Press Releases

Dr. Alex McCorquodale brings his decades of experience to the Institute

Apr 25, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (April 25, 2019) – For more than 50 years, Dr. Alex McCorquodale P.E., P.Eng., has brought his vast experience in hydrology to solving challenges in rivers, lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. Starting this week, he is lending that experience to the Institute as a mentor to young researchers and to advise on various projects as a technical expert.

After 30 years of teaching at the University of Windsor in Canada, the University of New Orleans recruited McCorquodale to bring his expertise to New Orleans in 1996. Since then, he not only taught new generations of scientists as a professor until his retirement in 2018, but he’s worked on some of the most foundational coastal projects and programs in Louisiana’s coastal efforts

In addition to working on the 2012 and 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plans, McCorquodale also worked on the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management (MRHDM) Study as part of the Louisiana Coastal Area program, hydrodynamic study of the Lake Pontchartrain basin and will be involved in the upcoming development of the Coastal Master Plan for 2023.

His first project upon arriving in Louisiana was to participate in a study on the feasibility of building diversions from the Mississippi River for the purpose of coastal restoration.

“Some of the ideas that are coming to fruition now were just started being talked about at that time,” McCorquodale said. “The modeling used to study and advance these ideas has become increasingly sophisticated. Early on, only the sediment and water flow were taken into consideration. Now the models integrate sea level rise, weather, how the landscape reacts to each change, all of which feeds back into the model to show integrated changes over time.”

One additional change he’s seen in the modeling is the influence that climate change has had on the outcomes.

“Climate change, over a decade, has changed from something we were considering to something that is dominating model outputs and outcomes,” he said.

In addition to his work on coastal Louisiana, McCorquodale’s research interests include physical and numerical modeling of environmental and hydrodynamic processes involving riverine and coastal flows, water and waste water treatment systems, transient flows in pipelines and water distributions systems and shore protection. He has developed 2 and 3-D hydrodynamic and mass transport models for complex flows.

“We’re so excited that Dr. McCorquodale, one of the foremost experts on the hydrologic modeling of the Mississippi River and Louisiana’s coast, will be joining the Institute team,” said Hugh Roberts, Institute’s vice president for engineering. “His knowledge and love of teaching is an inspiration to me, and I am so excited that I will get the opportunity to work closely with him again."

“Having Dr. McCorquodale join the Institute is just a wonderful development. It’s a great day when you get to work with someone of his caliber and experience,” said Mike Miner, Institute’s director of applied geosciences.

McCorquodale received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Ontario, master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and his Ph.D. at the University of Windsor.
He started at the Institute on April 24, 2019.

Photo of Dr. McCorquodale available here.