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April & May 2010

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) will receive year two funding of $1.3M from the State of Iowa for operation of the center. The renewal of IFC funding at the same level as last year, despite this difficult time for state finances, demonstrates our legislative leaders’ commitment to flood monitoring and prediction across the state.

The Iowa Flood Center will also receive $10M over the next four years for completion of floodplain maps in most of Iowa’s 99 counties. This project, led by Nate Young, Witek Krajewski, and Larry Weber,will be completed in close collaboration with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Staff News:

At the College of Engineering faculty/staff awards ceremony, Wednesday, May 12th:

  • Anton Kruger received the 2009–10 Faculty Teaching Award
  • Larry Weber received the 2009–10 Faculty Service Award

Also at the ceremony, eight IIHR staff members were recognized for years of service:

  • Mike Kundert: 25 years
  • Twila Meder: 25 years (with the UI)
  • Connie Mutel: 20 years
  • Joe Longo: 10 years
  • Brian Miller: 10 years
  • Jim Goss: 10 years
  • Marcela Politano: 5 years
  • Dan Ceynar: 5 years

Student Awards:

  • IIHR graduate student Jeremy Bril was recently selected for a national position with the Engineers for a Sustainable World organization.  Jeremy will be director of education and projects, and one of his main tasks will be to help develop sustainability “modules” for classroom instruction and for use in other student settings, such as Living-Learning Communities. These modules, or case studies, should prove useful for our sustainability efforts on campus and, hopefully, on other campuses as well. Jeremy is a PhD candidate working with Craig Just.
    Jeremy is also featured in a new video titled Sustainability, Engineering, and Nitrogen: The Story of Gordon and Jeremy Bril.  
  • IIHR graduate student Achilleas Tsakiris was recently selected to receive The Paul C. and Sarah Jane Benedict Fund Award for Study of Alluvial River Processes. This award supports doctoral student thesis research on problems related to the understanding, management, or utilization of alluvial processes. The award is for up to $1,500 toward 2010–11 academic year tuition or other education-related expenses.
    Achilleas was also awarded the Best Poster Award at the College of Engineering Research Open House in April for his poster titled, “The Formation of Water Escape Structures Due to the Fluidization of Pure Kaolin Clay.”  He was also recently selected to receive funding from the UI Graduate College Strategic Initiative Fund. Achilleas is a doctoral candidate working with Thanos Papanicolaou.
  • Justin Hannon was awarded a Hydro Fellowship for the 2010–11 academic year by the Hydro Research Foundation. The fellowship includes his full stipend, full tuition, funds for his advisor, and travel funds to attend three Hydro Fellows Roundtables. Justin is an MS student working with Justin Garvin and Larry Weber.
  • Engineering student David Crawford was awarded the 2010–11 James L. Shive Memorial Scholarship. He will receive $1,000 toward his tuition next fall. David is a junior in civil and environmental engineering.
  • Engineering student Lorraine Buckman was awarded the 2010–11 John. F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship for Undergraduate Research in the Hydrosciences. She will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Lorraine is also finishing her junior year in civil and environmental engineering.

Funding Awards and Renewals:

  • Thanos Papanicolaou was awarded $48,850 from the National Science Foundation for “Differentiating Flash Flood-Borne Sediments in a Small Agricultural Headwater System Using Isotopic Tracers.”
  • Marian Muste was awarded $97,832 from the Iowa Department of Transportation for Phase II of “Development of Self-Cleaning Box Culvert Design.”
  • Marcela Politano was awarded two new contracts for work with Idaho Power. The first is for $153,445 for “Hells Canyon Dam 3D Model Phase III,” and the second is for $21,352 for “3-D Sediment Model Phase V.”
  • Fred Stern and Joe Longo were awarded $928,268 by the U.S. Department of Defense for “Local Flow Measurement System for Wave Basin Free Running Model Motions and Maneuvering in Waves and Capsize Experiments for CFD Validation.”  These are DURIP funds that will be used for equipment in the new wave basin facility.
  • Michelle Scherer was awarded a subcontract with the University of Georgia for $98,092 for their U.S. Department of Agriculture grant titled, “Quantifying Soil Iron Oscillations in Redox Transition Environments: Impacts on Carbon Degradation Rates and Phosphorus Availability.”
  • George Constantinescu was awarded a $67,774 contract with Genex Technologies, Inc. for “High Performance Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling of Flow Around Bridge Structures.”
  • Thanos Papanicolaou and Chris Wilson were awarded $25,000 by The Iowa Water Center for “Identifying the Primary Sources of Sediment in an Anthropogenically Altered Watershed.”
  • Witold Krajewski received a $175,000 grant from NASA for “Studies of Error Structure of GPM Rainfall Estimates and Scale Aspects of Floods.”
  • George Constantinescu was awarded $20,000 by the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research for his pilot project titled, “A Numerical Laboratory Framework to Study Physical and Biological Processes Affecting Freshwater Mussels at Mussel and Habitat Scale.”


  • April 16, 2010: Sanjeev Jha, postdoctoral research associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented, “Real-Time Decision Support System for the Coupled Engineered and Natural Systems.”
  • April 30, 2010: Jeffrey A. Dorale, assistant professor, University of Iowa Department of Geoscience, presented, “Natural Variability of Heavy Rainfall Events Over the Past 8,000 Years in the North American Midcontinent.”

Alumni News:

  • John J. Cassidy (PhD 1964), of Walnut Creek, Calif., was recently elected Honorary Diplomat of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE). The Honorary Diplomat status is AAWRE’s highest honor given to an individual. He was awarded an honorary medallion, certificate, and pin on May 17 during AAWRE’s annual Diplomat Induction Ceremony at the 2010 EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress in Providence, R.I.
  • Eric Patterson (BS 1987, MS 1990, PhD 1994) was promoted to senior scientist at the Applied Research Laboratory and to professor of mechanical engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa. Paterson remains the chief scientist of the Computational Mechanics Division at ARL, and works in the broad fields of ship hydrodynamics, cardiovascular fluid dynamics and heart-assist devices, renewable energy through wind and water turbines, and canine olfaction and explosives detection.
Last modified on January 11th, 2012
Posted on May 5th, 2011

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