Press Releases

Civil Engineer Brett McMann joins the Institute

Jul 31, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (July 31, 2019) – Brett McMann grew up around the engineering world, but it wasn’t until he started work on the old LSU River Model and got involved in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan process that his passion for what engineering could do for coastal communities was born.

“Working with that model captured my interest, not just with coastal Louisiana, but with coastal resilience and restoration in general,” McMann said about his experience as a student worker at LSU.

On Monday, July 8, McMann joined the Institute bringing with him that passion and years of experience working on Louisiana coastal restoration projects and planning including the 2012, 2017 and now the 2023 Coastal Master Plan process. McMann has also worked on the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, the Calcasieu Ship Channel Salinity Control Project, levee system construction, floodplain management, as well as on projects in Norfolk, Va., Boston, and New York.

“I, and many of the Institute team, have had the opportunity to work with Brett over the years and we are thrilled that he will be bringing his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the work we do,” said Hugh Roberts, Institute’s vice president for engineering.

When he graduated with a bachelor’s in civil and environmental engineering and a minor in business administration, McMann got a chance to work on the 2012 Coastal Master Plan during his three years with Brown and Caldwell. As part of that work, McMann researched every coastal restoration plan that had been proposed at the local, state, and federal level and synthesized those ideas into the distinct projects evaluated in CPRA’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

“I just lucked into this crash course about how the thought process around coastal restoration has evolved over time,” he said. One of those changes has been how scientists and engineers approach the problem of coastal restoration from a “putting the coast back the way it was” to an approach that recognizes resource limitations as well as the need to help communities adapt to a changing coastal landscape.

It’s this kind of big picture thinking and strategizing that interests McMann. How can we optimize efficiencies in project construction and maintenance, how can we help communities adapt and how can we better think about water management in Louisiana, he explained.

“The Water Institute is set up to ask those questions and seek answers which is what fueled my interest in joining this applied research team,” McMann said. Born and raised in Metairie, but a Baton Rouge resident since attending LSU, McMann and his wife Emily have two daughters, aged 2 and 4.

Photos of McMann available here.