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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 16, 2010

Engineer receives NSF grant to investigate tools for the study of floods

If researchers had better numerical and analytical tools to use in studying the large volumes of rainfall that are converted into rushing water in streams and rivers, then they could better describe the likely course of floods.

The fact that such tools might be developed through a collaboration between hydrologists and mathematicians is the basis for a three-year, $703,320 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant made to Witold Krajewski, director of the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, and his colleagues.

Krajewski (pronounced "cray-EFF-ski") -- who also serves as Rose & Joseph Summers Chair in Water Resources Engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, and faculty research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering -- said that the grant builds upon existing flood research.

"The goal is to better understand such phenomena as the devastating 2008 Iowa events by evaluating the current 'theory of floods,' whose predictions can be compared with observations across a large number of storms," he said.

Objectives of the study include developing methods that allow rapid calculations and the use of powerful supercomputers to evaluate the transport of water in streams and rivers.

"Another objective is to improve our understanding of the respective role of storms and the landforms in the genesis of floods," he said. "The study will examine the connection between the changing environment and the frequency of flooding."

Krajewski's colleagues on the project are Laurent Jay, UI professor of mathematics in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Ricardo Mantilla, IIHR research engineer; Rodica Curtu, UI assistant professor of mathematics; as well as a number of engineering and mathematics graduate students.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu