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Physical Modeling Experts

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering

Innovative Solutions — Acknowledged Experts

“Contact us today to learn more about IIHR and how we can help make your next project a successful one.� Troy Lyons IIHR Director of Engineering Services

On the cover: IIHR conducted numerical modeling (fully coupled two-phase flow) to predict the hydrodynamics and total dissolved gas distribution in the tailrace at McNary Dam on the Columbia River.


from the director

Dear Colleagues, Clients, and Friends, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR) is dedicated to helping clients worldwide solve a wide range of water resource challenges. Founded in 1920, IIHR has been solving problems for clients around the world ever since. As part of the University of Iowa, IIHR can offer some of the leading experts in the field, access to sophisticated facilities and instrumentation, and a rich history grounded in both theoretical and applied research. At IIHR, we conduct a diverse range of projects for clients in many industries, with strength in energy (especially hydropower and wind energy) and stormwater conveyance (cities and municipalities). IIHR is unique among hydraulics research laboratories for its remarkable capabilities in three complementary areas: •

Laboratory Modeling: IIHR’s earliest research in the 1920s started with sediment flow modeling. Today, professional engineers and staff work in eight modern, well-equipped laboratories with about 100,000 square feet of floor space. IIHR can build scale models for virtually any type of riverine or hydraulic structure, whether engineered or natural.

Computational Modeling: IIHR’s numerical modelers are expert code developers with exceptional strength in fluid mechanics and turbulence modeling; they are also experienced in the development of applied engineering simulations. IIHR can build advanced numerical models for hydraulic structures and natural channels to simulate sediment, fish passage, two-phase flow, thermal flows, total dissolved gas, and environmental flows.

Field Observational Research: IIHR maintains a variety of boats, sensors, and other instrumentation to gather high-resolution environmental data in support of precision model development and validation. This includes river bathymetric surveys, water velocity profiles, and sediment sampling.

Our unique approach combines these strategies to provide clients with a comprehensive solution to meet their needs. For example, each form of modeling (physical and computational) offers advantages; combined, they are a powerful set of design tools. Using accurate data collected through detailed fieldwork, we can harness these modeling capabilities to provide our clients with new insights and solutions. I’m proud to provide this overview of IIHR’s engineering capabilities and expertise. I look forward to working with you to solve your hydraulics engineering challenges! Contact us today to learn more about IIHR and how we can help make your next project a successful one. Sincerely,

TROY LYONS Director of Engineering Services IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering 319-335-5319 troy-lyons@uiowa.edu

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering

working with iihr

Working with IIHR, University of Iowa Fact vs. Fiction Misperceptions Students will do all the work

IHR is state-funded Contracting is difficult

Reality Professional staff engineers and faculty perform, manage, and execute contracted projects IIHR is self-sustaining IIHR has flexibility in contracting arrangements (e.g., master agreement)

Universities cannot meet project deadlines

IIHR has the ability to meet tight deadlines

Inability to accept confidentiality obligations

Confidentiality language appears in nearly all agreements

Limited industry experience


IIHR works extensively with public and private entities



A Leader in Computational Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 IIHR is at the forefront of CFD modeling, code development, and applications Total Dissolved Gas Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Pumps, Sewers, and Stormwater Conveyance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Temperature Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Fish Movement Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Wind Energy CFD Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Experts in Physical Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 IIHR’s history is grounded in its physical modeling resources and expertise Renewable Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Fieldwork and Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 IIHR modeling activities mirror the real world Support Services and Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Mechanical Shops and Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 High-Performance Computing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Design and Drafting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Flume Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Electronics Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 About IIHR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Iowa-Developed CFD Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Use your smartphone to scan the QR codes through this book, which will take you to our website, iihrengineering.com.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


A Leader in Computational Modeling

F CFD temperature study in the forebay of the Brownlee Dam.

At IIHR, our experienced numerical modelers are experts in code development for applied engineering simulations in fluid mechanics and turbulence modeling.


or more than 35 years, IIHR has been leading a revolution in the use of computer simulations for fluids engineering. In the process, IIHR has built an international reputation as a pioneer in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model development and application.

At IIHR, our experienced numerical modelers are experts in code development for applied engineering simulations in fluid mechanics and turbulence modeling. IIHR’s fully threedimensional computer simulations often run parallel to physical modeling (see pages 12–15) to offer our clients high-quality, validated results. Each form of modeling offers distinct benefits that provide new insights and solutions. Together, they create a powerful simulation tool. IIHR is a leader in base CFD code development and extensions, as well as CFD model development and application. IIHR’s REX and CFDShip-Iowa codes, for example, are two of only a few university-based CFD codes supported and used by the United States Office of Naval Research to test design concepts for U.S. ships, submarines, and various other marine vehicles (see sidebar). To extend CFD modeling into new areas, IIHR researchers have developed multiphase flow models with heat transfer specifically for large-scale hydraulic applications. CFD models developed at IIHR simulate bubbles, total dissolved gas (TDG), sediments, temperature, sound, and light. Our modelers have successfully validated these models, which are used for the design and operation of fish passage facilities, spillway flow deflectors, water intakes, and behavioral fish fences.


computational modeling Total Dissolved Gas (TDG) Modeling IIHR developed a two-phase numerical model to represent the complex physics of total dissolved gas (TDG) in a dam’s tailrace. Our researchers use the model to evaluate strategies to reduce TDG and protect migrating fish.

When a human diver comes to the surface from deep water too fast, changes in water pressure can cause a painful and sometimes fatal condition known as the bends. Elevated total dissolved gas (TDG) can cause a similar condition in fish, gas bubble disease, that may harm or kill migrating fish and other aquatic species as they pass large hydroelectric dams. CFD modeling offers a powerful tool to understand TDG and predict the hydrodynamics of the tailrace, focusing on gas distribution and the effect of spillway surface jets on the flow field. IIHR developed the first (and to our knowledge the only) two-phase numerical model to represent the complex physics of TDG in a dam’s tailrace. This model can evaluate technologies designed to reduce TDG and protect migrating fish. For instance, spillway flow deflectors designed at IIHR redirect spilled water horizontally to minimize TDG supersaturation by forming a surface jet that prevents bubbles from plunging deep in the tailrace. IIHR’s numerical model makes it possible to test these technologies before millions of dollars are spent to build them.

Illustration of IIHR’s total dissolved gas study in the McNary Dam tailrace.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


Pumps, Sewers, and Stormwater Conveyance IIHR modelers simulate sewer and stormwater conveyance systems for cities and municipalities worldwide. CFD modeling can effectively solve complex flow problems in these systems, providing solutions that save time and money. IIHR’s numerical modelers have experience and expertise in simulating different components of sewer and stormwater conveyance systems for cities and municipalities worldwide. CFD modeling offers a useful resource for these projects, solving complex flow problems related to sewer and stormwater conveyance systems and providing solutions that can save time and money. Working as a subcontractor with an engineering firm, IIHR completed a project for the Madison, Wis., Metropolitan Sewerage District that included computational modeling. IIHR created a CFD model of the existing pump station, which was being retrofitted and reconfigured to handle larger flows. IIHR performed CFD modeling of the pump station’s interior and the complex geometry of the wet well pit and pumps. IIHR’s modeling team was able to identify any potential issues with vortices, recirculation, and anything else unfavorable to the operation of new pumps. The system included unstable or transient flow conditions, and the IIHR model successfully simulated those conditions. IIHR’s model showed that with minor changes to the inlet configuration, the pumping station could handle higher flows without expanding the wet well—thus saving a significant amount of money. The project team, which included IIHR, was awarded the first Envision Gold Award for sustainable infrastructure in Wisconsin. The award, presented by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, rates projects based on their environmental, social, and economic impacts.

CFD studies for the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District’s pump station.



computational modeling

Fish Passage Research: temperature modeling IIHR’s expert computational modeling, used in parallel with physical modeling, often leads to innovative, cost-effective solutions.

Temperature, for example, is an important factor that can be revealed and analyzed using computational modeling. When water is discharged to the natural environment at a higher temperature than the ambient water, it impacts water chemistry and oxygen levels, as well as biological activity and growth. This can have a negative impact on the entire ecosystem. Simulations of temperature differences can provide essential information to develop a successful solution.

CFD temperature study of the forebay of the Cardinal Power Plant.

IIHR has significant experience in computational modeling of water temperature. For example, IIHR’s complementary computational and physical models of the Cardinal Power Plant forebay on the Ohio River revealed that warm water leaving the plant was recirculating into the forebay. A thermal component in the computational model confirmed the discovery, providing important insights to help the client successfully resolve the problem. (https://iihrengineering.com/portfolio-item/ cardinal-power-plant)

Side-by-side images of IIHR’s models of the Cardinal Power Plant’s forebay: (l) CFD modeling; and (r) physical modeling.

IIHR also performed computational modeling for the McNary Dam in the Pacific Northwest, where elevated summer water temperatures stressed juvenile fish passing the dam. Most numerical studies of temperature dynamics in reservoirs are based on one- or two-dimensional models. The McNary Dam forebay is characterized by complex three-dimensional flow patterns and unsteady heat exchange between the atmosphere and water. IIHR modelers used an unsteady three-dimensional nonhydrostatic model to predict the hydrodynamics and thermal dynamics in the forebay and turbine intakes. An additional simulation studied the inclusion of a thermal curtain upstream of the turbine intakes. IIHR’s numerical modeling indicated the thermal curtain reduced gatewell temperatures, potentially increasing the survival rate of migratory salmon. (http://iihrengineering.com/portfolio-item/ mcnary-dam)

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering

CFD modeling of the McNary Dam.


Fish Movement Model IIHR’s combination of physical and computation modeling helped our client achieve a 95 percent survival rate for fish passing the Wanapum Dam in Washington state. Engineers have been seeking ways to move fish safely past dams since the early 20th century. Engineers and biologists were initially surprised to see that the dams harmed fish moving downstream. When fish passed through hydroelectric turbines, rapid pressure changes left them stressed and susceptible to waiting predators. Engineers have been working on better ways to get fish safely past the dams ever since. IIHR researchers have been involved in fish passage research since the 1930s; our team has worked with the Grant County Public Utility District and other clients in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years.

IIHR’s Larry Weber with a physical model of the Priest Rapids Dam.

One of the challenges is designing fish passage structures that are not only safe for fish, but also attractive to them. Fish will not enter a fish passage structure that does not feel safe. (Just because you build a safe passage structure does not mean fish will use it!) Solving this problem requires a thorough understanding of both river hydraulics and fish behavior. Working with engineers and biologists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), IIHR researchers were able to study and learn about fish behavior near dam structures. They tracked individual fish to determine what types of structures they passed through versus those that they typically rejected. For example, experiments demonstrated that fish swimming up to a guide wall, even at night, would track along it until they sensed a change in the flow they didn’t like. They also found that fish seem to dislike, and thus avoid, rapid flow acceleration. After retreating, fish mill around and may repeatedly swim up to a dam to retest the waters. Some fish eventually choose to go through the turbines instead of a safer passage structure. Ultimately, what matters most are the hydrodynamic cues a fish experiences from the flow and whether they suggest safety or danger ahead.

Priest Rapids Dam fish bypass structure.

The computer model, developed through a partnership between the USACE and IIHR, was an important breakthrough. IIHR researchers also developed their own Fish Movement Model to simulate fish behavior near dams. The resulting insights led to new fish passage designs, such as ones with flared entrances to make the flow accelerations more gradual. The fish passage system now in use at the Wanapum Dam in Washington State, for example, was developed using this combination of physical and computational modeling activities performed at IIHR. It helped the utility achieve a 95 percent survival rate for fish passing the dam! (https://iihrengineering.com/portfolio-item/wanapum-dam/)



computational modeling Wind Energy CFD Modeling IIHR has the capability to model wind turbines and wind farms, including their operations, interactions with the atmospheric boundary layer, and environmental impacts. IIHR is currently working to improve engineering models, including CFD, using data from a 106 m tall tower and Clipper wind turbine near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Left: IIHR’s innovative wind-wave tunnel.

Below: CFD imagery of a wind turbine farm.

IIHR also conducts experiments related to offshore wind in its own boundary layer wind-wave tunnel. This facility combines a 30-m recirculating water channel with an openreturn boundary layer wind tunnel. The wind-wave tunnel supports detailed studies of the atmospheric boundary layer over wind-driven waves and spray. A volumetric, time-resolved particle image velocimetry (3D Tr-PIV) system permits measurement of turbulent flow. The wind-wave facility supports research that can be applied to offshore wind, wave, and current energy production. Using data from field and laboratory experiments, we can improve and validate high-resolution numerical turbulence models to support the development of parameterizations for large-scale models for wind and hydropower resource planning. With this expertise and these facilities, IIHR has the capability to take on complex wind energy research for clients.

IIHR’s wind turbine research team: (l to r) Pablo Carrica, Marcela Politano, Corey Markfort, Shivendra Prakash, and Ezequiel Martin.


Experts in Physical Modeling


ince its founding in 1920, IIHR has been a leader in hydraulic physical modeling—from the locks and dams of the Mississippi River to hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest, to stormwater conveyance systems for major metropolitan areas worldwide. IIHR has honed its physical hydraulic modeling expertise through decades of experience developing innovative designs and supporting applied hydraulic research. By working closely with clients throughout the process, we can often save time and money while delivering excellent results. IIHR’s physical modeling experts work with clients around the globe to develop solutions for complex hydraulic problems. We have worked with some of the world’s largest cities (e.g., London; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Abu Dhabi) and major hydroelectric public utilities (e.g., Grant County Public Utility District on the Columbia River and Idaho Power Company on the Snake River, both in the Pacific Northwest). We gladly take on challenging projects, and have the demonstrated expertise, experience, facilities, and equipment to build a precision model of virtually any engineered or natural hydraulic structure.

IIHR has honed its physical hydraulic modeling expertise through decades of experience developing innovative designs and supporting applied hydraulic research. By working closely with clients, we can often save time and money while delivering excellent results.



Physical Modeling Renewable Energy: Fish Passage at Hydropower Dams IIHR’s precise physical models— often used in tandem with our sophisticated numerical models—provide a suite of powerful simulation tools for clients in the hydropower industry. Since the 1930s, IIHR researchers have been studying fish bypass systems intended to move fish safely past dams, often through the design and construction of physical models. Early on, IIHR’s research focused on Iowa’s then-194 inland dams, and later, on major hydropower dams nationwide. In the 1980s, this work shifted into high gear, led by IIHR researchers Jacob Odgaard and Larry Weber. Today, precise physical models make it possible to calibrate and validate IIHR’s sophisticated numerical models, providing a suite of powerful simulation tools for clients. IIHR designed and constructed three precise physical models (a forebay model, a tailrace model, and a spillway sectional model) to support the design development of a non-turbine fish bypass at the Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. IIHR researchers built the scale models at the University of Iowa over a period of several years, using physical modeling in conjunction with CFD models and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Numerical Fish Surrogate model to develop and test various aspects of the fish bypass design, including: • Location on the dam • Impact on forebay and tailrace flow patterns • Intake configuration • Design flow rates • Flow control scheme • Tailrace egress • Potential for scour near the dam • Potential impacts on total dissolved gas (TDG) • Impacts on spillway and powerhouse operation • Overall fish friendliness of the bypass A survival and behavior study conducted after installation of the fish bypass at Priest Rapids showed remarkable survival rates for steelhead and yearling Chinook — 99.6% and 99.8%, respectively. (https://iihrengineering.com/portfolio-item/ priest-rapids-dam)

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure Researchers at IIHR are among the world’s leaders when it comes to modeling and design of municipal storm-sewer conveyance systems. For more than three decades, IIHR researchers have been developing solutions to a problem that plagues many growing cities—aging and often overwhelmed storm-sewer conveyance systems. Researchers at IIHR are among the world’s leaders when it comes to modeling and design of these systems. IIHR has extensive experience constructing physical models that help solve water issues, including the reduction of air in sewer systems with underground tunnels. A build-up of air in the tunnel can cause geysers that blow manhole covers into the sky—a rare but dangerous situation. IIHR recently worked with Jacobs Engineering and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to construct a reduced-scale physical model of a portion of the project. The IIHR model included a vortex dropshaft that, when constructed, will be one of the largest in the world. (https://iihrengineering.com/portfolio-item/st-louissewer) Dropshafts are just one important aspect of the project’s complex network of tunnels, conduits, and interception chambers that transfer sewage and stormwater to the tunnels and onwards for treatment before it is eventually released to the river. Each structure is unique and presents its own design difficulties. The St. Louis project will positively affect the environment by preventing sewage overflows into the river during heavy rainfall. Many larger cities are adopting similar strategies to deal with combined sewer overflows. A related project in Milwaukee, constructed with help from IIHR in the 1980s, has captured and cleaned more than 98 percent of the city’s combined sewer overflow since it began operation, keeping 100 billion gallons of polluted water out of Lake Michigan.

CFD image of a baffle dropshaft design.


Note: IIIHR researchers literally “wrote the book” on baffle-drop structures! See: Odgaard, A.J., Lyons, T.C., and Craig, A.J. “Baffle-Drop Structure Design Relationships.” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 139, Issue 9 (September 2013).


Physical modeling

Far left: IIHR’s model for London’s sewer project, Thames Tideway Tunnel. Left: A top view of a vortex dropshaft model. IIHR constructed multiple models for the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

CFD image of a baffle dropshaft design.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


Fieldwork and Resources


ur fieldwork teams use sophisticated technology to gather the data needed for precision model construction, calibration, and validation. IIHR maintains and operates several boats with a range of capabilities, including instrumentation to measure river flow rates, velocities, depths, and water quality. Our staff conduct sediment sampling and coring with an onboard drill rig that takes a sediment core. We also conduct single-beam and multi-beam bathymetric surveys to detect scouring around bridge piers caused by flooding or changes in riverbeds near power plant intakes. Vessel-mounted ADCPs (acoustic Doppler current profilers) and ADVs (acoustic Doppler velocimeters) measure water velocity and discharge. Examples of IIHR fieldwork support: • Collection of bathymetry, river velocity, and sediment data for a CFD modeling project on the Ohio River for model validation

IIHR’s fieldwork teams use sophisticated technology to gather the data needed for precision model construction, calibration, and validation.

• Estimation of river flows based on water surface characteristics using large-scale particle image velocimetry (LSPIV) • Construction, testing, and installation of wetland cells near a wastewater treatment plant • Development and deployment of flood-related instruments, such as dual tipping bucket rain gauges, soil moisture probes, stream-stage sensors, and radar • Fabrication of custom booms for mounting instruments and cameras on a 300-foot radio tower



Fieldwork and resources Support Services


Our team’s experience and flexibility allow us to efficiently address your water-related challenges and issues.

IIHR’s extensive, well-equipped facilities mean we have what we need to swiftly address client needs.

People IIHR’s skilled engineering services staff, led by Director of Engineering Services Troy Lyons, is the most important factor in IIHR’s success. The team’s in-depth knowledge spans the full range of hydraulic structures. Professional engineering staff at IIHR are proficient in many areas, with wide-ranging experience and the flexibility to develop comprehensive solutions for our clients. Our people focus on developing innovative and effective solutions through precision workmanship. We can customize our technical approach for each specific situation. Our team’s experience and flexibility allow us to efficiently address your water-related challenges and issues.

IIHR maintains 10 buildings on the main University of Iowa campus, the UI Research Park, and on the banks of the Mississippi River. These specialized facilities include mechanical and electronics shops, a machine shop, several hydraulic flumes, air- and water-flow units, an advanced towing tank, a world-class wave basin, and much more, totaling over 100,000 square feet. Several of these large research spaces are continually repurposed to accommodate new models and experiments.

Far left: IIHR fieldwork team collects data on the Mississippi River. Below: IIHR staff conducts fieldwork on the Mississippi River.

IIHR Director of Engineering Services Troy Lyons talks with a colleague about a modeling project.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


Mechanical Shops

Shop Resources

IIHR’s clients benefit from our team’s experience and technical expertise, supported by our well-appointed mechanical shop.

IIHR’s facilities at the University of Iowa support a wide range of physical and numerical modeling, as well as field data collection projects.

A crucial factor in IIHR’s long tradition of success in experimental laboratory studies is our well-equipped mechanical shop and our expert technical staff, who successfully combine practical skills and experience with physical and numerical modeling technology. IIHR’s clients benefit from this experience and technical expertise, which can be customized for each specific situation.

The IIHR team has the following at its disposal: • Fully equipped machine shop (mills, lathes, band saws, drill presses) • Two hot-work booths (MIG and TIG welding, brazing) • Two carpentry areas (industrial table saws, routers, jointer, planer, miter saws, band saws) • Commercial-grade airless paint and body work area • Sheet metal area (shears, brake, and roller) • Storage for recycling instrumentation and equipment

In addition to providing precision fabrication skills, the IIHR team specializes in precision craftsmanship using: • Transparent acrylic • Transparent polycarbonate • White high-density polyethylene • Gray polyvinyl chloride • Aluminum (all types) • Brass • Carbon and Stainless steel • High-density overlay marine-grade plywood

IIHR’s shop staff are experts in all aspects of physical modeling construction.


We also have access to 3D printing, CNC mills/lathes, CNC water jet, and thermoformed plastic beds for complex geometry fabrication. Another area of specialization at IIHR is the fabrication of precision instrumentation and detailed scale replicas of hydraulic structures, as well as laboratory flumes and wind tunnels.

Precision milling for a ship hydrodynamics project.


resources High-Performance Computing

Design and Drafting Services

IIHR has access to excellent computing resources, which include a combination of inhouse infrastructure and the University of Iowa’s central high-performance computing facility.

IIHR staff are proficient with the latest 3-D modeling software. Let us put this to work for your project!

IIHR has access to excellent computing resources, which include a combination of in-house infrastructure and the University of Iowa’s central high-performance computing (HPC) facility. IIHR has been at the forefront of HPC parallel applications, including large node distributed memory systems and massively parallel GPU computing. Our codes are being implemented on Nvidia Kepler/Xeon Phi highly parallel systems and within various cloud computing environments.

IIHR’s expert drafters develop 3D drawings for model construction projects at all stages of the design process. Our drafters primarily use AutoCAD and PTC-Creo, which allow them to quickly create, analyze, view, and control product designs, but they are also proficient with several other drafting packages. Clients receive a complete set of design documents created by our expert drafters.

The Argon cluster is IIHR’s primary HPC resource. Currently comprising more than 15,000 processor cores and over 100 GPU accelerators, Argon features an internal highperformance message passing interface (Infiniband and Omnipath), over two Petabytes of storage, and Internet2 connectivity. We are continuously expanding Argon with new hardware. A carefully selected set of public-domain, commercial, and proprietary software packages complements this hardware.

High-performance computing resources at IIHR and the University of Iowa.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering

IIHR’s staff includes expert designers and draftsmen.


Flume Design Our staff can design and construct custom flumes to meet client needs. Our team can design a customized flume to meet any client specifications, delivered with a detailed set of 2D and 3D drawings of the entire structure, along with a report document. Our team has designed (and usually built and installed) flumes at facilities around the country, including the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of Wisconsin, University of Idaho, University at Buffalo, Iowa State University, New Mexico Tech, and the USACE’s Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC).

IIHR has been designing, constructing, and using experimental flumes for decades. (Clockwise from upper right): IIHR staff designed and constructed the instructional open-channel flume for the new Fluids Lab in the Seamans Center; an engineering student sets up an experiment in the Fluids Lab; IIHR’s James Buchholz works with a student in the Fluids Lab; and a diagram of the Kennedy Flume, which was recently transformed into a state-of-the-art wind-wave tunnel.



resources Electronics Shop IIHR’s Electronics Shop makes the latest advances in measurement technology available to our clients. Our staff design and construct precision instruments used to measure parameters in laboratory models and field data acquisition. IIHR’s Electronics Shop provides access to advanced data acquisition equipment and systems. The shop’s electrical engineers assist researchers in the selection, use, calibration, and care of a wide variety of instruments to measure the physical parameters encountered in laboratory models and in the field. Instruments maintained by the shop measure temperature, acceleration, position, motion, velocity, discharge, air speed, pressure, force, water elevation, waves, turbulence, and other fluidflow parameters. The instruments are matched to the complexity, speed, and accuracy of the required measurement. Some of these instruments include: • ADV (Acoustic Doppler Velocimetry) • LDV (Laser Doppler Velocimetry) • PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) • ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) • Single- and multi-beam sonar • LiDAR (light detection and ranging) Because most IIHR model studies are unique, commercially available data acquisition systems are often unsuitable. IIHR can design and construct unique precision instruments to meet the needs of our clients, using purchased or fabricated components that can be incorporated into data acquisition systems to fit each project’s needs. Similarly, IIHR staff often integrate readily available components into control systems, such as pump speed controls or probe positioning systems. IIHR also maintains computers and data acquisition tools, along with associated data collection and analysis software, to support data collection, organization, and interpretation. LabView-based model interfaces enable precise performance tracking and control for our physical models.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


About IIHR

IIHR’s Wave Basin provides state-of-the-art instrumentation for the study of water’s movement around free-moving models.

IIHR has conducted pioneering fluids research driven by practical needs since 1920. This world-renowned hydraulics laboratory has built a reputation as a leader in fluids research and engineering. Idaho Power contracted with IIHR to provide hydraulic modeling and analysis to improve the design of fish passage structures for Hells Canyon Dam in Idaho. IIHR’s fully 3-D computational model was used to simulate total dissolved gas in the tailrace and downstream of the dam. Photo by K. Pogue. Right: IIHR researchers designed spillway deflectors at Hells Canyon Dam using a 1:48 scale laboratory model and a two-phase flow model capable of predicting TDG production, dilution, and downstream mixing.



he modeling capabilities and other activities described herein represent only select aspects of IIHR— Hydroscience & Engineering’s multi-faceted profile. IIHR is administered within the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa, which is a Big Ten, R1 Research University. As such, IIHR professional staff and engineers are knowledge-driven and undertake both fundamental and applied research projects. To fully understand IIHR’s remarkable capabilities, it helps to understand why the institute exists and its core mission as a world leader in fluids-related research, education, and service. IIHR has conducted pioneering fluids research driven by practical needs since 1920. This world-renowned hydraulics laboratory has built a reputation as a leader in fluids research and engineering. Based at the University of Iowa, the depth of knowledge and experience at IIHR spans the full range of fluids-related structures, both natural and built. The institute fosters a vibrant environment, integrating laboratory, field, and simulation-based research approaches.

IIHR iowa-developed cfd codes

An IIHR student in the 1940s conducts a flume experiment in the Fluids Lab.

IIHR’s longstanding specialty areas have been joined in recent years by new areas of study such as water quality, water sustainability, flood research, and groundwater modeling. With the creation of the Iowa Flood Center and the recent addition of the Iowa Geological Survey and the Water Sustainability Initiative, IIHR expanded its approach to encompass the entire water cycle, from precipitation to evaporation, surface flow, infiltration, water quality, and groundwater flow. Our engineering services team is an essential component of the institute’s continued success—IIHR offers project leadership from some of world’s leading hydraulics engineers. These professionals bring a broad array of expertise that can be called upon as needed, ranging from engineering, geoscience, and public health to political science and communication—and more. Together, they can better address increasingly complex issues of global concern. IIHR is at the forefront of cutting-edge research in many areas, including several multimillion-dollar, multi-year programs that have spanned decades: • Ship hydrodynamics; • River hydraulics, watershed processes, and sediment transport; • Water-quality dynamics; • Hydrometeorology and flood science; • Bioremediation; and • Biofluids.

Researchers at IIHR have developed groundbreaking computer codes, CFDShip-Iowa and REX, simulating air and water flow around a virtual ship. They are among the most advanced computational fluid dynamic (CFD) computer code in the world for ship hydrodynamics. Researchers at IIHR use simulation-based design (SBD)—a sort of virtual reality of ship hydrodynamics, supported by model-scale experiments — to develop a safer, less expensive way to design modern highperformance naval vessels. Researchers at IIHR have developed groundbreaking computer codes, CFDShip-Iowa and REX, simulating air and water flow around a virtual ship. They are among the most advanced computational fluid dynamic (CFD) computer code in the world for ship hydrodynamics, allowing researchers to predict the performance of a virtual ship prototype under extreme environmental conditions. Computer simulations at IIHR guide model-scale physical experiments conducted in a towing tank and in a sophisticated wave basin at the University of Iowa’s Research Park. The experiments, on the other hand, help evaluate the limitations of current mathematical models and allow researchers to develop better models. With uncertainty analysis and optimization methods, researchers can develop the best possible design. IIHR’s unique combination of resources, facilities, and people promises an ongoing role for the University of Iowa in the front lines of naval ship design.

Computer-based simulations can graphically depict flow around a vessel.

This collaborative environment supports a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving. Our extensive experience and flexibility allow us to efficiently address your water-related challenges and issues.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering


IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering The University of Iowa 100 C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1585 319-335-5237

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, ia 52242-1316, 319-335-0705 (voice), 319-335-0697 (tdd), diversity@uiowa.edu.

IIHR Main Website: www.iihr.uiowa.edu IIHR Engineering Services Website: www.iihrengineering.com


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IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering Professional Services  

IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering Professional Services