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March 2010

Ching-Long Lin has been awarded a four-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the interactions between pulmonary airflow, lung mechanics and cell response.

In particular, the study will help develop a digital human airway defense system, a part of Lin’s existing digital model of the human lung. Lin will serve as a project director on the grant, which was awarded through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to incorporate a lung mechanics model and a cell model into his digital lung model.

The project is collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, with Lin’s UI colleagues, professors Eric A. Hoffman, David Stoltz, Geoffrey McLennan and Gary E. Christensen. The project also includes Merryn H. Tawhai, associate professor at the Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

The new grant is a competitive renewal of Dr. Lin’s earlier NIH grant, which was received in 2005 to develop a comprehensive digital lung model for multi-scale simulation of gas flow in the human lungs. The digital lung is based on an in-house, high-fidelity parallel computational fluid dynamics technology that utilities subject-specific airway geometries, spans spatial scales from the largest bronchial airways to alveolar sac, and employs a Computed Tomography (CT) data-driven, multistage approach to provide accurate predictions of particle transport and regional ventilation.

Lin also received an NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) in 2008 to purchase a supercomputer to support cardiopulmonary research. This system provides a means of allowing researchers to perform large-scale parallel computation and visualization of pulmonary flow, lung mechanics, image matching and registration, cardiovascular imaging and segmentation, and lung texture analysis.


The Iowa City Press-Citizen published an article titled: Student Project Uses Sonar to Measure River Levels, on the 20th.

A project has the potential to help hundreds of Iowa communities be better prepared in future years when floodwaters threaten.

The team of engineering students has developed a relatively low-cost, automated sonar sensor that, when fixed to the underside of bridges, can transmit up-to-the-minute data on river stages.

Electrical engineering major Nick Sitter, along with fellow engineering students Ben Peiffer and Matt Kemp, all undergraduates, and graduate student Jim Niemeier have been building and tweaking the sensors since last fall as part of their senior design project.

The solar-powered sensors, which are about the size of a picnic basket, bounce ultrasonic waves off the water surface, then measure the time it takes for them to return to determine the river’s height.

A GPS component is used to provide an accurate timestamp, and every 15 minutes a microcontroller activates the device and transmits the data via cell phone technology to a Web server.

The idea for the project and the funding was provided by the Iowa Flood Center, a UI-led program that was established by the Legislature last year and is housed within the Hydraulic Research Laboratory along the Iowa River.


Student Awards:

IIHR graduate student Jeremy Bril, was the recipient of a GAANN Fellowship.  This award includes $2,500 discretionary funds for educational expenses for each of the next three years and also funds in the first year for purchase of a new laptop computer.  Jeremy is a PhD student working with Craig Just.

Shane Cook, was awarded the Richard B. Stewart Thermal Fluids Scholarship for the 2009-2010 year. This $10,000 scholarship is made annually to Mechanical Engineering graduate students with superior academic achievement in the area of thermal sciences or fluid mechanics.  Share is advised by Fred Stern.
Congratulations to them both.

Funding Awards and Renewals:

Thanos Papanicolaou and Mohamed Elhakeem were awarded a new contract for $55,616 from the Des Moines County Soil and Water Conservation District for, “Flint Creek NPS Watershed Hydrologic Study.”

Charles Stanier was awarded a $135,802 contract by the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium for “Data Analysis and Modeling of the LADCO Winter Nitrate Study.”

Thanos Papanicolaou and Mohamed Elhakeem were awarded a $47,000 grant from the Johnson Co. Soil & Water Conservation District for “Clear Creek Watershed Erosion and Flood Mitigation Project.”

Thanos Papanicolaou was awarded a $170,866 contract by the Iowa Department of Transportation for, “An Adaptive Field Detection Method for Bridge Scour Monitoring Using Motion-Sensing Radio Transponders (RFIDs).”

Jacob Odgaard and Troy Lyons were awarded a $92,594 contract by AECOM Environmental for, “Hydraulic Model Study to Support the Design of Dropshafts for the City of Indianapolis’ Deep Rock Tunnel Connector Project.”



Friday, March 5, 2010: Luca Solari, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florence – Italy presented, “Local High-Slope Effects on Sediment Transport and Fluvial Bed form Dynamics.”


Alumni News:

Sastry Munukutla (PhD ’81), director of Tennessee Tech University”s Center for Energy Systems Research and a mechanical engineering professor was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award in Professional Service!

Congratulations to Casey Kramer (MS ’05) on his being selected to fill the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Assistant State Hydraulics Engineer position for the HQ Hydraulics Unit. Casey joined the WSDOT in early 2008 from a hydraulics engineering firm in California. In addition to Casey’s extensive background and education in hydraulics engineering, his leadership skills will be an asset in his new position.

Last modified on May 5th, 2011
Posted on May 5th, 2011

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