LSU CEE Professor Sun Designs Modeling To Study Wind-Wave Surge

Associate Professor Chao SunMarch 24, 2023 

BATON ROUGE, LA – As the climate warms, coastal areas are experiencing stronger winds, higher storm surges, and record rainfall during hurricane season. This is why hurricanes in recent years have become more destructive and costly.

LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Chao Sun is using a $20,000 Board of Regents grant to design high-fidelity modeling to simulate wind surge and wave flows that will be important in resilient design of coastal buildings and infrastructure systems.

“This project aims to develop computational models to simulate the coupled extreme wind-wave flows to better understand the wind turbulences over waves and wind-driving effects on wave breaking,” Sun said. “Then, we can accurately quantify the joint wind-wave loading on coastal structures.”

Using OpenFOAM and large eddy simulation, Sun will research the development of a multi-phase flow model to simulate physically coupled and highly turbulent wind-surge-wave flows and quantify combined wind-surge-wave loading on elevated low-rise buildings via high-fidelity computational modeling.

“This is fundamental research that applies to locations with extreme winds, surge, and waves along the Gulf Coast and East Coast, which are hurricane-prone areas,” he said.

Sun has been a faculty member in the LSU College of Engineering since 2015, and his research areas include multi-hazards mitigation for coastal and offshore structures; vibration-based system identification and damage detection; and energy harvesting from ambient vibrations and oceans; among other dynamics-related areas.

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Contact: Libby Haydel
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