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View of the SAFL building from the river

Michele Guala appointed as new SAFL Associate Director of Research

The St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL) is excited to announce that Michele Guala, SAFL Faculty and Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, has accepted the position as SAFL’s Associate Director of Research. This five-year appointment includes development and implementation of SAFL research priorities, investigating and facilitating new interdisciplinary research collaborations with partners internal and external to the University of Minnesota, as well as mentoring new SAFL-affiliate faculty members.

Professor Guala joined SAFL’s faculty in 2011. During his tenure, he has advised over 10 graduate students (MS and PhD) and authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications. His research, which generally aligns along the subjects of environmental fluid mechanics, turbulence, sediment transport, and flow measurement techniques in both the laboratory and field, has regularly taken advantage of SAFL’s unique facilities, including the Eolos Wind Energy Research Field Station, the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, the Main Channel, the Outdoor StreamLab, and the Tilting Bed Flume.

In 2014, Guala received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, one of the most prestigious awards for early career faculty, for his novel research on manipulating meandering fluid flows and the resulting erosion and deposition of sediments on the streambed and banks of rivers.

His most recent research centers around renewable energy technologies and their impacts on the surrounding environment. He has been involved in efforts to investigate and measure the wake turbulence generated by wind turbines as well as marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) devices, an emerging hydropower alternative to more traditional hydroelectric dams. He also studies how MHK devices influence sediment transport of river bedforms and morphodynamics, and how this interaction may guide the design of next-generation fluvial turbines.

“I am excited to serve SAFL in this position. SAFL is a special place with unique facilities, excellent staff, and very creative scientists. It's going to be a great experience.” says Guala.