Physical Modeling

U-flume experimental setup

In developing physical models, we strive to understand the fundamental nature of a specific problem and then determine the scaling basis so it can be tested in a laboratory setting. Scaling goes beyond simply making a miniature version of something - we take into account all factors, such as scaling the water or airflow and stresses in the flow, to effectively match field conditions. The research process typically involves understanding the problem, designing and constructing a model, validating the model, testing and collecting data, and reporting findings.

Project Examples:

  • Hydraulic River models 
  • Hydraulic Structures 
  • Turbine and Pump Intakes
  • Navigation Models 
  • Lift Stations


Computational Modeling

CFD wind turbineComputational models allow for a more detailed understanding of dynamics, such as flow field and stress distribution, than is achievable in physical laboratory models. However, it is important that computational models be carefully validated using laboratory data to ensure accurate results. Once validated, computational models can be use to simulate a broader range of scenarios than is possible with physical models.