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University of Miami receives stimulus funds for study of hurricane impacts on structures, ecosystems
Date:7/20/2009

Center.

The SUSTAIN laboratory will be the only facility in the world with a wind-wave-storm surge simulator capable of generating hurricane force winds in a 3D test environment. The seawater pumped into the new building daily will allow scientists to directly observe and quantify critical storm factors, such as sea spray and momentum transfers across the ocean's surface in extreme wind conditions. SUSTAIN will be used to develop and implement advanced sensor technology, including remote and optical imaging systems that can be deployed in hurricanes. This innovative experimental test bed will also contribute to the knowledge needed for the development of the next generation of high-resolution fluid dynamic models, which help forecasters and emergency response planners throughout the hurricane season.

In a truly interdisciplinary manner, the facility will offer the capability to physically model entire segments of coastal communities, so engineers can study changes in the way buildings are designed and built. Equipment for the study of wind-driven rain/spray will also enable advances in the science related to moisture intrusion in structures.

"This new research facility creates an unprecedented opportunity for synergy and collaboration between disciplines in our attempt to address the impact of extreme loads (wind and surge) on the built infrastructure," said SUSTAIN Co-Principal Investigator Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of Civil and Architectural Engineering in the UM College of Engineering and director of NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on Repair of Buildings, Bridges and Composites. "Research directed at the development of stronger and safer structures and communities is critical for the present and future well-being of society."

The Marine Life Science Center, co-located within the facility, will focus on coral reef research, helping to assess and measure the effects of climate change and ocean aci
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Contact: Barbra Gonzalez
barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4704
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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University of Miami receives stimulus funds for study of hurricane impacts on structures, ecosystems
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