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A better world through a systems approach

Orlando Chapter Meeting - Complex Coastal Systems

  • Date:
    Apr 21, 2016 - 05:45 PM - 08:00 PM
  • Address: 3039 Technology Parkway
  • Location: Orlando, FL USA
  • Venue:
    Partnership III, Room 233
Dinner & Networking: 5:45 PM - 6:15 PM
Chapter Business: 6:15 PM - 6:30 PM
Presentation: 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
RSVP: Click to RSVP at
The meeting is open to all; you do not need to be an INCOSE member to attend. If you are not a member, we invite you to become a member of the Orlando Chapter of INCOSE at


Over 60% of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coastline. Beach tourism is responsible for the majority of Florida’s revenue. The relationship society has with the coastal system spans commerce, navigation, national security, recreation, and fishing.  Understanding this system through research and modeling can help us maintain, preserve, and improve this natural resource.  The coastal system is a complex natural system and modeling this system by definition, is also complex. This talk will discuss the nature of coastal systems and how the state of the practice simulates this system to predict its response to a variety of forcing mechanisms. Numerical models of the coastal system can be used to examine the effects of dredging, beach nourishment, and construction of structures such as jetties. Additionally, these complex models are being used to help us understand the impacts of sea level rise, climate change, and hurricanes. This presentation will provide a basis for understanding how systems engineering principles, tools, and models can assist in improving complex coastal system models.

Irene M. Watts


Irene M. Watts is a doctorate student in the Coastal Processes Research Group at the Florida Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on improving the predictive capabilities of models of tidal inlet and coastal sedimentary processes, nearshore sediment transport, wave and current dynamics, and morphology. Her work directly supports management of the Sebastian Inlet. In addition, Ms. Watts assists with operation and maintenance of a real time meteorological station and nearshore wave and current gauges near Sebastian Inlet. She is a certified AAUS Scientific Diver.

Prior to research at FIT, Ms. Watts was a coastal engineer at the New England District of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) where her responsibilities included applying numerical modeling to support inlet analysis, habitat restoration, turning basin design, and regional sediment management. She also completed a developmental assignment at the Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) of the USACE in Vicksburg, MS. Before joining the USACE, Ms. Watts completed a Master’s of Civil Engineering with coastal specialization from Oregon State University. Before starting graduate work, Ms. Watts worked for Arcadis US, Inc. where she identified and developed plans for contaminated sediment remediation. In addition to her M.S., Ms. Watts holds a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island with a minor in Geology.

Please RSVP at Click to RSVP at
The meeting is open to all; you do not need to be an INCOSE member to attend. If you are not a member, we invite you to become a member of the Orlando Chapter of INCOSE at