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Hydraulics/Hydrology Seminar Series

Dr. Rafael O. Timoco, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Ubrana-Champaign will be presenting on Friday 10/20 at 2:30 p.m. in HAMP 3153. The subject of the seminar is "Ecohydraulics and Ecomorphodynamics: Experiential Studies on the Role of Bioat-Flow-Sediment Interactions."


Ecohydraulics and Ecomorphodynamics: Experiential Studies on the Role of Bioat-Flow-Sediment Interactions

Dr. Rafael O. Timoco
Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Ubrana-Champaign

Friday, October 20, 2017
2:30 p.m.
HAMP 3153


Interactions and feedbacks between ecological, hydrodynamic, and morphodynamic processes largely affect coastal, riverine and estuarine environments. The presence of submerged and emergent Arrays of Living Organisms (ALOs, including vegetation and benthic populations such as polychaete worms, bivalves, or corals) in natural water bodies generates physical and biological interactions at multiple scales that are yet to be fully understood. Results from several experimental studies will be discussed. First, we’ll focus on characterization of forces exerted by ALOs, using a laboratory, non-intrusive, drag measuring device to directly measure forces on arrays of submerged elements, and how to use the resultant parameters to predict drag forces in canopies of live vegetation. The second part of the talk will focus on the effect of ALOs on sediment transport and resuspension under unidirectional and oscillatory flows. Using arrays of rigid, cylindrical cylinders embedded in a sandy bed to mimic ALOs, it is shown that even if the mean flow speed is significantly damped within dense arrays, the amount of sediment lifted into suspension increases as the density of the array increases due to array- and cylinder-scale turbulence. Finally, we will discuss ongoing experiments on oscillatory flow through flexible vegetation, characterizing the flow using a 3D, volumetric PIV system to determine the effect of plant morphology on sediment resuspension.


Rafael O. Tinoco holds a Civil Engineering degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2005). He conducted his graduate studies at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, where he earned his M.S. (2008) and Ph.D. (2011) in Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology.

After graduation, Dr. Tinoco worked as a lecturer and postdoctoral associate at Cornell University, before taking a postdoctoral researcher position at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of Cantabria. He later returned to Cornell University as a visiting instructor, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses on fluid mechanics and transport and mixing processes, before joining the Faculty at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois during Fall 2015.