From C++ to Coastal Wetlands

Date: 2023/07/21 - 2023/07/21

Academic Seminar: From C++ to Coastal Wetlands

Speaker: Zhi Li, Research Scientist, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University

Time: 10:00 - 11:30, July 21, 2023 (Beijing Time)

Location: CIMC Auditorium (Room 300), JI Long Bin Building


Coastal wetlands serve important ecological functions, such as carbon sequestration, flood mitigation and water purification. However, coastal wetlands are threatened by seawater intrusion and the associated salinization worldwide. In this seminar, Dr. Zhi Li will illustrate how advanced numerical methods and models are developed and applied to uncover the mechanisms of salinity transport in coastal wetlands. It will be shown that to fully understand the salt dynamics, a model needs to integrate various hydrological processes such as tidal intrusion, evaporation, and the exchange between surface water and groundwater. Special treatment is required to resolve the small-scale topography without increasing the computational cost. Moreover, high-performance parallel computing methods are needed to perform large-scale wetland simulations. Dr. Zhi Li will also share the story how a JI alumnus who once hated coding has finally become a developer.


Zhi Li is a research scientist at the college of civil engineering, Tongji University. He received his bachelor’s degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (mechanical engineering, 2013) and University of Michigan Ann Arbor (civil engineering, 2013). He received master’s and PhD degrees from University of California Berkeley and The University of Texas at Austin. Before joining Tongji University in 2022, Zhi Li worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Zhi Li focuses on developing advanced high-performance numerical models to simulate hydrodynamic processes, variably-saturated groundwater flow, and multi-phase flow in porous media. The models are applied to study wetland hydrology, urban floods and unconventional oil/gas resources.