Making Waves - Engineers help Navy design better ships

This pool isn't for swimming. It's a $4.9 million facility that builds on The University of Iowa's longstanding partnership with the U.S. Navy and promises to yield better ship designs.

IIHR–Hydroscience & Engineering unveiled its Wave Basin Facility in December. Built with $3 million from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and $1.9 million in internal funds, the basin features a 40x20x3 meter tank for testing scale-model ships under a variety of real-world conditions.

These tests support existing IIHR work with simulation-based design—using computer models to assess how ships behave in storms, for example, or how bubbles form in breaking waves.

The UI-Navy connection goes back more than 50 years, and has helped make the University a world leader in hydrodynamics research. To learn more about IIHR's history, check out this month's "Old Gold" feature.

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video by
Kirk Murray &
Ben Hill

© The University of Iowa 2009