From the Director

Welcome to the IIHR website!

Gabriele Villarini sits on a bench on the pentacrest

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering Director Gabriele Villarini.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering is a century-old research institute within the University of Iowa College of Engineering. Our researchers and students work on just about everything related to fluids—from precipitation and flooding to biofluids, wind turbines, ships, and beyond.

One of the things that separates IIHR from other hydraulics labs is our unique modeling resources and expertise. Nearly all our projects involve some form of modeling. In the institute’s earliest days, IIHR researchers built physical models to study fluid flow, particularly in rivers. Today, our talented engineers and scientists can build a scale model of just about any engineered or natural structure. (Visit our engineering services website to check out some recent projects.)

Of course, IIHR’s projects now incorporate advanced computational modeling (known as computational fluid dynamics, or CFD). We validate these CFD models through experiments conducted on physical models and data collected from the field. For example, IIHR’s codes are the most advanced CFD computer codes in the world for naval hydrodynamics and used by the U.S. Navy to evaluate new ship design. IIHR has both a towing tank and a wave basin facility where we perform experiments to validate our CFD codes.

This website offers only a high-level overview of IIHR’s many exciting research areas. When thinking about how to present IIHR’s research, I came up with the figure below because it puts our many research areas into context. It does not, however, do justice to our service and educational activities. Click on the image to see an interactive version, and be sure to explore this site to learn more about everything we do!

A cross-sectional image of a watershed

The best way to stay abreast of IIHR’s activities is to follow IIHR’s social media and sign up for our quarterly newsletter. My door is always open (and my email inbox as well) if you ever have a question or suggestion.

Best regards,

Gabriele Villarini

Director, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering
Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellow in Engineering
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering