Bert Sweetman P.E., Ph.D.


MASE/MARE Interim Department Head and Associate Professor

Tel:  (409) 740 - 4834

Fax: (409) 741 - 7153


Link to Dr. Sweetman's Personal Webpage and to Download Journal Articles



Bert Sweetman, PE, Ph.D., is the MASE/MARE Interim Department Head and an Associate Professor in the Department of Maritime Systems Engineering in Galveston, as well as an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering in College Station.  He joined TAMUG in January 2003. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Civil Structural Engineering, a Master of Engineering from Texas A&M in Ocean Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Professor Sweetman is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas, with ten years of engineering experience in Mobil Oil’s central engineering division. His industry experience ranges from long-term research to management of design and construction projects.

Industrial research initiatives included development and evaluation of novel floating production concepts (including spars, FPSO’s and TLP’s), station-keeping methodologies, and development of software tools for engineering applications. Project management responsibilities included schedule and cost estimating for very large offshore projects and included direct responsibility for construction of an office building and for construction of the marine parts of a floating production and storage vessel. He holds patents on fairings for marine risers, a novel floating barge-platform and its method of assembly, and served on the American Petroleum Institute’s committee to develop the API guidelines for floating production.

Professor Sweetman's current research is on development of new methods to apply random vibration theory to better understand vortex induced vibration of marine risers and to develop new structural health monitoring methodologies. He also applies advanced statistical methods to better understand irregular environmental loading on wind turbine support structures. Generally, his interests lie in the areas of random processes and in statistical prediction of extreme values in non-linear dynamic systems subject to these random processes. He has published numerous journal and conference papers in the areas of air-gap analysis of floating structures, wave-structure interaction, and second-order random wave propagation. He presently overseas maintenance and development of the software tools originally produced within the (now defunct) offshore part of the Reliability of Marine Structures research group at Stanford University.

Professor Sweetman’s teaching interests include engineering statics and particle dynamics, in which the ENGR-221 class recently completed a competition to test towers made of uncooked spaghetti and epoxy (See photos of competition here). Additional teaching interests include engineering statistics, structural steel design and the Senior capstone design course in offshore structures. Professor Sweetman holds joint appointments with Texas A&M at College Station in Civil Engineering and in Ocean Engineering. His research is presently funded by two grants from the National Science Foundation division of Civil and Mechanical Systems: Sensors: Statistical Algorithm Development for Distributed Sensor Networks with Application to Structural Health Monitoring and State Assessment (2004 - 2007), and CAREER: Irregular Environmental Loading and Response of Offshore Structures. (2005 - 2010). He presently supervises Doctoral candidate, M. K. Choi, who is developing advanced statistical methods with application to vortex induced vibrations of marine drilling risers and Doctoral student Mahdi Karimi, who is developing a numerical model for floating offshore wind turbines. He is also a committee member for one Master's student in Aerospace Engineering.



  • Sweetman, B., and Wang, L. ``The Momentum Cloud Method for Dynamic Simulation of Rigid Body Systems" ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics, In Press.
  • Wang, L. and Sweetman, B., ``Multibody Dynamics of Floating Wind Turbines with Large-Amplitude MotionSimulation of Large-Amplitude Motion" Applied Ocean Research, In Press.
  • Wang, L. and Sweetman, B., ``Simulation of Large-Amplitude Motion of Floating Wind Turbines using Conservation of Momentum" Ocean Engineering, Volume 42, Pg 155-164, March 2012. 
  • Sweetman, B. and Wang, L., ``Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Dynamics: Large-Angle Motions in Euler-Space" Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, OMAE-10-1056, 134(3), August 2012. 
  • Swartz, Andrew, Lynch, Jerome P., Choi, Meunkeun, Zerbst, Stephen M., and Sweetman, Bert and Rolfes, Raimond, ``Structural Monitoring of Wind Turbines using Wireless Sensor Networks" Smart Structures and Systems, April 2010, Volume 6, Issue 3. 
  • Choi, M. and Sweetman, B., ``The Hermite Moment Model for Highly Skewed Response with Application to Tension Leg Platforms" Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, May 2010, Volume 132, Issue 2. 
  • Sweetman, B and Choi, M., ``The Modal Distribution Method for Statistical Analysis of Measured Structural Response" Journal of Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics, April 2010, Volume 25, Issue 2, Pages 218-227. 
  • Choi, M. and Sweetman, B., ``Efficient Calculation of Statistical Moments for Structural Health Monitoring" Journal of Structural Health Monitoring, January 1, 2010, Vol. 9, No.~1, 13-24.