Nina Stark, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was named the Anthony and Catherine Moraco Faculty Fellow by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Anthony and Catherine Moraco Endowed Faculty Fellowship was established in 2018 by Anthony and Catherine Moraco to attract and retain leading scholars in the College of Engineering.

Stark joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2013 following her postdoctoral work with the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Stark’s research examines the larger field of coastal sciences and engineering, including increasingly changing shorelines in response to extreme events, sea level rise, and climate change, as well as naval applications, such as beach trafficability and the detection of unexploded ordnances. She is working to introduce and expand a geotechnical perspective on coastal sediment remobilization processes and coastal sediment characteristics through the development of new methods, field measurements, improved understanding of processes, and application in coastal engineering and for naval issues.

In 2018, Stark received both a National Science Foundation Career Award to study soil mechanics in response to hydrodynamic forcing and morphodynamics, and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, to further her research into geotechnical soil characterizations from remote sensing for the assessment of coastline strength, stability, and trafficability.

Stark’s leadership of the post-disaster reconnaissance activities associated with Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida demonstrated the high regard with which she is held in the geotechnical community.

Stark received her master's degree in geophysics from Westphalian Wilhelms University (Germany). She received her doctorate in marine geotechnics at the MARUM Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen (Germany).

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