AECOM to serve on the University of Miami’s “Reefense” research team

Miami (August 1, 2022) — AECOM, the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, announced today it has been selected by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science to serve on its Reefense research team. Reefense is a nationwide program established by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop comprehensive, enduring solutions to mitigate coastal flooding, erosion, and storm damage. AECOM is expected to provide overall project management, marine system expertise, coastal engineering, permitting, technical economic assessment, and lead technology transfer.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School on this groundbreaking initiative – one that will have a profound impact on coastal defense by advancing the use of nature-based solutions for reef restoration and storm surge protection,” said Frank Sweet, chief executive of AECOM’s global Environment business. “Guided by our Sustainable Legacies strategy, our mission is to leave a positive, lasting impact on people and our planet – the Reefense program is an exciting example of the pioneering work we are taking on with our clients to deliver a better world.”

AECOM plans to work with the Rosenstiel School researchers and additional project partners to develop innovative hybrid biological and engineered reef solutions designed to accelerate the protection of vulnerable coastal regions in Florida and the Caribbean. The program’s goal is to create, test, and deploy coral-reef-mimicking structures that provide immediate protection from waves and are also self-building, self-repairing, and resilient to climate change.

“As a purpose-driven organization, we’re honored to collaborate with leading scientists from DARPA, the Rosenstiel School, and renowned institutions across the country to develop and implement next generation solutions that will help bolster the resiliency of our coastal communities,” said Dan Faust, chief executive of AECOM’s U.S. East & Latin America region. “Our local team of technical specialists look forward to providing cross-disciplinary services for this vital program, tapping into best-in-class expertise from our previous work with World Heritage Reef communities.”

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School was awarded a $7.5 million initial grant by DARPA for this work, with options of up to $20.9 million. In addition to AECOM, the university’s research team includes experts from the University of California Santa Cruz, Pennsylvania State University, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Texas A&M University, University of Florida, Florida International University, the Florida Aquarium, SECORE International, Inc., and the Smithsonian Marine Station.


About AECOM 

AECOM is the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, new energy and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivaled technical expertise and innovation, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $13.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. See how we are delivering sustainable legacies for generations to come at and @AECOM.