NSF Grant for UNF Engineering Professor

Dr. Bill Dally, an associate professor in the School of Engineering at the University of North Florida, was awarded a grant for more than $500,000 by the National Science Foundation to develop an amphibious remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for coastal research and education.

With this funding, Dally, a coastal engineer, will develop an amphibious ROV, essentially an underwater surf rover, transforming the manner in which research, teaching and operational activities in coastal science and engineering are conducted.

Knowledge of the physical behavior of the nearshore region has remained as a critical deficiency in understanding beach and barrier island processes.

This knowledge is critical for allowing coastal communities to successfully prepare for the future and for assessing the long-term sustainability of the nation’s beaches. Developing an amphibious ROV is essential in gathering this data.

Dally’s goal is for the ROV to be commercially manufactured and to be affordable for most universities, government agencies and commercial interests.

This will broaden the underwater drone’s availability to the nearshore ocean community as a whole, allowing a variety of high-priority nearshore science and engineering issues to be addressed.