Flood Modeling 3D Lab for Civil Engineering


Flooding can lead to significant damage and loss of life. Flood planning is critical to mitigating losses in the event of disasters. In most civil engineering programs that teach about flood planning, it is not economically viable to develop a physical laboratory setup to simulate flood scenarios. A simulated flood based on a 2008 flood in Northwest Indiana was modeled to provide a virtual laboratory using HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS models but only in the form of numbers or graphs. A three dimensional (3D) virtual lab module was needed to engage civil engineering students to explore flooding case studies, visualize hydraulic simulation results, and improve learning about flood planning.

NIST: AMTech Planning Grant

A collection of images showing CIVS simulations and visitors watching the visualizations with 3D glasses.

In order to maintain global competitiveness, steel manufacturing in the U.S. needs to optimize its manufacturing capabilities, and improve both efficiency and workforce training. Newly developed and emerging simulation and visualization technologies have recently provided efficient, effective, and economical tools for improving process and product design, troubleshooting, optimization, and workplace safety, while also providing state-of-the-art, cost-effective, and efficient workforce training to address debilitating skill gaps.

Power Plant – Water Inlet System

3D views of the circulating inlet system

NIPSCO’s Bailly Generating Station draws water from Lake Michigan to be used as a coolant. However, sand from the lake is also brought into the water inlet system. This sand must be cleaned out periodically to prevent buildup and damage to equipment. NIPSCO would like to have a study performed to evaluate its Bailly Generating Station’s water inlet system for sand accumulation problem.

Sinter Cooler Simulation for Optimization and Design

Geometry of the sinter cooler

The sinter cooler is a tall rotary cooler with permeable metallic hearth and it is used to cool the hot sinter particles before they can be charged into the blast furnace. The cooling efficiency of the sinter cooler is significant to productivity and the sinter quality. In addition, reducing cooling time by optimizing the operation conditions can save energy. The cooling efficiency of the sinter cooler depends upon the operating conditions and configuration of the cooler geometry. In this study, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) had been employed to simulate the sinter cooler process. The parametric study was carried out to investigate the effects of operating conditions and evaluate the efficiency of an alternative design.

QBOP Vessel Numerical Optimization for Minimizing Kidney Formation

QBOP Vessel Sketch and Computational Geometry

The QBOP process for steelmaking is a variation of the basic oxygen process (BOP), which involves blowing high-purity oxygen through a bath of molten pig iron. Figure 1 shows the sketch of a QBOP vessel which is used in the production of low-alloy steel. The QBOP vessels being investigated experience excessive material buildup (“kidney”) on the mouth of the vessel. The buildup on the mouth pushes the steel bath back over the top of taphole which leads to unwanted slag carryover. Additionally, costly and timely vessel maintenance is required to remove the buildup on the mouth.