The University of Iowa builds the Burlington Street dam
Builders leave a gap to feed water into a future experimental channel.
Builders leave a gap to feed water into a future experimental channel.
The first Hydraulics Lab opens — a 22-by-22-foot structure with a floor that can be lifted away to access the flume for experiments. Floyd Nagler is named the lab’s first director.
Director Nagler begins his ongoing quest to expand the Hydraulics Lab, opening a well-equipped new three-story building with a circulating water system.
With the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Nagler pioneers the use of physical modeling for a project that helps establish the nine-foot navigation channel and system of locks and dams on the Mississippi River.
IIHR studies fish ladders for the Iowa Conservation Commission, the beginning of a long association with fish passage.
The new addition includes a five-story central tower and three-story south wing, tripling the floor space.
“At the present time, no American university has a laboratory with better facilities than Iowa’s.”—Floyd Nagler
Nagler suffers a burst appendix and, despite his strong constitution, dies at age 41. His death leaves IIHR without strong leadership as the Great Depression begins.
Iowa City Press-Citizen: “Iowa Faculty Man Near Peak of his Career”
Under the leadership of Director Francis Murray Dawson, IIHR conducts plumbing research to solve serious problems such as “backsiphoning,” in which contaminated water from toilets flows into sinks.
Hunter Rouse arrives at IIHR from a position at CalTech.
IIHR holds the first of many professional Hydraulics Conferences that bring together the world’s leading
experts in the field.
Rouse founds the Fluids Instructional Lab to teach students fundamental fluid mechanics. He also designs many of the experiments.
IIHR gears up for war work, running 24 hours a day to conduct research. The war brings federal funding to IIHR for defense-related research.
IIHR’s war-related research, some of it top secret, includes testing firefighting nozzles for the U.S. Coast Guard and developing effective grease traps for sinks in U.S. Army kitchens.
After the war ends, IIHR’s new director pursues his vision focusing on fundamental research. Generous, open-ended federal funding continues. Rouse and his team study fundamental questions of cavitation and turbulence, flow through pipes, bridge scour, and more.
IIHR researcher Philip Hubbard invents and patents the hotwire anemometer to measure fluid flow.
Lou Landweber arrives at IIHR and jumpstarts the ship hydrodynamics research program. Landweber is second from right (below), with (l to r) Dale Harris, Bob Miller, Landwester, and Kent Tongshyan Tzou.
After a remarkable 22-year tenure, Rouse retires as director of IIHR.
“The part that fluid motion plays in one’s everyday life is astoundingly broad. Almost every aspect of our work, relaxation, body care, and nourishment involves fluid flow in one way or another.”—Hunter Rouse
New Director John F. Kennedy arrives. A vibrant leader, Kennedy believes in a mix of fundamental and applied research.
Enzo Macagno uses the university’s mainframe computer to conduct innovative research on a solution to the Navier-Stokes equations, essential groundwork for future computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work.
IIHR acquires its first in-house computer, funded in part by the U.S. Navy.
V.C. Patel, an aeronautical engineer, arrives at IIHR. Patel establishes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as a major IIHR research field.
Kennedy predicts future research directions and skillfully positions IIHR to benefit. One example: dropshafts and stormwater systems for major cities.
Led by Jacob Odgaard and later Larry Weber (below), IIHR researchers take on the first of many multimillion-dollar fish passage studies for hydroelectric companies in the Pacific Northwest.
IIHR Director John F. Kennedy dies, leaving a thriving institute and a diverse mix of applied and fundamental research.
Fred Stern joins the ship hydrodynamics program, which he will lead to worldwide prominence, developing the widely-used CFDShip-Iowa.
V.C. Patel is appointed the next director of IIHR.
Forrest Holly is one of many who makes a profound impact through their teaching at IIHR.
The IIHR shop is known for its expert staff, whose dedication and precision make an important contribution to research.
IIHR’s Connie Mutel (pictured here with collaborator, former faculty member, and IIHR researcher Rob Ettema) publishes Flowing Through Time: A History of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, telling the story of the hydraulics lab’s first 78 years.
Lou Landweber dies. Remembered by Fred Stern as “a real sweetheart,” Landweber guided more than 50 graduate students, who remember his integrity, warmth, support, and humor, as well as his technical expertise. Landweber (left, center) is pictured here at one of many IIHR picnics with his wife Mae and V.C. Patel.
Patel and Subhash Jain lead the first International Perspectives study-abroad course to India. Now the India Winterim study-abroad program, this course continues to teach students about the varied application of water resource practices.
The hydraulics lab receives a Water Landmark Award from the American Water Works Association.
Patel begins a complete renovation of the hydraulics lab, which is renamed in honor of C. Maxwell Stanley (a 1926 graduate of the UI and IIHR). The renovation is complete in 2002, and the building reopens, offering comfortable and modern office, classroom, and meeting space while retaining its original wet-laboratory character.
The institute changes its name to IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering to better represent its broadening research, and at the same time introduces a new logo.
Tatsuaki Nakato’s vision of a research station on the Mississippi River begins to take shape. A grant from the Carver Charitable Trust allows IIHR to establish the Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research Station (LACMRERS), the first university-owned research facility on the Mississippi.
Nakato helps reintroduce endangered Higgins Eye mussels to the river. The station encourages study of inland rivers and aquatic ecology. Cutting-edge river research from a variety of academic disciplines thrives at LACMRERS, which continues to expand and diversify.
V.C. Patel retires as director of IIHR.
Larry Weber, an Iowa native and alumnus of IIHR and the University of Iowa, is chosen to succeed Patel as director of the institute. Weber will become known for his statewide leadership on flooding and water-quality issues, as well as his work on fish passage, river hydraulics, watershed processes, and more.
The American Society of Civil Engineers recognizes the C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Lab as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, citing IIHR’s status as the oldest university-based hydraulics laboratory in the nation continuously focused on research and education in hydraulic engineering.
Fred Stern, Pablo Carrica, and others continue to refine and develop CFDShip-Iowa for the Office of Naval Research. This sophisticated numerical code computes ship resistance, analyzes the boundary layer, and measures the ship’s response to resistance and waves.
Witold Krajewski focuses his research on radar and satellite remote sensing of rainfall, including field data collection with the goal of characterizing small-scale rainfall variability.
IIHR’s Clear Creek Observatory hosts several research projects, including the use of tracers to link eroding soils to specific agricultural land uses, water-quality studies, and new cyberinfrastructure frameworks.
The University of Iowa receives a major grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for the Iowa Superfund Research Program, which studies public health problems associated with Superfund chemicals, especially polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). IIHR’s Keri Hornbuckle will become the program’s director in 2018.
In 2008, Iowans learn through hard experience that flooding is Iowa’s new normal. After disastrous flooding in eastern Iowa, the Iowa Legislature creates the Iowa Flood Center at IIHR and the University of Iowa.
Researchers use the 40x20x3-meter wave basin to test captive or radio-controlled model-scale navy ships under a variety of real-life conditions created by the basin’s six wavemakers. IIHR’s wave basin is the first to include local flow measurement capabilities, critical for continued development of simulation-based design tools.
Part annual report, part magazine, IIHR Currents aims to tell the stories of IIHR’s amazing people and research.
IIHR researchers work to restore habitat and ecosystems in the once-quiet backwaters of the Mississippi River that were lost after the creation of the river’s current lock and dam system. IIHR’s first director, Floyd Nagler, was instrumental in developing this nine-foot deep navigational channel on the Mississippi a boon to interstate commerce, but with unexpected environmental consequences.
Faculty members affiliated with the Water Sustainability Initiative join IIHR, bringing together diverse areas of study including chemistry, public health, geography, journalism, and more. This diversity helps encourage new and productive multidisciplinary research collaborations on water-related issues.
Gabriele Villarini’s climate change-related research with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helps create climate-informed engineering design.
This new partnership creates an organization with expertise covering all aspects of Iowa’s hydrologic cycle.
IIHR’s Ching-Long Lin develops a multi-level model of the human lung, part of a multidisciplinary research effort to improve our understanding of lung function and structure, with the goal of making a difference for patients with lung disease.
IIHR’s Connie Mutel publishes a new book, A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland, that artfully weaves together two threads — her personal life story and the emerging global climate crisis.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards nearly $97M to the state of Iowa for the “Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) for Urban and Rural Resilience.” This statewide watershed improvement program slows down water moving through the landscape by building farm ponds, wetlands, and other conservation practices in the watershed. IWA restores some of Iowa’s natural resiliency to heavy rainfall, while also improving water quality, adding natural beauty to the landscape, creating wildlife habitat, and restoring ecosystem services.
IIHR’s oxbow restorations offer an affordable way to re-establish ecological function of the system while also processing nutrients and providing habitat for fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
The IWA enhances the ability of communities to respond to and recover from flooding. Residents of the Bee Branch Creek Watershed in Dubuque, battered by multiple flood events, get support and resources to help repair their homes and make them more flood resilient.
Larry Weber steps down as director. but continues his teaching and research at IIHR, including leadership of the Iowa Watershed Approach
IIHR and UI alumnus Gabriele Villarini becomes director of the institute
IIHR once again takes the lead in efforts to modernize hands-on fluids education. With leadership from IIHR’s James Buchholz and support from the Carver Trust, IIHR shop staff, and many others, the new Fluids Lab opens in the Seamans Center. Rouse’s original pipe flow experiment from the 1940s — moved and updated for the new lab — is one of the focal points.
Troy Lyons and his team take IIHR’s Engineering Services division to new levels of modeling expertise—both physical and computational. They work with a wide range of industries around the world, including energy (hydroelectric dams and wind energy) and municipal water systems (sewer and stormwater conveyance).
IIHR’s Wave Basin expands into new research territory with the construction of a beach and studies of amphibious vehicles and the surf zone. Grad student Andrew Arnold tests the model for his faculty advisor, Casey Harwood.
A delegation from North Carolina travels to Iowa to share information and learn about the Iowa Watershed Approach.
IIHR makes plans to celebrate 100 years of fluids research. Although the coronavirus pandemic forces the postponement of most centennial activities, plans are underway for a Reunion celebration in 2023.