Tom Ravens

Tom Ravens

Civil Engineering
EIB 403F
Office Hours (Fall '19): W 10 am - noon and F 10 am - noon
(907) 786-1943


Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997
M.A. Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, 1990
M.E., B.E. Engineering Sciences, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 1983
B.A. Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College 1982


Dr. Tom Ravens is a Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at UAA, and former Associate Dean of Research for the College of Engineering.  His research is focused in two principal areas: coastal processes and renewable energy (specifically hydrokinetic energy).  His research includes field, laboratory, and modeling work.  His coastal processes research includes studies of hydrodynamics (waves and currents), sediment transport, flooding, water quality, coastal erosion and geomorphic change.  In the area of renewable hydrokinetic energy, Tom is leading projects that assess the in-stream hydrokinetic potential for the state of Alaska and for the Contiguous U.S.  In addition, he and graduate students are examining the hydraulic and sediment transport impacts of hydrokinetic energy generation.  Finally, Tom and colleagues have designed and built a flume to test the abrasion resistance of critical hydrokinetic device components in sedimented waters.

Tom's research has involved numerous graduate and undergraduate research assistants.  He is currently supporting four full-time graduate research assistants.

Teaching Responsibilities

Over the past few years, Tom has taught a number of courses in the general area of Water Resources Engineering, including:
ES A341 Fluid Mechanics
ES A341L Fluid Mechanics Lab
CE A344 Water Resources Engineering
CE A476/676 Coastal Erosion
CE A479/679 Sediment Transport and Coastal Processes
CE A497 Environmental Computational Fluid Dynamics
CE A677 Coastal Measurements and Analysis
CE A686 Civil Engineering Project
CE A698 Individual Research
CE A699 Thesis

Professional & Department Service

  • Public
    • Presentation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy at the UAA Bookstore (Oct. 18, 2012)
  • University
    • Civil Engineering Department Assessment Committee
    • UAA Committee on the Responsible Conduct of Research
    • UAA Fluid Mechanics Lab Director
  • Professional
    • Reviewer of numerous journal articles for Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Journal of Coastal Research, Oceanography and Limnology.  Reviewer of proposals for Sea Grant, NSF, etc.

Research Interests

Assessment of the Hydrokinetic (Renewable) Energy Resource in the Continental U.S.

Statewide Assessment of the Hydrokinetic (Renewable) Energy Resource in Alaska Rivers

Hydraulic Impact of Hydrokinetic Energy Extraction

Impact of an Arctic Causeway on Hydrodynamics and Sedimentation

Modeling of Storm-Induced Inundation, Sediment Transport, and Water Quality Impacts on the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta

Arctic Coastal Erosion Modeling

Abrasion Testing of Critical Components of Hydrokinetic Devices


Refereed Journals and Significant Refereed Reports and Books

Edgerly E. M. and T. M. Ravens. 2016. Measuring and modeling the interaction between a hydrokinetic energy device and the hydraulic environment of the Tanana River, Alaska. Renewable Energy. (in review).

M. Ali, T. Ravens, T. Petersen., A. Bromaghin, and S. Jenson. 2015. Impact of Sediments on Wear Performance of Critical Sliding Components of Hydrokinetic Devices. Renewable Energy, 80: 498-507.

A. Bromaghin, M. Ali, T. Ravens, T. Petersen, and J. Hoffman. 2014. Experimental Study of Abrasion Characteristics for Critical Sliding Components for use in Hydrokinetic Devices. Renewable Energy, 66: 205-214.

Kartezhnikova, M. and T. M. Ravens. 2014. Hydraulic Impacts of Hydrokinetic Devices. Renewable Energy, 66: 425-432.

Burkett, V.R. and Davidson, M.A. [Eds.]. (2012). Coastal Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: A Technical Input to the 2012 National Climate Assessment. Cooperative Report to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, pp. 150.

Jacobson, P., Ravens, T., Cunningham K., and Scott, G. 2012. Assessment and Mapping of the Riverine Hydrokinetic Resource of the Continental United States. EPRI Technical Report.

Ravens, T. M. , Jones B. M., Zhang, J., Arp, C. D., and J. A. Schmutz. 2012. Process-Based Coastal Erosion Modeling for Drew Point, North Slope, Alaska . J. of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering.  138(2): 122-130.

Feagin, R.A., Lozada-Bernard, S.M., Ravens, T.M., Möller, I., Yeager, K.M., and Baird, A.H. 2009. Does vegetation prevent wave erosion of salt marsh edges? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(25): 10109-10113.

Ravens, T. M., Thomas, R. C., Roberts, K. A., and P. H. Santschi. 2009. Causes of Salt Marsh Erosion in Galveston Bay, Texas.  J. of Coastal Research, 25(2): 265-272.

Ravens, T. M. and M. Sindelar. 2008. Flume Test Section Length and Sediment Erodibility. J. of Hydraulic Engineering, 134(10): 1503-1506.

Rogers, A. and T. M. Ravens. 2008. Measurement of longshore sediment transport rates in the surf zone on Galveston Island, Texas. J. of Coastal Research, 24(2): 62-73.

Ravens, T. M. and R. C. Thomas. 2008. Ship wave-induced sedimentation of a tidal creek in Galveston Bay. J. of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering. 134(1): 21-29.

Ravens, T. M., and K. I. Sitanggang. 2007. Numerical modeling and analysis of shoreline change on Galveston Island. J. of Coastal Research, 23(3): 699-710.

Ravens, T. M. 2007. Comparison of two techniques to measure sediment erodibility in the Fox River, Wisconsin. J. of Hydraulic Engineering, 133(1): 111-115.

Ravens, T. M., and R. A. Jepsen. 2006. CFD analysis of flow in a straight flume for sediment erodibility testing. J. of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, 132(6): 457-461.

Wüest, A., Ravens, T. M., Kocsis, O., Schurter, M., Sturm, M. and N. Granin. 2005. Cold intrusions in Lake Baikal - direct observational evidence for deep water renewal. Limnology and Oceanography, 50(1): 184-196.

Ravens, T. M., Kocsis, O, Wuest, A. , and N. Granin. 2000. Small-scale turbulence and vertical mixing in Lake Baikal.Limnology and Oceanography, 45(1): 159-173.

Ravens, T. M., and P. M. Gschwend. 1999. Flume measurements of sediment erodibility in Boston Harbor.J. Hydraulic Engineering 125(10): 998-1005.

Ravens, T. M., Madsen, O. S., Signell, R. P., Adams, E. E., and P. M. Gschwend. 1998. Hydrodynamic forcing and sediment quality in Boston Harbor. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering. 124(1): 40-42.

Jerard, R. B., and Ravens, T. M. 1986. Continuous extrusion of reacting polyurethane foam. Polymer Engineering and Science, 26(4): 326-331.

Selected Publications and Presentations (at conferences and workshops)

Ali, M., Ravens, T., Peterson, T., Bromaghin, A., and Jenson, S. 2014. Experimental Study of Tribological Performance of Bearing-Seal Assembly of Hydrokinetic Devices in Sedimented Water. Proceedings of the 2nd Marine Energy Technology Symposium METS2014, April 15-18, 2014, Seattle, WA.

Yager, G. C. and Ravens, T. M. 2013. Causeway Impacts on Sediment Transport in the Sagavanirktok River Delta, North Slope Alaska. Presented and published by ASCE’s 10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development. Anchorage AK June 2-5, 2013.

Bromaghin, A., Ali, M., Ravens, T., Peterson, T. and Hoffman, J. 2013. Abrasion Analysis of Critical Sliding Components of Hydrokinetic Devices: an Empirical Study. Presented at the 6th Annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference. April 10-11, 2013. Washington D.C.

Ravens, T. M. and Allen, J. 2012. Modeling Storm-Induced Inundation on the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta for Present and Future Climates. Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 2012.

Ravens, T. Kartezhnikova, M, Ulmgren, M., Yager, G., Jones, B., Erikson, L., Gibbs, A. Richmond, B., Zhang, J., Tweedie, C., and Aguirre, A. 2011. Arctic coastal erosion modeling. Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 2011.

Ravens, T.M. 2010. Storm surge modelling on the Y-K Delta for study of climate change impacts on geomorphology and water quality. Spectacle Eider Recovery Research and Planning Meeting. Anchorage AK.

Ravens, T. M. 2008.  Predictive Coastal Erosion Modeling for Teshekpuk Lake Special Area. Alaska Forum on the Environment. Jan., Anchorage, Alaska.

Ravens, T. M. and Lee, W. 2007. Evolution of a North Slope barrier island (Narwhal Island, North Arctic Alaska) 1955-2007. AGU Fall Meeting, Dec. 10-14. San Francisco.

Ravens, T. M., Lee, W. and Naidu, S. 2007. Morphodynamics of a North Slope barrier island (Narwhal Island, North Arctic Alaska) 1955-2007. AAAS Conference, Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 24-26.

Ravens, T. M. and Thomas, R. 2006. Ship-wave induced sediment transport in tidal creeks. Coastal Environments. Rhodes, Greece, June 5-7.

Ravens T. and Kushwaha, V. 2005. Design of Tidal Creeks for Beneficial Use Marshes. MTS/IEEE Oceans 2005 conference, Washington D. C., Sept. 19-23.

Ravens, T. (2004). Sediment Stability. ESTCP-SEDP Workshop on Contaminated Sediments,Charlottesville Virginia, August 10-11.

Ravens, T. M. and K. I. Sitanggang (2002). Galveston Island: Texas’ first open beach nourishment project, 1995-2001. National Conference on Beach Preservation Technology, BiloxiMississippi, Jan. 23-25.

Ravens, T. M., Kocsis, O., Wüest, A., Sturm, M., and N. Granin. 2000. Direct evidence of deep water renewal in the south basin of Lake Baikal. Fifth International Symposium on Stratified Flows. Universityof British Columbia, Vancouver, July 10-13.

Wüest, A., Granin, N., Kocsis, O., Ravens, T. M., Schurter, M., and M. Sturm. 2000. Deep mixing in LakeBaikal – low replacement and high turbulence. Fifth International Symposium on Stratified Flows.University of British Columbia, Vancouver, July 10-13.

Ravens, T. M., Schurter, M., and A. Wüest. 1998. Near-bottom turbulence in the South Basin of Lake Baikal”. Third Workshop on Physical Processes in Natural Waters. Magdeburg, Germany, Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

Ravens, T. M., and P. M. Gschwend. 1995. Surfactant-Enhanced Soil Flushing in Low Permeability Media.Petroleum Contaminated Low Permeability Soil: Hydrocarbon Distribution Processes, Exposure Pathways, and In Situ Remediation Technologies. API Publication No. 4631, Washington D.C. pp. H-1 to H-24, Sept. 1995.

Career History/Work Experience

2015 - 2018 University of Alaska Anchorage, Associate Dean for Research

2010 - Present University of Alaska Anchorage, Professor, Civil Engineering

2007-2010 University of Alaska Anchorage, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering

1999-2007 Texas A&M University, Galveston, Assistant/Associate Prof.

1997-1999 Swiss Federal Institute, Zurich, Switzerland, Postdoctoral Researcher.

1989-1991 Peace Corps, Nepal, Urban Planner/Civil Engineer

1988-1989 Groundwater Technology, Springfield MA, Environmental Engineer

1983-1988 Rogers Corporation, Danielson, CT, Consultant/Research Engineer