Institute for Hydromechanics

Environmental Fluid Mechanics (EFM)

This research division is aimed at fluid flow and associated heat and mass transport processes that arise in different types of water bodies (river, lakes, resevoirs, coastal water) covering local and regional scales. The interaction of these flow processes with engineering structures and devices is the first major focus of these studies. The second focus is on their response to anthropogenic heat and mass sources with regard to water quality aspects. Examples of current research projects that utilize a combination of analytical, numerical and experimental methods are:



  • Pollutant dispersion in rivers and river systems with pronounced heterogenetis, such as groynes or run-of-the-river reservoirs, including development of existing pollutant alarm modules used by river authorities.


  • Studies of flow instabilities and large-scale coherent structures in shallow flows (wide rivers, coastal regions), including transport and mixing of dissolved and suspended matter.


  • Topograpical effects for stratified flows in lakes or reservoirs.


  • Mixing processes for pollutant discharges into water bodies in form of momentum or buoyant jets, including multiport diffuser devices. Development of PC-based expert systems (e.g CORMIX) for the qualitative description and quantitative forecast of mixing intensities for different water bodies.
  • Suspended sediment dynamics in river and estuarial systems, including effectof salt stratification and associated contaminant adsorption processes.
  • Gas exchange at the air-water interface under the influence of different turbulence generating mechanisms

Building- and Environmental Fluidmechanics

The Laboratory of Building and Environmental Aerodynamics deals with the investigation of flow processes in the atmospheric boundary layer, in particular the interaction with buildings or other obstacles and the transport of pollutants in this region. Experimental studies in wind tunnels, the application of efficient numerical computational methods, and the development of improved measurement techniques are of major interest. Applied research studies are carried out in cooperation or as contractual work with industrial firms or government planning authorities in order to investigate specific projects or locations in terms of building design potimization or nvironmental efects (e.g environmental impact assessment).

  • Spreading of anthropogenic air pollutants in open or build-up acres, influence of thermally induced stratification effects in atmospheric flows.
  • Traffic-induced pollutant transport and construction measures for urban climate improvement.
  • Investigation of natural land surface features (e.g forest belts) as protective measures for pollutant sources and wind erosion.
  • Analysis and optimization of flows in building interiors due to air supply and exhaust openings.
  • Aerodynamic studies on wind effects on structures and buildings fluid dynamic feedback effects, e.g. bridges, highrise, buildings, industrial complexes, cooling towers.