Outstanding Collegiate Member

Marie-Pierre Delisle, Ph.D.

University of California, Los Angeles

For novel contributions to research and understanding of coastal flooding risk; for leadership informed by warmth and authenticity; and for leveraging her drive for excellence in service to SWE.

Marie-Pierre Delisle recently graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is currently a postdoctoral investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is a triple Bruin, having earned a B.S., an M.S., and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on coastal engineering, all from UCLA.

Dr. Delisle’s research focuses on the dynamic interactions occurring in the shallow coastal zone and the impacts that sea-level rise will have on coastal flooding magnitudes and behaviors. Her research advances the fundamental understanding of coastal processes and will improve coastal risk assessment, planning, and protection of communities from impending threats.

Her work combines high-resolution numerical modeling with extensive laboratory and field observations to characterize and accurately predict evolving coastal flooding risk. The swash zone, the intermittently wet and dry region of the beach that migrates across the beach face with the tide, is a highly complex region that is notoriously difficult to understand yet is fundamental to coastal flood vulnerability. To accelerate the understanding of coastal flooding, Dr. Delisle developed a novel, open-source numerical model, SedOlaFlow, which can accurately replicate the swash zone.

She has received numerous scholarships for her research, including the American Society of Civil Engineers Younger Member Forum Outstanding Graduate Student Award, the Robert L. Wiegel Scholarship for Coastal Studies from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, and the Anchor QEA Scholarship. In 2022, Dr. Delisle was named a UCLA Streisand Scholar and was awarded first place in the graduate collegiate competitions at 2022 WE Local Albuquerque and WE22.

Dr. Delisle has been a dedicated member of the Society of Women Engineers for nine years, holding various leadership positions within the SWE UCLA Collegiate Section, Early Career Professionals affinity group (ECP AG), and GradSWE Community affinity group (GS AG). She currently serves as the ECP AG co-lead and was previously the membership chair for the ECP AG, internal programming coordinator for the GS AG, and director/mentorship director/advising board member for UCLA GradSWE. She was awarded the UCLA Women in Engineering Leadership Scholarship in recognition of her contributions to the UCLA community and has played a key role in the ECP AG, which received the 2022 and 2023 Silver Mission Award and various Best Practice awards.

As an undergraduate at UCLA, Dr. Delisle took on a rigorous civil engineering course load. She balanced it with more than 25 hours a week of athletic commitments as a Division I student-athlete in swimming. She was one of only four engineers in a student-athlete population of more than 600, a testament to the difficulty of pursuing both academics and athletics at the most elite level.

Dr. Delisle combines her love of teaching with her drive to empower underrepresented groups in STEM by serving as a graduate teacher for the UCLA Center for Excellence in Engineering and Diversity and volunteering at community STEM outreach events. She enjoys marathons, baking, and traveling in her spare time.