Malcolm L. Spaulding, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, professor emeritus, Ocean Engineering at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and principal, Spaulding Environmental Associates LLC, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Spaulding served for 40 years on the faculty at URI and over a decade as department chair. He was the founder and first director of the university’s Center of Excellence in Undersea Technology (2007-2012). He was founding president of the Northeast Regional Association for Coastal Ocean Observing Systems, serving in that role from 2008 to 2014. He also founded Applied Science Associates Inc. in 1979 and served in various leadership and technical roles through 2014.
He specializes in numerical modeling of nearshore and coastal processes of estuarine, coastal, and continental shelf regions to include hydrodynamics, waves, sediment transport, and marine environmental modeling incorporating hydrodynamics and pollutant transport, fate, and effect. He is internationally recognized for his work in developing oil transport and fate models, including blowouts, for spills in both temperate and arctic waters, and in the models’ application to spill events (e.g., 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill). He led the development of a widely used search and rescue model.
In recent years Spaulding has been very actively involved in offshore renewable energy development, including energy extraction devices and siting of hydrokinetic and wind farms. He served as senior advisor to the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) to assist in siting of offshore wind facilities in Rhode Island’s coastal waters, and played a similar role for land-based wind energy development in the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Siting Partnership. The former led to the siting of the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters.
He currently serves as a senior advisor to RI Beach SAMP and is leading an effort called STORMTOOLS to make state-of-the-art modeling systems available to support risk and damage assessments from coastal and riverine flooding in the presence of sea-level rise.
Spaulding served on the National Research Council’s Marine Board and was liaison to the Ocean Studies Board from 1996 to 2001. He has been a member of numerous NRC committees, among them those on heavy oil spills, naval engineering education, environmental studies programs to support offshore energy development, transfer of naval technology to the commercial sector, and risk assessment of oil barge spills in Buzzards Bay.
He received a certificate of appreciation from NRC for his outstanding service to the Marine Board. He was given the 2012 Individual Pioneers Award from Energy Ocean International in recognition of his contributions to offshore energy development. Spaulding currently serves with a cadre of experts that the National Institute of Building Sciences uses to support the Scientific Resolution Panel when government flooding maps are challenged.