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IIHR engineer receives contract for Abu Dhabi project

Posted on May 7th, 2010

Abu Dhabi, among the world’s wealthiest cities, is the site of a $413,538 project by Troy Lyons (photo, right), staff engineer in the University of Iowa College of Engineering’s IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering research unit.

Working in concert with the Chicago engineering firm of CH2M HILL, Lyons is designing a one-seventh-scale model of three dropshafts for Abu Dhabi’s Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Project (STEP). The test model will be constructed at the UI and will ensure minimal problems with full-scale structure, which will be constructed to help modernize and expand the Abu Dhabi sewage system.

IIHR colleagues A. Jacob Odgaard, professor and faculty research engineer, and Marian Muste, adjunct professor and research engineer, are collaborating with Lyons on the project.

A dropshaft is a vertical structure designed to convey water in a controlled manner to underground facilities. In the case of the IIHR project, the water will be directed to a large underground tunnel and then to a wastewater treatment facility.

“The main purpose of constructing the model dropshaft is to study the airflow within the structure tunnel system,” Lyons says. “We want to ensure that sewage odors from the facility, which is to be constructed in the downtown area, are controlled within the structure tunnels and drawn out into the desert for treatment and release.”

The UI model will also be used to verify the hydraulic design of the dropshafts and related structures. The test results gathered from research conducted with the model will be used to gain an understanding of the prototype system and to recommend changes to the design prior to construction.

In addition to the dropshaft project, Lyons’ areas of research include hydraulic structures, hydropower, fish passage improvement, and river hydraulics.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,

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