Jon K. Miller, PhD
Ph.D. in Coastal Engineering, 2004, University of Florida
M.S. in Coastal Engineering, 2001, University of Florida
B.E. in Civil Engineering, 1999, Stevens Institute of Technology
Growing up I was always fascinated by the ocean and inspired by the many long walks along the beach that I took while vacationing with my family at the Jersey shore. Back home (Rahway, NJ), I lived across the street from a park that routinely flooded during every major storm event. I vividly remember watching the football field flood 6' deep during Hurricane Gloria and Hurricane Floyd. at the time I didn't necessarily appreciate the connection between the coast and inland tidal rivers and streams.
I was fortunate to attend Stevens as an undergrad where I was introduced to the field of Coastal Engineering. Dr. Michael Bruno gave me the first introduction to a career I would fall in love with. After graduation I was faced with a decision - graduate school in something practical like geotechnical or water resources engineering or go out on a limb and pursue what I really enjoyed, coastal engineering. The choice was clear - coastal engineering. Having made my decision, I packed up and headed off to the University of Florida to pursue my PhD. At Florida I was fortunate to work with Dr. Bob Dean who was not only the world's foremost coastal engineering expert, but also one of the nicest, most humble people I've ever met. I owe so much to his inspiration and mentorship. PhD's are a grind, and just when I was beginning to run out of steam, I applied for a Fulbright Fellowship and was offered the opportunity to study at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Working with Peter Nielsen and his research group was an amazing experience. How influential was the experience? So much so that my daughter came within minutes of being named Brisbane!
After completing my PhD, I knew I wanted to come home and apply my skills in my home state. I was fortunate to be offered a job at Stevens as a research engineer, then ultimately a research professor. Working in New Jersey is everything I thought it would be, inspirational, challenging, and rewarding. Currently I lead the CERG at Stevens where I'm blessed to have had a number of amazing current and former students. Our group is primarily focused on coastal resilience, with an emphasis on the nexus between the built and natural environment. Along developed coasts, intense pressure is placed upon the coastal system, and unique solutions are required to maintain the balance between natural and human needs. Currently our group is focusing on coastal storm impacts, hybrid coastal structures, and living shorelines. Where our program excels is in combining advanced field measurements, with state of the art numerical modeling, and advanced physical modeling capabilities.