Faculty member Jose Vasconcelos is studying and characterizing the motion of entrapped air pockets in storm water collection systems to prevent sewer and tunnel overflow. Damaging surges and geysers during heavy rainfalls have led to investigations aimed at identifying the causes of these problems. Vasconcelos and researchers at the University of Michigan, Ryerson University and the University of New Orleans have determined that entrapped air pockets in pressurized water flows have a major impact on the dynamics of tunnel flows. To improve safety and effectiveness of storm water systems, Vasconcelos’ research is aimed towards safe removal of air pockets by identifying the best locations and sizes of ventilation structures in storm water tunnel systems.
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