Dr. Matthew Bilskie

Matthew V. Bilskie

Assistant Professor

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Matthew Bilskie is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural, and Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Matt holds a BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University. Matt’s research interests include hurricane storm surge modeling for present and future conditions, real-time flood inundation forecasting, developing new methods to assess compound floods, communication with decision-makers, and natural- and nature-based feature implementation and assessment.  Matt can be found with his wife and 2-year old son during his free time, grilling and smoking various meats, golfing, swimming, and hiking.

Félix Santiago-Collazo

Research Scientist

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Félix Santiago-Collazo is a Research Scientist with COAST and the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure
Systems at the University of Georgia. Felix holds an M.S. and B.S. in Civil Engineering from the
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State
University. Felix has a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license from the Puerto Rico Board and is a
Graduate Research fellow from the National Science Foundation. Felix’s research interests
include compound flood modeling, wetting and drying algorithms, coastal watershed
management, and flood routing. Felix enjoys spending time with his wife and two children,
watching sports, biking, and walking his dog in his free time.

Viyaktha Hithaishi Hewageegana

Postdoctoral Research Associate

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Hithaishi is a post-doc research associate and recently completed his Ph.D. in Coastal Engineering from the University of Florida. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, and an MS in Coastal Engineering from TU Delft, The Netherlands. Hithaishi’s research interests lie in numerical modeling of nearshore coastal processes to study areas such as sediment transport, hazard mitigation by vegetation, and pollutant transport. Hithaishi enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter in his free time and learning about contemporary history.

Sheppard Medlin

Sheppard Medlin

MS Student

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Growing up in coastal North Carolina, Sheppard naturally spent a lot of time around the water.  This led to a deep appreciation of the ocean and all the coastal communities along its shores.  Moving inland, Sheppard attended NC State University for his undergraduate program, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Physics.  While there, he developed computational tools to visualize storm surge modeling results as a part of the Coastal and Computational Hydraulics Team.  Now, Sheppard is continuing his education at UGA by working towards a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering.  He is currently studying the scales at which barrier islands become effective tools for protecting the mainland against coastal flooding.  Sheppard enjoys all manner of outdoor activities when he isn’t studying, including running, camping, surfing, and hiking.

Rebecca (Becca) Stanley

MS Student (Co-Advised with Dr. Brock Woodson and the COBIA Lab).

Becca Stanley is a Graduate Research Assistant, studying natural infrastructure in coastal regions and how it is related to biodiversity, and working towards a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. In 2021, Becca graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. Becca’s primary interests are natural infrastructure, hydrology, environmental remediation, and environmental policy. Becca is either tending to her 50+ houseplants, embroidering, playing with her cats, or hiking when not working or studying.

Robert (Bobby) Fiegelist

MS Student

Bobby is from Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from The University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. His interest in water and its engineering challenges led him to pursue his Master’s degree and become involved in coastal research. Bobby enjoys spending time at the ocean and Great Lakes and looks forward to learning how these regions change and affect us. In his free time, Bobby loves to run, explore the outdoors, and root on his favorite sports teams.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Grant Bilderback, Environmental Engineering Student (Honors Program)

Maria Martin, Computer Systems Engineering Student

High-School Researchers

Gretchen Hinger, Clarke Central High School (Senior)

COAST Alumni

Roshen Jegajeevan, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Spring 2021