IIHR Researchers Honored

March 29, 2019

IIHR has plenty to be proud of! Recent accolades for IIHR faculty researchers include former Director Larry Weber and Research Engineer Fred Stern, who both received prestigious honors from professional organizations.

Larry Weber stands in front of an IIHR model of fish passageways

New ASCE Fellow Larry Weber.

Larry J. Weber, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa (UI) and a research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR), has been named a Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Board of Direction. Weber also holds the Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics and recently served as executive associate dean of the UI College of Engineering.

Weber was the director of IIHR (a world-renowned research institute focused on research, education, and public service in hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics) for 13 years and co-founded the Iowa Flood Center (IFC). He is also active in research and teaching. Weber’s research interests include fish passage facilities, laboratory hydraulic modeling, river mechanics, hydropower, computational hydraulics, ice mechanics, water quality, and watershed processes. Weber, an Iowa native, serves as primary investigator of the Iowa Watershed Approach, a $97 million HUD-funded statewide project that engages with Iowans to move toward a more flood-resilient state, while also improving water quality, creating new habitat, and improving the quality of life and health for citizens.

Weber has coauthored 63 peer-reviewed journal articles and has directed more than $170 million of externally supported research funded by federal, state, and private organizations. His awards and honors are many, including the ASCE Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award, the Iowa Board of Regents Faculty Excellence Award, and the Johnson County Heritage Trust Conservation Award for grassroots conservation efforts.

Weber serves the state of Iowa as a member of the Water Resources Coordinating Council, and he is also a member of numerous state and federal agency committees related to water resources planning. Weber frequently presents to community groups on water resources–related topics.

Weber holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Iowa.

Fred Stern poses at the wave basin.

IIHR’s Fred Stern at the state-of-the-art Wave Basin Facility, completed in 2010.

Fred Stern was selected to receive the 2018 David W. Taylor Medal for Notable Achievement in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The award was presented at the recent annual meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) in Providence, R.I. This honor is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of ship hydrodynamics and naval architecture. Stern holds the George D. Ashton Professor of Hydroscience and Engineering at the University of Iowa (UI), where he also a professor of mechanical engineering with more than 35 years of experience teaching fluid mechanics and conducting sophisticated research in ship hydrodynamics. He is also a research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, an engineering research institute at the UI.

“This award is particularly meaningful to me because so many of my esteemed colleagues have received in the past,” Stern says. “I am truly humbled to be in such distinguished company.”

Stern’s expertise in experimental and computational ship hydrodynamics is world-renowned, particularly his integrated approach to research in which simulations provide guidance, experiments provide validation data, and simulations fill in sparse data. IIHR’s research facilities (state-of-the-art towing tank and wave basin) provide data for physics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) validation, including test cases for CFD workshops and NATO Applied Vehicle Technology (AVT) working groups.

CFDShip-Iowa URANS/DES (developed by Stern and his team) has been known as one of the world’s best CFD codes for ship hydrodynamics since 1994. It has many functionalities, including next-generation high-fidelity/resolution V6, which enables two-phase sharp-interface; as well as direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large-eddy simulation (LES) using billions of grid points. Stern’s research also includes the development of verification and validation (V&V) and uncertainty quantification (UQ) methods, fundamental physics and ship performance, deterministic/stochastic shape/multi-disciplinary optimization, and fluid structure interaction, as described in his hundreds of peer-reviewed publications.

Stern served as chair/member of the International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC) and its CFD workshop committees, as well as the NATO AVT working group. He has participated in many national/international collaborations; and is ASME fellow and a member of SNAME and the American Society for Engineering Education. Stern has received many honors, including the following: UI Faculty Scholar (1993–96); Faculty Research Excellence (2012); Weinblum Lecturer (2012–13); and NATO STO AVT panel excellence awards (2016). Stern gratefully acknowledges the support of the Office of Naval Research for his research.