Introducing the ASCE COPRI Ports and Harbors Committee



Stanley White, P.E., Chairman, COPRI Ports and Harbors Committee, Trumbull, CT, USA


As it’s name suggests, the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the wide-ranging interests of engineers and other professionals in these fields.

The Ports and Harbors Committee studies and disseminates information on the planning, design, construction, maintenance, operation, pollution control, and technical functioning of ports and harbours.

The Committee also coordinates with port and harbour agencies on a number of engineering-related aspects:

1. Meeting the needs of the locality and those of waterborne transportation, commercial (including fishing), and recreational interests of transportation interests;

2. Planning for expansion to meet future needs;

3. Addressing environmental implications of such expansion; and

4. Engineering aspects of handling equipments and other port related facilities.

The Ports and Harbors Committee coordinates its activities directly with other committees within ASCE and COPRI, particularly with the Coastal Engineer ing, Coastal Zone Management, and Waterways Committees. The Committee also collaborates with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and Permanent  International Association of Navigational Congress (PIANC).

Bi-annual Ports and Harbors Committee meetings, usually hosted by a local Port Authority, provide time for networking and planning future events, publications, and other services to the industry. The members meet over two days, with the first day devoted to task committee meetings and the second devoted to the full committee business. These task committees support a wide variety of products and services.

Current task committees of ports and harbours

Ship Characteristics Data

The Ship Characteristics Task Committee is currently compiling data and drawings of typical ship characteristics and sample drawings for publication as a design guideline or handbook. This information will primarily benefit engineers involved with the planning and design of waterfront facilities.

Mooring Analysis

Developing comprehensive guidelines that will provide direction for engineering criteria and methodologies for mooring vessels safely in ports and harbours is the focus of this group. These comprehensive guidelines will include design criteria, mooring analysis methodology, and other relevant information.

Port Security

The Port Security Task Committee’s purpose is to provide a port perspective of the Department of Homeland Security and US Coast Guard and develop port security guidelines.

This group will provide information to the engineering community, providing updates on security measures and insight into the physical applications resulting from these measures.

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