Exploring Wind

SimCenter Series: Experimental Based Research in NHE
May 17, 2017 | 12pm - 1:15pm PDT


Wind-induced effects on buildings and infrastructure located in coastal areas of USA and around the globe have caused damages worth billions of dollars. To develop wind damage mitigation techniques and carry out research on various topics of wind engineering, a state-of-the-art large scale experimental facility -- the Wall of Wind (WOW) -- was developed at Florida International University (FIU), Miami, USA. The WOW has been designated as an “Experimental Facility” (EF) under the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) program of National Science Foundation (NSF).

The WOW EF includes a 12-fan boundary layer wind tunnel that can generate wind speeds of 157 mph (70 m/s) equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This facility has been used for various applications that include: assessing wind loads on buildings, bridges and traffic signals; simulating wind-driven rain (WDR) intrusion in buildings; and assessing the capability of a building or its components to withstand high wind speeds. The objective of the WOW EF as part of the NHERI program is to enable an external, broadly inclusive, user base to undertake fundamental research in aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, wind-induced vibrations, aeroelastic instabilities, stochastic processes, fragility of building systems, rain infiltration mechanisms, wind simulation methodology and non-linear structural behaviour under wind loading.

The WOW EF can be a very useful test bed for developing and validating Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and other numerical simulation methods, thereby reducing the future reliance on physical testing, and for developing mitigation methods. This webinar describes the capabilities, uniqueness, and resources at the WOW EF. Case studies will be presented pertaining to the estimation of wind loads on various buildings and infrastructure systems. The development and validation of a new Partial Turbulence Simulation (PTS) technique for testing large-scale models will be discussed.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Erika Donald, erikad@berkeley.edu.


Dr. Ioannis Zisis
Dr. Ioannis Zisis ia an Assistant Professor and member of the IHRC Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research and Wall of Wind research group. He joined the Florida International University’s (FIU) Civil and Environmental Engi-neering Department in 2012. He is also the co-PI of the NSF NHERI Wall of Wind Experimental Facility. Dr. Zisis obtained his M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Building Engineering from Concordia University (Canada). He also holds a Dipl.-Ing in Civil Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). Dr. Zisis has been studying wind effects on the built environment for over 10 years. His research focus is structural and environmental wind engineer-ing. He has been using advanced experimental methods, including wind tunnel and full-scale monitoring techniques to examine how residential and other structures react to extreme wind events. The outcomes of his research efforts aim to help the development and improvement of national and international wind standards and building codes of practice. Dr. Zisis has over 50 publications in international journals and conference proceedings and he is a member of the Structural Wind Engineering Committee (SWEC) and Environmental Wind Engineering Committee (EWEC) of the Technical Council on Wind Engineering and the American Society of Civil Engineers (TCWE-ASCE). Dr. Zisis has received funding from several state and national agencies including the Florida Sea Grant College Pro-gram, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Dr. Arindam Gan Chowdhury
Dr. Arindam Gan Chowdhury is Associate Professor at Florida International University’s (FIU) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research at FIU’s International Hurricane Research Center (Miami, Florida, USA). He is the PI and Director of the NHERI Wall of Wind Experi-mental Facility funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Under Dr. Chowdhury’s direction, the WOW research team has had a significant impact in mitigating hurricane damage by enhancing building codes, validating innovative mitigation technologies and developing new materials. Dr. Chowdhury is the recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation and a Research to Applica-tion Award from the Florida Sea Grant Program. FIU honored Dr. Chowdhury by naming him a Top Scholar, granting him a Service and Recognition award, and lauding him with the President’s Council Worlds Ahead Facul-ty Award, which is the university’s highest recognition for faculty members.

Dr. Peter A. Irwin
Dr. Irwin has been Professor of Practice at the Wall of Wind Facility of Florida International University (FIU) since 2012. His work in the field of wind engineering began at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) in 1974 where he undertook research in the wind loading and response of long span bridges, tall buildings and large span roofs using NRC’s wind tunnel facilities. At NRC he developed what is now known as the Irwin sensor for meas-uring near surface wind speeds. The sensor is used my many laboratories around the world. In 1980 he went into consulting with the then small private firm that is now known as RWDI (standing for Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc.). Dr. Irwin was president of RWDI from 1999 to 2008 and under his leadership the company grew to threefold to become a 400 person international consulting and wind tunnel testing firm specializing in wind engi-neering, building science and environmental engineering. Dr. Irwin led RWDI’s work on many major structures including the world’s tallest buildings: Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 828 m; the Shanghai Tower at 632 m; and Taipei 101 at 508 m. He also undertook pioneering work on many long span bridges and large retractable-roof stadium structures. At FIU he has focused on applying wind tunnel testing to smaller structures and has developed the Par-tial Turbulence Simulation method for these structures so that they can be tested at the large model scales needed for accurate simulation. Dr. Irwin has been very active on code committees and his research and consulting contribu-tions have been recognized by many prestigious awards including the ASCE’s Cermak medal, the IAWE’s Daven-port Award, the CTBUH’s Fazlur Khan Award, and the CSCE’s Gzowski Medal. He is Co-PI on FIU’s NSF NHERI Wall of Wind Facility.


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