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.  
  • Gas exchange at the air-water interface under the influence of different turbulence generating mechanisms
  • 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.


Technical Hydraulics

This research division is concerned with hydraulic and fluid mechanical problems that guarantee technically safe and environmentally acceptable design and operation of hydraulic structures and systems. Physical model studies, as well as analytical and numerical methods are utilized to arrive at innovative design solutions.


  • Design of flow control structures such as weirs, sluice gates, inlet and other structues.
  • Evaluation of hydrodynamic loads on steel control devices, including design safety.
  • Computation of open channel flow and backwater curves (e.g. numerical program HEC-RAS).
  • Studies on channel bed stability and design of energy dissipation structures.
  • Investigation of closed conduit and pipe flow systems, including local energy losses for special geometries, pipe network design.
  • Hydraulic optimization of water supply and waste water treatment installations, including design of disposal structures for cooling water or treated waste water discharges into different water bodies; studies on flows containing sediment or gas mixtures.
  • Development of physical modeling techniques and measurement methods

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