View of the SAFL building from the river

Greetings from St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Interim Director Chris Paola

Welcome to the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), an interdisciplinary fluids research and educational facility of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Our research is focused at the intersection of fluid dynamics with major societal challenges in energy, environment and health. We integrate experiments in the laboratory and field with advanced computational tools and theory to obtain innovative, science-based solutions to real-world fluid-flow problems.

Located on Hennepin Island in the Mississippi River in the heart of Minneapolis, SAFL serves as a resource for departments across the Twin Cities campus, the statewide University system, and the broader research community. Our connections and collaborations reach across the country and all over the world. We partner with local, state and federal agencies; private consulting firms; businesses of many kinds; technical associations; and other educational institutions to expand knowledge and solve problems. 

Since 2002, the laboratory has been the headquarters and administrative home of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED), a National Science Foundation-sponsored research center. SAFL is also home to the Eolos Wind Energy Research Consortium, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

As a leading research facility, we find ourselves at the beginning of the 21st century facing a challenging and exciting world of fast-paced change. With our recently renovated experimental facilities and powerful computational resources, and our tradition of academic excellence in engineering, environmental, biological and geophysical fluid dynamics, we are uniquely positioned to confront emerging issues at the energy/environment nexus.

We invite you to learn more about the work of SAFL through our website or to contact us for more information. 

--Chris Paola, Interim Director, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory and CSE Distinguished Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota



1. To advance fundamental knowledge in engineering, environmental, geophysical, and biological fluid mechanics by conducting cross-cutting research that integrates disciplines in science and engineering.

2. To benefit society by implementing this knowledge to develop physics-based, cost-effective, and sustainable engineering solutions to major environmental, water, ecosystem, health, and energy-related problems.

3. To disseminate new knowledge to University of Minnesota students, the engineering and scientific community, and the public through educational and outreach activities and partnerships with government and industry.