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Celso Castro-Bolinaga

Assistant Professor


Weaver Administration Bldg 100


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Date: 11/01/20 - 10/31/24
Amount: $1,018,596.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Aquaculture, the rearing and harvesting of organisms in water environments, is a rapidly expanding industry that now produces more seafood than all wild caught fisheries worldwide. This inevitable growth must be steered towards sustainable production practices, which requires intensive monitoring in areas that are difficult and potentially dangerous to access. The vision of this project is to improve the efficiency and sustainability of near-shore aquaculture production through integrating a flexible, customizable, multi-task vehicle fleet, consisting primarily of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), with a biologically-relevant framework for accelerated prototyping. This project will use oyster production along the Eastern US shoreline as a case study and testbed.

Date: 08/15/18 - 7/31/22
Amount: $200,000.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Scour is the most common cause for bridge failures in the U.S. Previous studies have suggested that bivalve colonies reduce local erosion through different processes, and that bivalves feature a high resistivity to strong flow. With today’s advancements in bivalve aquaculture design and management, the PIs hypothesize that bivalve aquacultures are suitable as a self-sustained scour mitigation method, and are proposing to investigate the geotechnical aspects of this hypothesis. Specifically, the PIs are proposing to test the following working hypotheses: H1) The presence of bivalve colonies reduces local scour and erosion. H2) Bivalve colonies form morphologies applicable to scour protection design. H3) Bivalve adhesive protein increases sediment strength and decreases erodibility. H4) Bivalve dislodgement from soil surfaces occurs as “block failure” for single bivalves, but becomes irrelevant for erosion issues in the case of bivalve groups. These hypotheses will be tested through an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach featuring: (i) field investigations at two bivalve colonies in Virginia and North Carolina, (ii) an analytic comparison of bivalve colony morphology and flow resistivity to modern scour protection designs, and laboratory tests investigating (iii) the change of sediment strength and erodibility resulting from mixing bivalve adhesive protein with sediment and (iv) soil failure behavior during bivalve dislodgement. The research team is composed of experts in geotechnical and hydraulic engineering, as well as in aquaculture design and management. The PIs will be supported by international collaborators and experts in etho-hydraulics from the Technical University of Darmstadt who will contribute through a preliminary numerical simulation of the field sites to the project.

Date: 06/01/18 - 5/31/22
Amount: $225,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

The objective of the propose research is to develop, validate, and implement a process-based framework for evaluating and predicting bank erosion and sediment transport associated with stream restoration practices. The research will focus on streams located within the North Carolina Piedmont region. It will contribute towards enhancing our understanding of existing conditions in degraded streams, improving the design of restoration projects in sites with limited information, and defining realistic expectations to formulate performance criteria. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the scientific community, Federal and States agencies, practitioners, and decision makers with a rigorous, physically-based tool for estimating and predicting rates of bank erosion and sediment transport in stream restoration projects.

Date: 08/01/19 - 5/15/22
Amount: $254,919.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The goal of the proposed research is to examine the capabilities of two-dimensional (2D) hydro-morphodynamic numerical models for improving the prediction of scour depths at bridge foundations, as well as for enhancing the design of countermeasures for scour mitigation. Despite major advances in predicting the spatial and temporal scales of scour at bridge crossings, bridge failure due to hydraulically induced scour still represents a major technical, economical, and societal challenge. To address this challenge, the proposed research aims to: (1) identify the key capabilities and limitations of the 2D depth-averaged numerical models when simulating scour phenomena at bridge foundations; (2) compare the performance of 1D numerical models to that of 2D numerical models when simulating scour phenomena at bridge foundations; and (3) develop recommendations for predicting scour depths and for evaluating scour mitigation countermeasures at bridge foundations using 2D numerical models. Results from the proposed research will primarily contribute to achieve better predictions of the scour phenomena at bridge foundations, as well as to enhance the design of countermeasures for scour mitigation. Additionally, through the deployment of a novel fiber-optic scour monitoring station, this research will provide new insights on the dynamic development of the scour hole using field data. Such information will effectively enhance the development, and thereby the predictive capabilities of numerical models when use to examine the impact of unknown or extreme hydrologic events.

Date: 03/01/21 - 2/28/22
Amount: $10,000.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU WRRI Storm Water Consortium (SWC)

This work will examine the effects of sediment grain size and moisture content on: (1) the linearity of the relationship between applied boundary shear stress and erosion rates; and (2) the prediction streambank retreat. (Draft)

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