Our Team

Administrative Professionals
  • Dr. Steven R. Abt
  • Dr. Steven A. Hughes
  • Jason Berg
  • Kyung-Seop Shin
Graduate Students
  • Dylan Armstrong
  • Renee Vandermause
  • Natalie Youngblood

Dr. Steven R. Abt

Dr. Steven R. Abt is an Emeritus Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Colorado State University. He earned a BCE, an MS in Water Resources and a Ph.D. in Hydraulics from Colorado State University. Dr. Abt is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineering.

Dr. Abt has over 41 years of general engineering experience. After graduation, he served on active duty in the U.S. Army - Engineer Regiment. He then worked as a consulting water resource engineer in Denver, Colorado performing drainage, flood plain delineation, water rights analysis and flood studies. In 1977, Dr. Abt joined the Civil Engineering faculty at Colorado State University as an Instructor serving in a teaching and administrative capacity. Dr. Abt has research and field experience with interests in river mechanics, debris effects on hydraulic structures, dam and levee safety, physical hydraulic modeling, flow measurement, sediment transport in gravel and cobble bed rivers, riprap design, stream restoration, stream bank protection, and tailings management. He has published over 495 journal articles, proceedings and reports; and has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on projects worth over $17 million.

In addition to his education and research duties, Dr. Abt spent 14 years as a contract Research Station Facility Engineer for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service providing facility oriented services supporting planning, assessment, programming and construction activities throughout a 10 state region. Further, he served 11 years as a consultant to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency as a hydrologic and surface water hydraulic subject matter expert in support of uranium mining, milling, reclamation and management of tailings field sites. During 2006-2007, Dr. Abt served as the Director of Operations and Deputy Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, responsible for the project selection, approval, allocation and/or accountability of nearly $7B in new construction/reconstruction throughout Iraq.

Major General (Ret) Abt served in the U.S. Army/Army Reserve from 1973 to 2011. Major General Abt is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with OLC, Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal with OLC. Major General Abt retired in June 2011.

Dr. Abt has been active as a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Hydraulics Division, ASCE and President of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, ASCE, as well as a member of several Boards of Direction level committees. Dr. Abt currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Academy of Water Resources Engineering. He has also been active in the International Erosion Control Association, American Water Resources Association (past Journal Associate Editor) and the Transportation Research Board (Hydraulics, Hydrology and Water Quality Committee).

Dr. Steven A. Hughes

Dr. Hughes is a Senior Research Scientist at Colorado State University. Previously, he had been employed for 30 years by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. He has been involved in a variety of research activities ranging from fundamental fluid flow experiments to coastal structure design. Most recently he has been involved in full-scale experiments on wave overtopping stability and resiliency of the coastal levees.

Dr. Hughes has authored or coauthored over 75 journal articles, scientific papers and reports, and he has also written a comprehensive textbook about physical modeling and laboratory methods as applied to coastal engineering. He is a member of several professional and honor societies, and he is a registered professional engineer.

Natalie Youngblood

Natalie completed her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Evansville in Indiana. Since graduation, she has been at the Colorado State University Hydraulics Laboratory. While at CSU she has completed her M.S. and is currently a doctoral candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering specializing in Hydraulic Engineering. Her M.S. topic was survey data analysis and results for wave overtopping performance testing of proposed levee armoring materials. For her Ph.D., she is researching wave overtopping hydrodynamic forces on levee landward slopes and berms. In addition to the research for her M.S. and Ph.D., she provides assistance with a variety of hydraulic engineering research projects, oversees the Wave Overtopping Facility, runs Steep Slope Facility performance tests, and provides technical assistance and training on lab equipment and facilities.

Dylan Armstrong

Dylan began his academic career at Colorado Mountain College where he achieved an Associates of Science Degree in beautiful Summit County Colorado. After realizing his potential in the world of academia he felt the need to further his education. Combining his love for the outdoors and science he came to Colorado State University to achieve his Bachelors of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an Ecological Engineering emphasis.

At CSU he was immediately captivated by the community and enthusiasm for research that was present. Although very interested in all aspects of his degree he didnít find his true engineering niche until his senior year. It was during that year he was introduced to the field of hydraulic engineering via course work and his senior design project. Also during that year he was hired on as a lab assistant at the hydraulics laboratory at Colorado State Universities Engineering Research Center.

After graduating with his bachelors Dylan planned to further his interests and follow a career in hydraulic engineering consulting. With limited job opportunities available he decided to stay with the hydraulics lab and continue his search. His continued hard work and knowledge at the lab payed off as he worked his way up to project manager and eventually offered a graduate research assistantship position from Dr. Thornton.

Currently Dylan is going to school for his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, with his area of study being in hydraulic engineering, stream restoration and river mechanics. His research is focused on improving current accuracy of terrestrial LIDAR scanning via techniques and methods and applying it to the world of hydraulic engineering, both in the lab and in the field.

Renee Vandermause

Renee was born and raised in Wisconsin and has lived in Washington State for the last ten years. She graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. During college, she participated in multiple small-scale engineering community improvement projects; example projects include water pipeline work in rural Nicaragua, and reconnaissance for bridge development over a seasonal river in Zambia. Her undergraduate thesis developed tools for assessing sedimentation impacts due to large-scale dam removals on the Elwha River in Washington. After graduation Renee joined Tetra Tech, Inc.ís River and Restoration Management Technical Team working in both the Seattle and Fort Collins offices. With Tetra Tech, Renee has worked extensively on an environmental study contracted to assess the impacts of a potential dam on river geomorphology in South-central Alaska. She also has worked in depth with hydrologic and hydraulic studies associated with dam-break assessment modeling.

Renee joined CSU in Fall 2015 to pursue graduate studies in Hydraulic Engineering and River Mechanics. Her Masterís thesis will evaluate the impacts of winter conditions on channel morphology, sedimentation, and bank erosion, on an Alaskan River.

Kyung-Seop Shin

Dr. Kyung-Seop Shin was born at Busan, South Korea and came to United States in 2002 for his civil engineering study. His main research interest is interdisciplinary approach for studying meandering channel flow using both physical modeling and three-dimensional numerical modeling.

He completed dual-degree undergraduate program (civil engineering major) at Washington State University (Pullman WA, USA) and Yeungnam University (Kyungsan, South Korea). He finished his Master's program at Colorado State University (CSU) and his Master's thesis focused on the data analysis to optimize the best way to parameterize shear stress maxima in meandering channel based on the project contracted with USBR (U.S Bureau of Reclamation).

After completion of his Master's program, he continued his graduate study as a Ph.D student at CSU and completed in December 2014. The main topic of his dissertation is three-dimensionanal numerical simulations in curved channels using Ansys Fluent code.

Currently, he joined Dr. Thornton's team member as a post-doctoral fellow since May 2015. Dr. Shin is working on the project of USBR to develop a design guidelines of bendway weir by conducting three-dimensional numerical simulations using Flow 3-D code.

Jason Berg

Jason Berg, EI, is a Research Associate I at Colorado State University and currently serves as the Operations Manager of the Engineering Research Center and Assistant Hydraulics Laboratory Manager. He has provided expertise in the physical modeling of hydraulic research projects in the areas of river mechanics, flow measurement, erosion and sedimentation control, bank stabilization, and hydraulic structures at the ERC for the last four years. Jason first earned his Associate of Science at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado while playing on a baseball scholarship. He subsequently transferred to begin his undergraduate studies at Colorado State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environment Engineering.