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Graduate student spotlight: Sophia Rosenberg

Sophia Rosenberg

Sophia Rosenberg is a second-year master’s of science in civil engineering student with a concentration in coastal engineering. She grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia, and is advised by Dr. Elizabeth Sciaudone. Her research involves calibrating a 2D morphologic model (XBeach) to predict storm-driven barrier island change due to a new management strategy in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She is also involved in a project that assesses present and future coastal highway vulnerability of highway NC 12 on the Outer Banks.

What influenced you to go into engineering?

ROSENBERG (R): I decided to go into engineering after finishing my undergraduate degree in environmental science. During an internship following graduation at a consulting firm, I found I liked the technical nature of engineering projects and decided I wanted to become a coastal engineer. Once I graduate, my plan is to design erosion-control structures (both hard and nature-based) that help protect coastal communities from hurricanes and sea level rise.

What problem(s) are you trying to solve? Why was NC State / CCEE a good fit for you?

R: I am trying to better understand how climate change may impact vulnerable beaches in the future. NC State was a perfect fit for me because I get to work on projects directly related to beach erosion and sediment transport modeling. I also have a great advisor and an amazing coastal engineering team that have made my experience at NC State very memorable.

Where did your passion for this particular focus come from?

R: My passion mainly comes from growing up in an area that is stressed by hurricanes and flooding. I want to become a coastal engineer in order to better equip communities to deal with issues in the future. I also love modeling waves and sediment transport, using spatial mapping programs such as geographic information system software, and coding in general.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

R: I see myself working as a coastal engineer for either a private or federal agency (preferably on a beautiful beach).


This story was originally published in the CCEE Fall 2022 Newsletter.