Director's Perspective

SAFL e-CHANNEL - Fall 2012

Despite the dust and din of ongoing renovation of our facility, faculty, staff and students continue to advance significant research, education and outreach at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL). This e-issue of the SAFL Channel features research on several issues of major societal significance, and the methodology and results that can be translated to tackle global challenges. 
 
SAFL researchers have developed an approach to analyze the effect of climate change on lake temperature and the resulting impacts on fish populations. Utilizing the cisco, a cold-water fish species, and temperature data across a set of Minnesota lakes, natural resource managers can prioritize the most critical lakes for focused environmental policies and protection efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Learn more.
 
Through a Minnesota Department of Transportation-funded project, SAFL’s research staff developed an innovative system for monitoring the scour, or erosion of sediment, around bridge piers and abutments. The system has been piloted on two bridges in southeastern Minnesota with remarkable initial results. SAFL’s expert and experienced engineers and technicians will continue to analyze this system to produce enhancements for potential future deployments. Learn more
 
In ongoing efforts to advance water quality improvement, SAFL researchers are piloting a novel filtration system for stormwater runoff retention ponds that extracts harmful pollutants, such as phosphorous and metals. Monitoring several demonstration projects, SAFL faculty, students and staff can generate important data to inform stormwater runoff management practices and produce new approaches to stormwater treatment. Learn more
 
And SAFL’s expertise in simulation-based research received a boost with the launch of a new high-performance computing cluster. Coming online mid-summer 2012, the newly expanded system supports ongoing computational research across a wide breadth of topics including sediment transport, delta restoration and management, wind farm arrangement and the design of life-saving devices, among others. Learn more
 
SAFL and the affiliated Department of Mechanical Engineering welcomed two new faculty members in the fall 2012 semester. And a number of SAFL faculty, researchers and students received recognition through awards, honors and new opportunities. Read more in Honors, Awards and Announcements
 
I hope you enjoy this electronic issue of the SAFL Channel. 
 
--Fotis Sotiropoulos, Director and James L. Record Professor of Civil Engineering, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory