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Environmental Fluid Dynamics

The Environmental Fluid Dynamics Group studies flow and transport in a diverse range of environmental systems, including the atmosphere, the oceans, lakes, streams and subsurface environments (e.g. groundwater, oil) as well as the interfaces that connect these diverse systems. Our work focuses on understanding the fundamental processes in these systems in such a way as to improve our ability to work harmoniously with Nature so as to better design infrastructure to mitigate against natural disasters, better manage and remediate air and water quality across all environments, improve our ability to forecast weather in extreme environments and develop sustainable plans to deal with future conditions that will evolve under climate change. Our work encompasses laboratory and field scale experiments, the development of improved theories and the development and application of cutting edge numerical models.

The EFD’s research current interests include

Hurricane environments
Global Climate Change
Water Resources (now and under changing climate)
Coastal and Inland Inundation
Air-sea interaction
Weather Prediction in Mountainous Environments
Groundwater Contamination and Remediation
Atmospheric and Oceanic boundary layers
Small-scale turbulence and mixing processes
Air pollution
Global climate change
CO2 sequestration
Lake Hydrology and Associated Biogeochemistry
Jet, wake and plume dynamics,
Stratified and rotating flow dynamics,
Wind-structure interaction,
Internal and inertial waves
Wave-current interaction,
Urban sustainability
Wind wave dynamics
Sediment transport
Indoor Air Quality

The Environmental Fluid Dynamics group, in par with their commitment to the above research, is committed to educating our students so that they can becomes future leaders in the field with the goal of using their knowledge to serve mankind and improve quality of life both locally and across the world as a whole. Our students are exposed to many aspects of environmental fluid dynamics through classes they take towards attaining their degree, abundant opportunities to work closely with our faculty and perform innovative research as well as participation in local education and outreach activities in schools and local parks, where we strive to educate our local population, of all ages, to help solve local problems and demonstrate sustainable solutions to currently pressing issues.

Core Faculty

Edward L. Bensman  
Research Associate Professor
Ph.D. Florida State University, 2000

Physical and dynamic meteorology; numerical weather prediction; high performance computing; spectral and finite difference modeling; mesoscale meteorology; tropical meteorology; cloud microphysics; boundary layer processes; modeling mesoscale meteorological phenomena such as thunderstorms, sea breeze, lake effect, and tropical cyclones; building decision support systems; meteorological instrumentation; data assimilation; satellite and airborne remote sensing.


Diogo Bolster
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, 2007

Environmental fluid dynamics (analytical, experimental and laboratory): transport and reactive flows in heterogeneous porous media; multiphase flows in porous media (related to CO2 sequestration); buoyancy driven flows; mixing; sustainable building ventilation; contaminant transport in low energy ventilated spaces; risk analysis; vortex rings.

Kenneth Christensen
Professor and the College of Engineering Collegiate Chair in Fluid Mechanics
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001

Fluid mechanics; experimental studies of complex flow phenomena relevant to energy, environmental and geophysical applications; turbulent boundary layer interactions with complex topography; turbulence-bedform coupling in both aeolian and subaqueous environments; multi-phase flow in heterogeneous porous media with application to carbon dioxide sequestration and enhanced oil recovery; development of quantitative laser-based diagnostics.


Harindra Joseph S. Fernando
Wayne and Diana Murdy Professor
Ph. D. The Johns Hopkins University, 1983

Fluid mechanics; specifically turbulence in homogeneous, stratified, and rotating flows; double-diffusive phenomena; multiphase flows; oceanic and atmospheric flows, especially boundary layers and transport processes; industrial fluid mechanics; energy storage and extraction, urban air pollution; sustainability engineering, remote sensing.

Alan Hamlet

Alan F. Hamlet

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, 2006

Surface water hydrology; hydroclimatology and hydrologic extremes; hydrologic modeling; water resources planning and management; impacts of climate variability and climate change on hydrology, water resources, the built environment, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; renewable energy systems.


Andrew B. Kennedy
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Monash University, Australia, 1998

Coastal engineering; theoretical, computational and experimental techniques for nearshore waves, currents, and storm surge; coastal geomorphology; development and use of remote sensing techniques in the coastal zone.


Iossif Lozovatsky
Research Professor
Ph.D. Russian Academy of Sciences, 1975

Physical oceanography; oceanic turbulence, microstructure, fine structure; nonlinear internal waves; ocean and coastal ocean boundary layers; air-sea interaction and corresponding mixing in the oceanic upper turbulent layer; nonlinear internal waves and turbulence in shallow marginal seas; turbulence closure for stratified flows using field data and laboratory experiments.

Marc Francois Muller
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2015

Water resources management (particularly in data-scarce developing countries); surface and groundwater hydrology; satellite-based remote sensing; transboundary water allocation; streamflow prediction in ungauged catchments; rural electrification; stochastic modeling; applied statistics; game theory; micro hydropower; infrastructure design; sustainability.

David H. Richter
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Stanford University, 2011

Fluid mechanics; multiphase environmental flows; turbulence in the atmosphere and ocean; particle-laden turbulence; computational fluid dynamics; air-sea exchange processes; transport and turbulence in the high-wind marine boundary layer


Joannes J. Westerink
Notre Dame Chair in Computational Hydraulics and Henry J. Massman Department Chairman
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984

Computational fluid mechanics; finite element methods; modeling of circulation and transport in coastal seas and oceans; tidal hydrodynamics; hurricane storm surge prediction; geophysical turbulence modeling; numerical modeling of the convection-diffusion and Navier-Stokes equations; environmental fluid mechanics.


Damrongsak Wirasaet
Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, 2007

Computational fluid mechanics; numerical modeling of the convection-diffusion and Navier-Stokes equations; discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods; modeling of circulation and transport in coastal seas and oceans.


Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory

Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory

Andrew Kennedy

Computational Hydraulics Laboratory

Computational Hydraulics Laboratory

Joannes Westerink

Environmental Fluid Dynamics Lab

Environmental Fluid Dynamics Lab

Joe Fernando

Groundwater Hydrology Lab Cover

Groundwater Hydrology Lab

Diogo Bolster

Land Surface Hydrology and Water Resources Management Laboratory

Alan F. Hamlet

Affiliated Faculty

Julian Hunt

Eliezer Kit

Reneta Dimitrova