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Message from the Director: July 2020

Posted on July 16th, 2020

Dear IIHR Alumni and Friends,

A man in a Hawkeye-themed mask stands at the entrance to the Stanley Hydraulics LabI hope this finds you and your families in good health and good humor! Like you, we are facing the challenges presented by current circumstances day by day, keeping our priorities in mind as we navigate these difficult times. I am proud of how IIHR is weathering this crisis, and how well our people are adapting and rising to a new level of professionalism.

I would like to quickly update you on the reopening of IIHR and the University of Iowa. We are part of a phased reopening process that is allowing essential personnel and some researchers to return to campus, following guidelines and processes designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19. Many of our staff and faculty continue to work at home, but those whose research is deemed a priority or particularly timely have begun to return to campus. Most of our activities are staying on track, and the people who have returned to campus are learning to work together safely — for instance, our shop staff are back at work constructing a new model.

Recent events have also made many of us think hard about our actions and attitudes and how they affect our colleagues and friends of color. We have had meaningful, sometimes hard, conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about how we can work together to advocate for and take actions that will lead to positive change.

On a lighter note, I am happy to share the news that, with our partners at Hancher Auditorium, the City of Iowa City, and the College of Engineering, we have rescheduled The Big Splash! festivities for August 26–28, 2022. This will coincide with Hancher’s 50th anniversary and the University of Iowa’s 175th birthday. I hope you will join us for this event, which promises to be a magnificent celebration! We will have details of IIHR’s rescheduled centennial activities to share with you soon; our events will likely be timed to complement The Big Splash!

If you had plans to attend the Eighth International Conference on Flood Management (ICFM8), you may already know that the conference has been rescheduled for August 9–11, 2021. More details are available on the conference website (

On another topic, over the past year, we have dedicated significant effort to the creation of a new strategic plan for IIHR, including updated mission, vision, and value statements. Please watch for this document, which will be released soon!

I look forward to seeing everyone in 2022, if not sooner! As always, feel free to reach out to me ( anytime. Thank you for your ongoing support and friendship.


Signature of Gabriele Villarini.

Gabriele Villarini
Director, IIHR
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

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