Press Release for Friday, August 12, 2011

Prominent Researcher Hired as Director of Taylor Engineering Research Institute

Joanna Norris, Associate Director 


Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 





The University of North Florida has hired Dr. Don Resio, a renowned engineering and oceanography researcher, as director of the Taylor Engineering Research Institute and professor of ocean engineering within the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. He began his new position at UNF July 14.  


Resio, a Nocatee resident, is a former research scientist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Center and is a current representative to the United Nations Joint Commission on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology as well as co-chair of the steering committee for the United Nations Coastal Inundation and Flooding Demonstration Project. Just prior to joining UNF, he served as the senior technologist for Coastal and Hydraulics research within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and before that he served as a professor and head of the Physical Oceanography Group at Florida Institute of Technology.  


With more than 30 years of experience in performing and directing engineering and oceanographic research, Resio’s scientific contributions and creative problem-solving of challenges facing the military and the nation have gained him unparalleled international status. His models of wind waves and statistical methods are standards of the profession and have been used to design hundreds of coastal projects from the new hurricane protection system in New Orleans to small harbors in Alaska.  


Resio hopes to establish a strong academic program in coastal and estuarine engineering in his new role at UNF. “We hope to provide students a firm foundation for understanding critical processes affecting these fragile areas and encourage them to develop tomorrow’s technologies for sustaining health and productivity of human activities and ecosystems within them,” he said.  


He also wants the Institute to perform leading-edge research focusing on innovative technologies for clean energy and disaster mitigation and on improved tools for understanding and quantifying natural and anthropogenic processes in this area.  


He has earned numerous awards, including the Engineering Research and Development Center Researcher of the Year, Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year Award and Silver De Fleury Award from the Army Engineer Society. He earned all of his degrees from the University of Virginia, including his doctorate degree in environmental science: fluid processes—meteorology and oceanography, a master’s degree in environmental science: fluid processes and a bachelor’s degree in physical geology.  


Resio was hired to head the Taylor Engineering Research Institute at UNF as a result of a 2010 New Florida Initiative Scholars Boost Grant from the Florida Legislature. All 11 state universities applied and were selected for different projects that amplify and accelerate existing programs or create new academic benchmarks. The Legislature selected 31 projects with 45 monetary awards totaling $10 million.  


“I’m grateful that the Board of Governors and the Legislature supported the New Florida funding that made it possible to recruit top scholars to the state,” said UNF President John Delaney. “UNF as well as our region will directly benefit from having Dr. Resio here. I’m hopeful that lawmakers will continue to recognize the great return on investment this kind of funding brings and will make it a priority for the 2012 session.”  


UNF’s Taylor Engineering Research Institute promotes collaboration among engineers and students in coastal and water resource engineering and draws upon the College’s environmental computer modeling research. The Institute was created through a $1 million gift from Taylor Engineering, Inc. that the state increased to $1.5 million. The Institute is critical in a state where 77 percent of the population lives in coastal counties.