Meet Christy Manning

by | Aug 31, 2021 | WRC Student Spotlights

A Glance at Erosion Control with Christy Manning, AU Grad Student

by Bethanie Hartzog

Christy Manning is a graduate student studying Civil Engineering at Auburn University. Along with pursuing a graduate degree, Manning has worked with Dr. Michael Perez, an Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering at Auburn University, for two semesters as a graduate research assistant at the Auburn University Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility (AU-ESCTF).

At the AU-ESCTF, they test different erosion control products on their erosion control research plot using a rainfall simulator to act out certain weather events to test the erosion control tools’ performance. The erosion control research plot is made of a compacted soil plot to test which products work best in certain soil types. When conducting these tests, the team also ensures that the products are actually performing the way the manufacturer claims.

Erosion and sediment control testing facility

“This research is very practical. It applies directly to the industry and directly to the Department of Transportation. The results are really relevant for the construction world and the environmental and water world as well,” says Manning.  

The research conducted at the testing facility is interesting to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) because many Alabama roads have embankments, slopes, and ditches that are places where erosion can happen easily and quickly. The roads are the last place anyone wants to have erosion because it costs the government and the taxpayers more and more money to keep fixing. So, erosion is not only damaging to our roads and waterways, but costly on our economic system.  

Another issue that construction crews run into is that erosion control products tend to be very pricey and will usually end up taking up to five to ten percent of the project budget when implemented. As such, these products can seem like a waste of money if crews do not have accurate and detailed information to identify the best product to mitigate erosion and optimize the cost.  

Providing accurate information to the construction world is a large part of Manning’s personal mission. Erosion control tools will optimize the cost and make the projects better for the environment and our waterways, but the products will increase the projects’ longevity.

Rainfall simulator in action.

Watch the video below to learn more about Christy Manning’s research at the AU-ESCTF



Auburn University Water Resources Center
ALFA Agricultural Services and Research Building
961 S Donahue Drive
Auburn, AL 36840