Dr. Gregory L. Easson
Dr. Gregory L. EassonInterim Director of NCCHE | Office: (662) 915-7788
Dr. Easson obtained his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Missouri at Rolla. In addition to serving as the Interim Director of NCCHE, Dr. Easson is also the Director of the Mississippi Mineral Resources Institute (MMRI). He also has his Master of Science degree from the Univerisity of Missouri and his Bachelor of Science degree from Southwest Missouri State University. Recently, Dr. Easson has served as a professor in the University of Mississippi’s Department of Geology and Geological Engineering and served as Department Chair from January 2007, until he accepted the position at MMRI. Prior to his academic work at the University of Mississippi, he worked for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. His research at Ole Miss has focused on the various aspects of remote sensing and geographic information system development. He is also responsible for the establishment of the University of Mississippi Geoinfomatics Center.
Dr. Yafei Jia
Dr. Yafei JiaResearch Professor and Assistant Director of Basic Research | Office: (662) 915-7783
Dr. Yafei Jia received his B.S and M.S. in Physical Geography at Beijing University in 1982, and the Institute of Geography, Chinese Academy of Science in 1985. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Geography, University of Manchester, UK, in 1990. He was the first to propose the “minimum Froude number theory” to interpret the stream channel adjustment process.

Dr. Jia joined the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, the University of Mississippi, in 1990 as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate. He was promoted to Research Assistant Professor (1994), Associate Professor (2000) and Professor in 2006. In the past twenty years at NCCHE, he has been the major developer of the two and three dimensional computational models: CCHE2D and CCHE3D. These two free surface turbulent flow models have been developed, verified, validated, and refined using many sets of analytical solution, physical model data and widely applied to research and engineering projects. With these models, detailed 3D turbulent flow structures and general flow patterns in channels, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries and around hydraulic structures can be modeled successfully. In addition to free surface flow hydrodynamics, capabilities such as sediment transport, bank erosion, water quality and pollutant transport, etc., are developed in these models. To enhance the efficiency of applications, these capabilities are integrated and operated with a user friendly Graphic User Interface. Dr. Jia has published over 100 technical papers in the areas of computational model development, verification, validation and applications, as well as numerous technical reports of engineering projects. Recently, his research group has extended the capabilities of numerical models to simulate flood associated phenomena, including dam break flows, dam break/levee breaching processes, pollutant transport due to floods, etc. A levee closure simulator has been developed to simulate an engineering practice in an attempt to close a breached levee with sandbags and/or rocks.

Dr. Yavuz Ozeren
Dr. Yavuz OzerenResearch Assistant Professor | Office: (662) 915-8781
Dr. Yavuz Ozeren is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE) of the University of Mississippi where he has been affiliated since 2008. Dr. Ozeren received his Ph.D. (2009) in Civil Engineering from the University of Mississippi and, M.S. (2002) and B.S. (1999) in Civil Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. His research interests lie in fluvial hydraulics, environmental fluid mechanics and coastal engineering, and his experience includes field, laboratory and numerical model studies. He has been collaborating with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Sedimentation Laboratory in several research projects involving laboratory and field experiments since 2004. He has designed two fully-automated laboratory wave flumes and carried out a large number of laboratory experiments. He also organized several field trips for collecting, samples, data and conducting full-scale experiments. He also designed a multipurpose experimental facility for dam-break flow and developed tools for data acquisition and software for data analysis.

Dr. Ozeren has numerous publications on journals and conferences. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), and AGU (American Geophysical Union) and serves as an officer for the ASCE Hydraulic Measurements Committee.

Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Sam S. Y. Wang
Dr. Sam S. Y. WangF.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor, Emeritus Director and Founder of NCCHE
Dr. Sam S. Y. Wang, the founding director of NCCHE, earned his Ph.D. in Computational Hydrodynamics (1967) and M.S. in Fluid Mechanics (1965) from the University of Rochester, NY. He received his B.S. (1959) in Mechanical Engineering, from National Cheng Kung University,Taiwan. Dr. Wang is one of the first four Frederick A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professors – the highest honorary position of The University of Mississippi. He was renominated and reselected for a second term in 1993, and was awarded this title for life by the University of Mississippi in 1998. Dr. Wang has been with Ole Miss for 43 years, since 1967, when he was employed as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering right after the completion of his Ph.D. degree. Dr. Wang’s contribution in computational modeling of hydroscience and engineering systems has been recognized internationally, which led to the establishment of the NCCHE with financial support from the U.S. Congress and several federal agencies . His publications include nine books, two invited chapters, more than 200 journal articles, proceeding papers, and conference presentations. He has been invited to deliver opening and keynote addresses, special lectures, short courses and workshops at numerous international conferences as well as leading research institutes in more than 30 countries on 6 continents. Most of these were supported by the UNDP, private foundations and foreign governments. Dr. Wang retired in June 2010, after 43 years of service to the University of Mississippi. He has returned to work half-time at NCCHE as a research professor, but he holds F.A.P Barnard Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus, officially.

Dr. Mustafa Altinakar
Dr. Mustafa AltinakarEmeritus Director of NCCHE
Dr. Mustafa S. Altinakar served as the Director and Research Professor at the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE) of the University of Mississippi from 2002-2019. Dr. Altinakar obtained his Ph.D in Hydraulics at the Laboratoire de Recherches Hydrauliques (LRH), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in 1988, and his M.S (1980) and B.S. (1978) degrees in Civil Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Before joining the NCCHE in December 2002, he was the Acting Director of LRH, EPFL, Switzerland (2001-2002). From 1997 to 2001, he was the Head of the Fluvial Hydraulics Section of LRH-EPFL. During the period 1989-1997, Dr. Altinakar worked as a Senior Design Engineer and Project Manager for a large Swiss Consulting Company, Bonnard and Gardel Consulting Engineers Ltd and took part in various large-scale engineering projects in Europe and Africa. In this period, he continued to work as a part time Research Associate at LRH-EPFL and taught courses. His fields of specialization and research interests include fluvial hydraulics and its environmental aspects, sediment transport and local scour, flood simulation and management, diffusion and dispersion in waterways, transport and fate of contaminants, stratified flows, computational fluid dynamics, integrated watershed management, optimization and decision support systems, and design of hydraulic structures. His publications include 2 books, more than 70 journal and conference papers, several articles for online encyclopedias. He has been invited to deliver keynote lectures, short courses at various universities and leading research institutes around the world. He is a member of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), IAHR (International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research), AGU (American Geophysical Union), ASFPM (Association of State Flood Plain Managers) and ASDSO (Association of State Dam Safety Officials). He serves as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Global Water Issues of the International Flood Initiative (IFI) of UNESCO/IAHR, Vice Chair of the IAHR Task Committee on Fluvial Hydraulics, member of the Fluids Committee of the ASCE. He was the PI for two projects for developing 2D flood simulation models and GIS-based decision support systems for flood mitigation, management. The numerical models developed in these projects are currently being used by various federal and state agencies.

Research Scientists

Dr. Xiaobo Chao
Dr. Xiaobo ChaoSenior Research Scientist | Office: (662) 915-8964
Dr. Xiaobo Chao obtained his Ph.D, M.S. and B.S. from Sichuan University, Hohai University and Chongqing Jiao Tong University in 1995, 1992 and 1989, respectively. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked at the State Key Laboratory of Coastal & Offshore Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, as a postdoctoral fellow for two years. Subsequently, he joined the National University of Singapore as a NSTB Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Fellow. He joined NCCHE in Aug. 2001, and he is currently a Senior Research Scientist at NCCHE. Dr. Chao’s research interests are focused on the field of Environmental Hydraulics and Computational Hydraulics, with special emphasis on modeling of hydrodynamics, water quality, chemical and oil spills, sediment transport and environmental risk analysis for lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. He has developed several numerical models, such as the CCHE3D water quality module, pollutant transport module, 3D multi-level turbulence tidal model, oil spill model, etc. As a PI, Co-PI and Co-I, he has participated in various research projects sponsored by NSF, USGS, DHS, ARS, and other federal and local agencies. He has published over 80 journal and conference papers. He is a member of ASCE, IAHR, ASCE EWRI Eco-hydraulic Engineering Committee, and a reviewer for various international journals including Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Journal of Hydraulic Research, Advances in Water Resources, Ecological Modeling, Journal of Environmental Management, etc.
Dr. Yaoxin Zhang
Dr. Yaoxin ZhangSenior Research Scientist | Office: (662) 915-8972
Dr. Yaoxin Zhang earned his Bachelor of Science in Harbors, Channel, and Coastal Engineering in 1997, Master of Science in Hydraulic and River Dynamics in 2000 from Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electric Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Hydroscience in 2004 from the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE) of The University of Mississppi. Currently he is working as a Research Scientist at NCCHE in the University of Mississippi. His study areas include mesh generation (Structured and Unstructured), Graphical Users Interface (GUI) development, hydrodynamic modeling, flow simulation, sediment transport, and parallel computing, etc. He has more than 70 publications including peer-reviewed journal papers, conference papers, book and book chapter, and technical reports. He has developed two software applications – CCHE-GUI and CCHE-MESH (2D Mesh Generator), which are two important modules of a leading state-of-art, two-dimensional numerical simulation system (CCHE2D Modeling system). These applications have been widely used by many people/institutes/agencies around the world, such as the USDA-ARS, US National Sedimentation Laboratory (NSL), US Army Corps of Engineering, Laboratoire de constructions hydrauliques of Switzerland, etc.
Dr. Vijay Ramalingam
Dr. Vijay RamalingamResearch Scientist | Office: (662) 915-8975
Dr. Ramalingam received his Ph.D. in Production and Operations Management from School of Business Administration in 2014 and his Master of Science Degree in Engineering from the Center for Wireless Communications (CWC) in 2005 from The University of Mississippi, and his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from The University of Madras in 2000. He has designed and implemented QDMA based Ad Hoc wireless networks and other network protocols at CWC. He worked at the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) between Feb 2006 and Jan 2009 as Research and Development Engineer. At NCPA, he designed and conducted both lab and field based experiments to acquire and study sound and vibration of Insects. Developed LabVIEW based acoustical software to analyze sound and vibration of Insects. He joined NCCHE in Jan 2009, and he has created numerous Decision Support Systems (DSS) using the Geographical Information System (GIS) platform for in-house numerical models developed at The National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE). Some of these DSS tools include, DSS-WISE for dam break modeling, BMP tool for watershed analysis, IAHP tool for hydroelectric power potential, and cover crop data capture tool. Is one of the core developers of the web-based automated dam-break modeling system called DSS-WISE Lite developed by NCCHE. Is currently leading the NCCHE’s effort to create a web-based Automated Watershed analysis system in collaboration with USDA. Apart from this, he has developed new heuristics to solve Non-deterministic Polynomial-time hard (NP-hard) problems in the area of Supply Chain management and Operations Research, and has also developed a generalized model based on Hopfield neural networks to model linear and quadratic optimization problems with integer variables and linear equality and/or inequality constraints.

Research Associates


Visiting Research Associates


Post-Doctoral Research Associates


Research Staff

Marcus McGrath
Marcus McGrathResearch & Development Engineer and Ph.D. Student | Office: (662) 915-2462
Marcus McGrath is currently a Research & Development Engineer and Ph.D. student majoring in Engineering Science with an Emphasis in Computational Hydroscience and Engineering.
Paul Smith
Paul Smith Coordinator of Computing Facility Operations | Office: (662) 915-7281
Mr. Paul Smith earned his B.Sc. in Computer Science at The University of Mississippi in 1998. He joined NCCHE in May 1999 as a Computing Facilities Specialist and was appointed to Coordinator of Computing Facility Operations in January 2001. His current research interests include parallel hardware systems (GPGPU), SMP and load-balancing systems, Linux networking and network penetration testing.
Mingxiang Fu
Mingxiang FuWeb Developer
Mingxian Fu is currently a Web Developer at the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering. She graduated from UM with an M.S. degree in Computer and Information Science in 2002. Before joining NCCHE in 2017, she worked at Corelogic | FNC for five years as a Software Developer. Prior to that, she worked on the UM campus for 10 years in the Office of Information Technology. While working there, she developed several projects including the UM Undergraduate Admission Application and the UM Special Programs & Scholarship Application. She has experience in HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery, Ajax, Java, JSP, PHP, AngularJS, SQL, SAP ABAP, SAP Web Dynpro and XML in the development of web-based applications.
Hazem Shatnawi
Hazem ShatnawiProgrammer and Ph.D. Student
Hazem Shatnawi is currently a Programmer and Ph.D. student majoring in Computer Science.
Valente Alvarez
Valente AlvarezJunior Computer Programmer | Office: (662) 915-8971
Valente Alvarez graduated from Base Camp Coding Academy in 2018. He is currently working for the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering as a Junior Computer Programmer. His interests include the enhancement of his programming skills and pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering.

Administrative Staff

Jaclyn Montoria
Jaclyn MontoriaAdministrative Coordinator | Office: (662) 915-7788
Jaclyn is currently taking classes at the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi. She joined NCCHE in August of 2016. Prior to her work here at NCCHE, she worked at the Center for Mathematics and Science Education from 2015 through 2016 at the University. Before that, she was an office manager/paralegal at Southern Trust Title Company in Memphis, TN for 11 years.

Graduate Students

Leili Gordji
Leili GordjiResearch Assistant and Ph.D. Student | Office: (662) 915-8976
Leili Gordji is currently a Ph.D. student majoring in Engineering Science with an Emphasis in Computational Hydroscience and Engineering.
Luc Rébillout
Luc RébilloutResearch Assistant and Ph.D. Student | Office: (662) 915-8976
Luc Rébillout is currently a PhD student at NCCHE. He was born and did his undergraduate studies in France’s Bordeaux and Poitiers cities. He joined NCCHE on December 2015, although he had a first experience there during the summer 2014 where he completed an internship. Back in France, Luc graduated from ISAE-ENSMA engineer school, one of France’s Grandes Écoles where he was taught aeronautical and mechanical engineering.

He’s currently doing experimental work involving the study of dam-break flows of granular-liquid mixtures; his work involves image processing and data analysis: skills he also applies to various other projects.

Nuttita Pophet
Nuttita PophetResearch Assistant and Ph.D. Student | Office: (662) 915-8976
Nuttita Pophet is currently a Ph.D. student at NCCHE. Her past research experiences involve the modeling of tsunami wave propagation, wind generated random sea and wave breaking in ocean deep water. She is interested in a large-scale numerical simulation and parallel computing using MPI. She is working on developing a numerical model to simulate dam-break flows of granular-liquid mixtures.
Jiayu Fang
Jiayu FangResearch Assistant and Ph.D. Student | Office: (662) 915-8935
Jiayu Fang is currently a PhD student at NCCHE. He was born and grew up in China. When he was an undergraduate student in Hohai University, his major was coastal engineering. After his undergraduate studies, he became a research student for two years in Hohai University. During that time, he did laboratory experiments about sediment transport and also developed a 3-D numerical wave tank based on the VOF and LES methods. He joined NCCHE on January 2016 and his current research area is computational hydro-engineering.
William Rossell
William RossellGraduate Research Assistant, M.S. Student
William Rossell graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2018 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering (Emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering). He was certified as an Engineering Intern in August 2018. He is currently pursuing his M.S. in Engineering Sciences under the advisement of Dr. Yavuz Ozeren, Dr. Yafei Jia and Dr. Mustafa Altinakar. His research interests include dam-break flow, levee erosion and sediment transport.

Student Assistants


Summer Interns