Fluid Mechanics of Natural Hazards Research Group

The primary goal of my research group is to improve our understanding of the role of fluid mechanics in a broad range of natural and man-made hazards to enable effective and efficient hazard mitigation. We have investigated flood hazard mitigation through improved use of Low Impact Development (LID) technologies for stormwater management. We are just writing up the results of an experimental and modeling study to improve our¬†understanding the mechanics of ember flight in wildfires and quantify the risk of spot fire generation ahead of the main fire front. This work follows on from prior research into windborne debris flight during severe wind storms. The research team also works on more classic problems in environmental fluid mechanics including the mechanics of turbulent plumes and the dispersion of dense gasses in urban areas. More details on the research team’s work can be found here.

Will Martin and I have developed¬†an online application that calculates site specific effective curve numbers for porous pavements. The application is based on our paper “Hydrologic characterization of un-drained porous pavements” (2014). The web application can be found here.

We have also been involved in various outreach activities, running fluid mechanics demonstrations for high school and middle school students. These events are focused on introducing these students to some of the practical problems they will encounter in an engineering program as well as some interesting, and at times entertaining, physics.

Teaching responsibilities include junior level introductory fluid mechanics, a senior level class on stormwater management, and a graduate class on environmental fluid mechanics.

Demonstrations in class are an important part of my classes and I have a blog describing many of them. I try to add a new demonstration every couple of weeks and occasionally have colleagues post their demonstrations. An index of posts is maintained on this site but the blog can also be searched by category.