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Wave Basin 650In 1954, Prof. Louis Landweber came to the University of Iowa from the U.S. Navy David Taylor Model Basin (now the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division).  Since then the naval hydrodynamics research program at the University of Iowa has been steadily growing in capabilities and infrastructure.  IIHR now boasts the distinction of having both a 100 m towing tank, a 20 x 40 m wave basin, and powerful in-house software for investigation and modeling of naval hydrodynamics phenomena related to vessel propulsion, resistance, maneuvering, and seakeeping.

With funding from the Office of Naval Research, we are bringing this tradition of excellence in naval hydrodynamics to undergraduates and high school students.  Undergraduates can earn a Certificate in Naval Hydrodynamics, by taking courses that provide an in-depth education in theoretical fluid mechanics, as well as laboratory and computational methods for the investigation of fluid flows and the challenges associated with propulsion, resistance, maneuvering and seakeeping of vessels.  Students involved in the naval hydrodynamics curriculum will have opportunities to work on open-ended projects in which they will address and solve technical problems of interest to the Navy, and will have opportunities to interact with engineers and scientists in the Navy and supporting industry.  Projects will be conducted in a novel laboratory community, the IIHR Fluids Workshop, in which students will have opportunities to work with modern facilities, instrumentation, and computational tools, supported by a knowledge base and community of peers.  High school students will be engaged through outreach programs designed to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) principles inspired by hydrodynamics problems in naval architecture.


Computational Fluid Dynamics

IIHR researchers are leaders in the field of computational fluid dynamics.

CFD Image

A Storied History

IIHR has a long and distinguished history in the field of naval hydrodynamics. This model ship hull was used for research in the 1940s.

Model ship hull from the 1940s.

Cutting-edge Research

James Buchholz (right) and student members of his team at work in the lab.

James Buchholz (right) and student members of his team in the lab.

Fast Attack Submarine

U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 2nd Class Scott Taylor

U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 2nd Class Scott Taylor


propeller/rudder interaction and vortical structures during the maneuver

Submarine Hydrodynamics:

Joubert BB2 submarine operating near the surface

Stratified Flow Hydrodynamics:

Athena R/V advancing self-propelled at 10.5 knots in a highly stratified ocean with Kitimat density distribution. Self-propulsion results in a net momentum-less wake.

Last modified on July 5th, 2016
Posted on September 21st, 2015