Mr. Mithun Deb was named as the first recipient of the Balfour Beatty Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, made possible through a gift from the international construction and infrastructure services company, Balfour Beatty. Mithun is pursuing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Celso Ferreira, examining coastal flood modelling during extreme storms that are increasing in frequency.
This project has special importance for Mithun who comes from Bangladesh. The alluvial lowland called the Bangladesh Plain makes up close to 80% of the area of Bangladesh, and most of its elevation is within 10m of sea level. Tropical cyclones routinely flood the coastal zone and severe storms have even worse consequences. As with many countries, including the United States, the population of Bangladesh (164 million) is concentrated in low-lying coastal regions and along its major rivers, making it the most disaster-vulnerable country in South Asia.
Mithun’s research will have direct application to Bangladesh as it plans protective flood measures that must take into account both the rising sea level as well as extreme storm events. It will also advance the state of the practice for coastal engineering protections in the US.