Courtney Di Vittorio

Ph.D. Candidate; NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow
School of CEE; GWRI/Georgia Tech
Mason Building
Room 2201
790 Atlantic Dr.
Atlanta, GA, 30332-0355
Water resources management, remote sensing data and applications in hydrology, hydrologic modeling, probability and statistics, optimization methods

Courtney Di Vittorio is currently earning her Ph.D. at Georgia Tech in Water Resource Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Aris Georgakakos. The focus of her dissertation is to improve the understanding and modeling of wetland hydrologic and ecological functions using satellite and in-situ data. After completing her degree, she intends to pursue a career in academia as a professor.


M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2015                               B.E., McGill University, Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics,  2009

Research Experience

  • Developed a novel non-parametric land cover classification method using MODIS land surface reflectance data and applied it to the Sudd, a seasonally flooded wetland in South Sudan (completed).
  • Derived multi-temporal inundation maps of the Sudd Wetland using a new method that utilizes satellite precipitation and land surface reflectance data (completed).    
  • Creating a hydrologic model of the Sudd Wetland using satellite data sources and comparing it to existing models (ongoing).
  • Integrating the improved hydrologic wetland model of the Sudd Wetland into the Nile Basin Decision Support Tool and performing basin-wide water resources assessments (ongoing).
  • Developing a method for mapping the concentration of phosphorous in Lake Lanier, GA using Landsat land surface reflectance data (ongoing).


  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow. Awarded spring 2017.                                                       Award: $45,000/year ($35,000 stipend and $10,000 towards tuition). Renewable for up to 3 years.
  • Future Faculty Fellow in Civil Engineering. Awarded spring 2017.                                                   Award: $3,000 to be used towards pursuing opportunities to prepare for a career in academia.
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Awarded spring 2014                             Award: $46,000/year ($34,000 stipend and $12,000 towards tuition) for 3 years.

Publications and Presentations

  • Publication: Di Vittorio and Georgakakos, 2017. Land Cover Classification and Wetland Inundation Mapping   Using MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment. (in press)      
  • Presentation: Fall 2016 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Conference. Gave an oral presentation on my work on wetland inundation mapping within a session titled: Remote sensing applications for water resources management, including irrigation, droughts, floods, and associated water cycle extremes.
  • Presentation: Spring 2017 Georgia Water Resources Conference. Gave an oral presentation on satellite-derived flood maps and their validation using hydrologic data.

Teaching Experience

  • Currently completing Tech-To-Teaching Certification at Georgia Tech.  
  • Facilitator for Grand Challenges program; fall 2014 – spring 2017.
  • Capoeira Instructor (Afro-Brazilian martial art) at Georgia Tech; fall 2015 - Present.
  • Teaching Assistant for CEE 6231 at Georgia Tech: Probability and Statistics; fall 2015 & fall 2016.
  • Teaching Assistant for CEE 3770 at Georgia Tech: Statistics and Applications; spring 2014.
  • Teaching Assistant for CIVE 584 at McGill University: Groundwater Engineering; spring 2009.

Professional Appointments and Experience

  • African Program Staff, Engineers without Borders (EWB) Canada, Business Development Services team. July 2012 – July 2013. Based in Lusaka, Zambia and partnered with an agribusiness that supports small-holder farmers in the production of cotton. Project managed a community school construction project that consisted of 9 rural communities across 3 regions of Zambia. Helped solidify the EWB team strategy by developing social metrics on overseas projects we were affiliated with for impact investors.
  • Field Engineer, Massman Construction Co.  July 2009 – July 2012. Assisted Chief Estimator for 7 Months in Kansas City, MO and was then assigned to the New Mississippi River Cable-Stayed Bridge project in St. Louis, MO. Designed temporary access, lifting devices, and miscellaneous steel structures (bracing, templates, etc.) Developed, drafted, and implemented field assembly and installation plans. Prepared heavy lift plans and supervised critical lifts. Served as technical support to foreman and superintendents on MO river pier. Communicated field realities back to office management to improve quality and safety on job.
  • Project Team Leader, Engineers Without Borders USA. Jan. 2011 – Aug. 2011. Assisted in the design and installation of a bridge-culvert project in Pimienta, Honduras. Visited the project one year after the installation to assess whether the community was benefiting from the project.
  • Junior Fellow, EWB Canada. May 2008 – Aug 2008. Based in the Northern Region of Ghana. Initiated a partnership between EWB and an agribusiness that supported small-holder farmers in the production of organic mangoes for export. Developed and implemented a training curriculum, user manuals, and an M&E system for drip irrigation equipment. 

Service and Outreach

  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Georgia Tech Chapter – Treasurer 2016 - present. 
  • Member of Georgia Tech Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Advisory Board 2014 - present.
  • Graduate Society of Women Engineers (SWE) – member since summer 2014.
  • Georgia Tech CDO Capoeira – executive member; 2014 - present
  • Engineers Without Borders St. Louis Professional Chapter 2011-2013. Mentor to students in Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville chapter. Project lead on bridge-culvert project in Honduras.
  • McGill Engineers Without Borders - VP Internal 2007 – 2008; VP Member Learning 2008 – 2009.
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Tulane Chapter - 2nd year representative 2005 – 2006.
  • Tulane ASCE concrete canoe team, regional champions 2005, attended nationals.
  • Tulane Women's Club Soccer – executive member 2004-2005.