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Nina Stark

Associate Professor, Anthony & Catherine Moraco Fellow, and Program Coordinator
Nina Stark
120A Patton Hall
Blacksburg, VA, USA 24061
Mail Code: (0105)

Program Area : Geotechnical Engineering
Professional Registration : ASCE; ASBPA; AGU
Personal Homepage :
Project Site: ARCI2

Google Sites of courses:

Area of Interest

coastal and marine geotechnics; subaqueous sediment dynamic; beach dynamics; structure-seafloor interaction; offshore renewable energies; instrument development, beach trafficability

  • Diploma (MSc) Geophysics
    Westphalian Wilhelms University Muenster, Germany
    Department of Physics
    Sept 2007
  • PhD Marine Geotechnics
    University of Bremen, Germany
    MARUM - Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences
    Apr 2011
  • Associate Professor, Charles E. Via, Jr., Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Aug 2019 - present
  • Consultant, Stark Coastal and Marine Geotech, Blacksburg, 2018-present
  • Assistant Professor, Charles E. Via, Jr. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Aug 2013-Jul 2019
  • Postdoc, Dept of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Feb 2012 - Jul 2013
  • Postdoc, MARUM - Center of Marine and Environmental Sciences,
    University of Bremen, Jan 2011 - Dec 2011
  • Research assistant, University of Hawaii, School for Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technologies, June 2007 - Sept 2007
  • Research assistant, Research institute for geophysics and underwater acoustics of the German Navy, Kiel, June 2006 - May 2007
  • CEE5944: Geotechnical Graduate Seminar
  • CEE 4564 : Intro. to Coastal and Marine Geotechnics
  • CEE 5864 : Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
  • CEE 5874 : Coastal and Marine Geotechnics
  • CEE 5814 : Structure-Sediment Interaction in the Coastal Zone
  • Rapid soil classification and integration of soil characteristics for UXO site characterization and risk assessment (funded by DoD SERDP)
  • Assessment and correlation of geotechnical parameters with regards to remote seabed characterization and sediment transport processes (funded by NRL)
  • Planning under uncertainty of advanced networks of sensors and effectors (funded by ONR)
  • Collaborative Research: Geotechnical Investigation of Bivalve-Sediment Interaction with regard to Bivalve Farms as a Self-sustained Scour Mitigation Method (funded by NSF) 
  • Collaborative Research: NNA Track 2 - Coastal Evolution and Artic Communities in the Context of Climate Change: Interaction between Coastal and Riverline Processes and the Built Environment (funded by NSF) 
  • Convergence: RAISE Nearshore Water-Land Interface During Extreme Storms (funded by NSF)
  • Collaborative Research: Arctic Shelf sediment fate—an observational and modeling study of sediment pathways and morphodynamic feedbacks in a changing polar environment (funded by NSF)
  • ONR YIP: Geotechnical Soil characterization from Remote Sensing for the Assessment of Coastline Strength, Stability and Trafficability (funded by ONR)
  • Improved Penetrometer Performance in Stratified Sediment for Cost-Effective Characterization, Monitoring and Management of Submerged Munitions Sites (funded by SERPD)
  • CAREER: Soil mechanics of coastal erosion with regard to sea level rise and inundation events (funded by NSF)


  • Mumtaz, M.B., & Stark, N., 2020. Pore Pressure Disspation Induced by High-Velocity Impacts of a Portable Free-Fall Penetrometer in Clays. ASCE Journal for Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 143(9), 05020008,
  • Stark, N., Shafii, I., Jafari, N., Ravichandran, R., Figlus, J., Smallegan, S.M., & Bassai, P., 2020. Scour At The Seawall in Surfside, Texas, During Hurricane Harvey (2017). International Journal of Geo-Engneering Case Histories, 5(4), 62-76.
  • Smallegan, S.M., Figlus, J., Stark, N., Sasanakul, I., Arboleda Monsalve, L.G., Shafii, I., Jafari, N., Ravichandran, N., & Bassal, P., 2020. Performance assessment of natural infrastructure after 2017 hurricanes. International Journal of Geo-Engineering Case Histories, accepted and in print.
  • Bilici, C., Stark, N., Friedrichs, C.T., Massey, G.M., 2019. Coupled sedimentological and geotechnical data analysis of surficial sedment layer characteristics in tidal estuary. Geo-Marine Letters, 39, 175-189.
  • Albatal, A., Stark, N., Castellanos, B., 2019, Estimating in-situ relative density and friction angle of nearshore sand for portable free fall penetrometer test. In prnt: Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 57(1): 17-31, https://doiorg/10.1139/cgj-2018-2067. 
  • Bilici, C. & Stark, N., 2019. Performance of a novel sediment sampler as an add-on unit for portable free-fall penetrometers: Combining in-situ geotechnical testing with sediment sampling. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods.
  • Albatal, A., Wadman, H., Stark, N., Bilici, C., & McNinch, J., 2018. Investigation of spatial and short-term temporal nearshore sandy sediment strength using a portable free fall penetrometer. Coastal Engineering.
  • Stark, N., McNinch, J., Wadman, H., Graber, H. C., Albatal, A., & Mallas, P. A. (2017). Friction angles at sandy beaches from remote imagery. Géotechnique Letters, 7(4), 292-297.
  • Bilici, C., & Stark, N. (2017). Design and preliminary tests of mobile seafloor layer sampler prototypes as an add-on unit for portable free-fall penetrometers. In Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 (pp. 379-388).
  • Mumtaz, M. B., Stark, N., & Brizzolara, S. (2018). Pore pressure measurements using a portable free fall penetrometer. In Proc. Int. Symp. Cone Penetration Testing, CPT'18.
  • White, D. J., O'Loughlin, C. D., Stark, N., & Chow, S. H. (2018). Free-fall penetrometer tests in sands: Determining the equivalent static resistance. In CPT18-4th International Symposium on Cone Penetration Testing, Delft, NL.
  • Albatal, A., & Stark, N. (2017). Rapid sediment mapping and in situ geotechnical characterization in challenging aquatic areas. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 15(8), 690-705.
  • Lucking, G., Stark, N., Lippmann, T., & Smyth, S. (2017). Variability of in situ sediment strength and pore pressure behavior of tidal estuary surface sediments. Geo-Marine Letters, 37(5), 441-456.
  • Stark, N. (2016). Geotechnical Site Investigation in Energetic Nearshore Zones: Opportunities & Challenges. Australian Geomechanics Journal, 51(4), 95-107.
  • Stark, N. & Hay, A.E. (2016). Pebble and cobble transport on a steep, mega-tidal, mixed sand and gravel beach. Marine Geology, DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2016.10.012
  • Falcone Jr, F. T., & Stark, N. (2016). Evaluation of the Performance of Scour Prediction Equations with Regards to Flow and Sediment Characteristics. In Geo-Chicago 2016, 671-680.
  • Albatal, A., & Stark, N. (2016). In Situ Geotechnical Early Site Assessment of a Proposed Wave Energy Converter Site in Yakutat, Alaska, Using a Portable Free-Fall Penetrometer. In Geo-Chicago 2016, 429-438.
  • Corella, J. P., Loizeau, J. L., Kremer, K., Hilbe, M., Gerard, J., le Dantec, N., Corella, J.P., Loizeau, J.L., Kremer, K., Hilbe, M., Gerard, J., le Dantec, N., Stark, N., González-Quijano, M. & Girardclos, S. (2016). The role of mass-transport deposits and turbidites in shaping modern lacustrine deepwater channels. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 77, 515-525.
  • Wiemer, G., Moernaut, J., Stark, N., Kempf, P., De Batist, M., Pino, M., Urrutia, R., de Guevara, B.L., Strasser, M. & Kopf, A. (2015). The role of sediment composition and behavior under dynamic loading conditions on slope failure initiation: a study of a subaqueous landslide in earthquake-prone South-Central Chile. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 104(5), 1439-1457.
  • Stark, N., Radosavljević, B., Quinn, B. M., & Lantuit, H. (2016). Application of a portable free-fall penetrometer for the geotechnical investigation of the Arctic nearshore zone. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, doi 10.1139/cgj-2016-0087.
  • Stark, N., & Quinn, B. (2015). Pore pressure monitoring of surficial coastal sediments on wave-resolving scale with outlook on liquefaction risk prediction at offshore wind and marine hydrokinetic energy converters. In OCEANS 2015-MTS/IEEE Washington (pp. 1-7).
  • Stark, N., Quinn, B., Ziotopoulou, K., & Lantuit, H. (2015). Geotechnical Investigation of Pore Pressure Behavior of Muddy Seafloor Sediments in an Arctic Permafrost Environment. In ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (pp. V001T10A017-V001T10A017).
  • Stark, N., Hay, A.E., Cheel, R. & C.B. Lake (2014). The impact of particle shape on the angle of internal friction and the implications for sediment dynamics at a steep, mixed sand-gravel beach. Earth Surface Dynamics, 2, 469-480.
  • Hay, A.E., Zedel, L. & Stark, N. (2014). Sediment dynamics on a steep, megatidal, mixed sand-gravel-cobble beach. Earth Surface Dynamics, 2, 443-453.
  • Stark, N., Hay, A.E., Cheel, R., Zedel, L. & Barclay, D. (2014). Laboratory measurements of coarse sediment bedload transport velocity using a prototype wideband coherent Doppler profiler (MFDOP). Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 31, 999-1011.
  • Stark, N., LeDantec, N., Corella, J.P., Barry, D.A., Lemmin, U., Girardclos, S. & Kopf, A. (2013). Deployment of a dynamic penetrometer from manned submersibles for fines-scale geomorphology studies. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 11, 52-539.
  • Corella, J.P., Arantegui, A., Loizeau, J.-L., DelSontro, T., LeDantec, N., Stark, N., Anselmetti, F. & Girardclos, S. (2013). Sediment dynamics in the subaquatic channel of the Rhone Delta (Lake Geneva, France/Switzerland). Aquatic Sciences, DOI: 10.1007/s00027-013-0309-4.
  • Stark, N., Hay, A.E., Trowse, G. & Kopf, A. (2013). Geotechnical investigation of Grand Passage, Nova Scotia, with regard to sediment mobility and the installation of tidal energy converters. Proceedings of the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference 2013 in Aalborg, DK.
  • Stark, N., Coco, G., Bryan, K.R. & Kopf, A. (2012). In-situ geotechnical characterization of mixed-grain-size bedforms using a dynamic penetrometer, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 82(7), 540-544.
  • Stark, N. & Kopf, A. (2011). Detection and quantification of sediment remobilization processes using a dynamic penetrometer. In OCEANS'11, 1-9.
  • Stark, N., Wilkens, R., Ernstsen, V.B., Lambers-Huesmann, M., Stegmann, S. & Kopf, A. (2014). Geotechnical properties of sandy seafloors and the consequences for dynamic penetrometer interpretations: quartz sand versus carbonate sand. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 30(1), 1-14.
  • Stark, N., Hanff, H., Svenson, C., Ernstsen, V.B., Lefebvre, A., Winter, C. & Kopf, A. (2011). Coupled penetrometer, MBES and ADCP assessments of tidal variations in surface sediment layer characteristics along active subaqueous dunes, Danish Wadden Sea, Geo-Marine Letters, 31(4), 249-258.