Thomas M. Ravens, Ph.D.

Professor, Civil Engineering
Office: ENGR 207
Phone: 907-786-1943
Email: tmravens@uaa.alaska.edu


 Dr. Tom Ravens is a Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at UAA.  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.


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

Career History

July 2011 - Present, University of Alaska Anchorage, Professor, Civil Engineering

July 2010 - July 2011, University of Alaska Anchorage, Professor and Chair, 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

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 and Departmental 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


Yager, G. and T.M. Ravens. Impact of an Arctic causeway on hydrodynamics and sedimentation. Arctic (in preparation).

Kartezhnikova, M. and T. M. Ravens. Hydraulic impacts of hydrokinetic devices. J. of Hydraulic Engineering (in review).

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.