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Engineering Labs Get New High-Tech Hydraulic Equipment

May 30, 2019

Angelo State University’s David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering has completed the installation of a new $177,000 hydraulic flow demonstrator that will be used for civil engineering teaching and research in the Hunter Strain Engineering Labs.

ASU engineering's new G.U.N.T. hydraulic flow demonstrator ASU engineering's new G.U.N.T. hydraulic flow demonstratorAlso called an open-channel flume, the new equipment was custom built by the G.U.N.T. Gerätebau GmbH engineering equipment company in Hamburg, Germany, to fit ASU’s teaching and research requirements and the available lab space. G.U.N.T. technicians have also provided extensive training for ASU engineering faculty and lab technicians.

Dr. Aldo Piñón-Villarreal Dr. Aldo Piñón-Villarreal“Our students will use the flume in our water resources engineering classes,” said Dr. Aldo Piñón-Villarreal, assistant professor of civil engineering. “These are fluid mechanics, hydrology and hydraulics, and hydraulic system design. Students will learn about the energy, momentum and forces present in open-channel water flows, which are applicable to hydraulic structures such as stormwater conveyance systems, irrigation channels and dam spillways.”

The Hunter Strain Engineering Labs already featured a much smaller flume, which will remain in use. The new larger flume offers additional options for regulating and changing water flow rates, angles and patterns, as well as additional sensors for measuring flow rates and pressure, and for collecting data.

Clint Hudson Clint Hudson“When you’re talking about water flow, you’re talking about rivers, lakes and larger bodies of water like that,” said Clint Hudson, engineering lab technician. “With our smaller flume, students can only learn how to measure very small flow rates. We will now be able to up the size for them to be able to get closer to what they’ll actually be measuring as an engineer.”

“We have a lot of lab classes where students will use this flume,” he added, “and they will also have access to it for conducting any type of research that they want. It will fulfill the needs for our labs, as well as any faculty or student research. It really supplements the other equipment we have, and it’s the final step to make sure our students have the finest equipment possible.”

Funding for the new flume came from the final installment of the five-year, $2.87 million U.S. Department of Education grant ASU was awarded in 2015 to implement the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program.