The Team

Courtney Di Vittorio, PhD, PE

Dr. Di Vittorio is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Wake Forest University. As a founding faculty member, she has contributed to the development of an innovative curriculum carefully designed to educate the whole engineer. The department engages partners from across liberal arts disciplines to provide students with an education that is grounded in the engineering fundamentals and Wake Forest University's liberal arts tradition. 

Dr. Di Vittorio completed her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics at McGill University in Montreal, QC, Canada. She earned a PhD at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Civil Engineering, with a focus on Water Resources.  Dr. Di Vittorio holds a professional engineering license and has experience in heavy civil construction as a field engineer. She has worked with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada and USA in both long and short term capacities stationed in Ghana, Liberia, Zambia, and Honduras.

Current Research Students and Scholars

Dr. Yasin Wahid Rabby

Dr. Rabby joined the Di Vittorio Lab through the NASA Coastal Marsh Mapping and Analysis Project as a postdoctoral research scholar.  He earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research is at the intersection of geospatial data science and geoscience. He is interested in applying machine learning, data mining, and classical statistics to study hazards and vulnerability. He has a MS in Statistics, also from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received his bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

You can learn more about Rabby and his research on his personal website

Michael Moerk

Michael is currently a graduate student in the Statistics Department at WFU. He recently completed his Bachelor's in Physics (also from WFU), but has been working with Dr. Di Vittorio in the Engineering Department since Summer 2020. He earned an Undergraduate Research Fellowship to continue his work in Summer 2021 and has played a key role in the lake water quality project. Michael completed a historical analysis of satellite-estimated suspended sediment and turbidity measurements while collecting new data that will be used to derive Chl-a estimates from satellites - the focus of his graduate research. Outside of academics, Michael is an avid runner and enjoys country music and the outdoors.

Bailey Hill

Bailey graduated summa cum laude from High Point University in December of 2016 with a B.A. in Electronic Media Communications. She is currently completing an M.A. in Sustainability at Wake Forest University. As a social justice advocate, Bailey feels strongly that initiatives addressing environmental sustainability must prioritize environmental justice in order to be effective at mitigating environmental risk within local communities.  Having grown up in Davidson County, NC Bailey feels deeply connected to Dr. Di Vittorio’s work within the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin. In spring of 2022 Bailey joined Dr. Di Vittorio’s lake water quality project to assist with researching environmental injustices pertaining to water quality along the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin. She is also developing strategies for community outreach and education that will empower local residents to advocate for clean water within their own communities.  

Melita Wiles

Melita is currently a graduate student in the Statistics Department at WFU and completed her Bachelor's in Physics and Mathematics in 2022. She is interested in applying statistical methods to physical systems and is working on Dr. Di Vittorio's coastal marsh changes research project during the summer of 2023. Similarly, her graduate thesis is focused on the improvement of predictive drought models, which is an interdisciplinary research project between the Statistics and Engineering Departments. Outside of her academic work and research, Melita enjoys running with friends, working on her cookbook, and anything involving nature.

Michael Huang

Michael is a rising junior at Wake Forest University intending to major in environmental science and chemistry. He joined Dr. Di Vittorio's lab in the Spring of 2022 and participated in the research fellowship in the Summer of 2022 as a URECA student, where he contributed to the lake water quality project. Michael collected data from High Rock Lake and analyzed the data in the lab in terms of TSS, TDS, CDOM, and Chlorophyll-A. Moreover, he continues to work on GIS mapping and is interested in outreach - including documentaries and education. Outside of academics, Michael is a pianist and an "x-factor"(highly inconsistent) basketball player.  

Amelia Suhocki

Amelia is a rising junior at Wake Forest University. Her intended major is Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with a minor in Spanish on the pre-med track. She has been working in the Di Vittorio Lab from January 2022 to the present. She is interested in researching long-term trends from chemical disasters and developing outreach programs about water quality. During Summer 2022, she contributed to the lake water quality project by collecting water samples at High Rock Lake, NC. She tested these samples in a laboratory setting for Total Suspended Solids, Total Dissolved Solids, Color Dissolved Organic Matter, and Chlorophyll-a to compare with data collected with satellite imagery. Outside of school, Amelia enjoys spending time outdoors and going to gardens and parks. 

Jacob Louie

Jacob is a rising sophomore pursuing an Engineering degree at Wake Forest University. He discovered his interest in water quality while researching potential runoff contamination created by the Winston-Salem Weaver fertilizer plant fire. During the Summer of 2023, he assembled training and validation data for the NASA coastal marsh project, and he collected and analyzed samples for the High Rock Lake water quality project. In his free time, Jacob enjoys boxing, sketching portraits, and cheffing it up with Melita's cookbook. 

Former Research Students 

Alex Schluter, B. S. Engineering (May 2023)

Wes Hinchman, Engineering student

Juliana Hopper,  B. S. Engineering (May 2022)

Nicolas Chen, B. S. Engineering (May 2022)

Hannah Grimm, B. S. Engineering (May 2021)

Drew Forman, B. S. Engineering (May 2021)

Sarah Najjar, B. A. Sociology (May 2021)

Yuyao Zhang, M. S. Statistics (May 2021)