predictions of Estuarine Flooding and Circulation during Storms
NCSU Sea Grant Program(2/01/20 - 9/30/22)
PREEVENTS Track 2: Collaborative Research: Subgrid-Scale Corrections to Increase the Accuracy and Efficiency of Storm Surge Models
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/17 - 8/31/22)
Coupling of Inlet-Scale Erosion and Region-Scale Flooding Predictions
US Army Corps of Engineers(9/24/18 - 12/31/19)
Interactions between Waves, Storm Surge and Beach Morphology during Storm Events
NCSU Sea Grant Program(2/01/16 - 6/30/18)
The Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) II
Consortium for Ocean Leadership(1/01/15 - 3/31/18)