Our Projects

Dynamics of Violent Geysers in Stormsewer Systems and Novel Retrofitting Methods

Funding Agency: U.S. National Science Foundation
Period: January 2020 - December 2022
PI: Arturo S. Leon
Co-PI: Cheng-Xian Lin

The intellectual merit of this research is to obtain, for the first time, a fundamental understanding of the two-phase flow physics that trigger geysering in stormsewer systems. Moreover, the two passive retrofitting methods for dropshafts proposed in this work aim to eliminate geysers by ... Read more

Dynamic management of water storage in watersheds for reducing the magnitude of floods

Funding Agency: U.S. National Science Foundation
Period: August 2018-July 2022
PI: Arturo S. Leon
Co-PIs: Craig Glennie and Steven Pennings

This project aims to develop a new approach for flood control based on the dynamic management of water storage in wetlands across the landscape. The strategy will enable adaptive release of water from wetlands hours or days ahead of rainfall events, thereby maximizing storage capacity while at the same time maintaining or increasing wetland ecological function. The objectives of the project are ... Read more

Wetland facility for the University of Houston Coastal Center

Funding Agency: U.S. National Science Foundation
Period: September 2018-August 2022
PI:  Steven Pennings
Co-PIs:  Arturo S. Leon and Stacey Louie

This project will construct a wetlands research facility, the University of Houston Wetland Observatory for Wildlife/Water research (UH WOW), at the University of Houston’s existing field station, the University of Houston Coastal Center (UHCC). The UH WOW facility will be comprised of ... Read more

Demonstration of modeling and intelligent operation of stormwater systems for flood control

Funding Agency: Dankook University, South Korea
Period: August 2018-January 2019
PI: Arturo S. Leon

This seed funding will initiate the implementation of a ‘smart water’ project in South Korea. South Korea situated in East-Asia has suffered losses due to flooding in an amount of $267M only in 2016. Flooding losses in South Korea are significantly increasing and the challenge is especially acute because South Korea urbanization has increased steadily, and shows no signs of abating. This increase in human and asset exposure has set up a collision with climate change, exemplified in South Korea by a series of destructive storm events.

Development of an inundation model for the Lake of Houston

Funding Agency: Rice University, Houston, TX
Period: May 2018-February 2019
PI: Arturo S. Leon

This project is developing an inundation model (2D) for assessing alternatives to mitigate flooding and sedimentation in the Lake of Houston, Houston, TX.

Mid-Braes Bayou resiliency and revitalization community strategic plan

Funding Agency: Rice University, Houston, TX
Period: May 2018-December 2018
PI: Arturo S. Leon

This project is developing alternatives to mitigate flooding as part of the Mid-Braes Bayou Resiliency and Revitalization Community Strategic Plan. A team of researchers from Rice University, the University of Houston (former institution of Dr. Arturo Leon) and Texas Southern University is creating a comprehensive plan to mitigate the impact of flooding along the southwest Brays Bayou neighborhoods (Houston, TX). The massive destruction after Hurricane Harvey has convinced many Houstonians that a comprehensive planning is essential to mitigate the impact of riverine flooding on the Brays Bayou Southwest communities. The technical team is advised by a steering committee representative of major stakeholders in the community, such as the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, the Jewish Family Service, Seven Acres, the greater Meyerland Super Neighborhood, and City Council member Ellen Cohen. The team is also supported by a technical review panel, represented by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, City of Houston Planning Department, Harris County Flood Control District and various other experts representing key development areas.

Framework for quantification of risk and valuation of flexibility in the FCRPS

Funding Agency: US Department of Energy-Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)
Period: November 2015-October 2018
PI: Arturo S. Leon
Co-PIs:  Nathan Gibson (Mathematics, OSU), Christopher Hoyle (Mechanical Engineering, OSU), Yong Chen (Economics, OSU), Claudio Fuentes (Statistics, OSU).

The results of this research will allow the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to balance capabilities and resources in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) by providing the flexibility to better utilize resources to maximize revenue, without wasting resources due to uncertainties in operation or the market. The accurate quantification and valuation of flexibility will provide guidance to BPA on when to optimally move electricity generation from one period to another, which would allow BPA to maximize revenue while increasing the reliability of the operation of reservoirs in the FCRPS to meet the electricity demands in the Pacific North West. Read more

Development of a state-of-the-art computational framework and platform for the optimal control of multi-reservoir systems under uncertainty

Funding Agency: US Department of Energy-Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)
Period: September 2012-October 2015
PI: Arturo S. Leon
Co-PIs:  Nathan Gibson (Mathematics, OSU), Christopher Hoyle (Mechanical Engineering, OSU)

We propose to develop a robust and computationally efficient framework for the real-time operation of multi-objective and multi-reservoir systems that accounts for uncertainty and flexibility.  In pursuit of this goal, we will devise a novel methodology for the incorporation of uncertainty into the system, investigate hybrid optimization approaches, allow for scalable parallelization in our numerical methods and combine all components into an integrated platform with a user-friendly graphical interface. Read more

Early Career: Prediction and quantification of CSOs in combined sewer systems under extreme storm events: Extreme events, Flow dynamics, Reduction of CSOs

Funding Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Period: June 2012-May 2017
PI: Arturo S. Leon

The overall goal of the proposed research is to develop an overflow framework for the prediction and quantification of time-dependent overflow rates (e.g., CSOs) especially when the flow in the combined sewer system is highly dynamic (e.g., extreme events). The specific objectives of the research are ... Read more

Previous projects

  • Project: Multi-purpose river hydraulics research facility (March 2012-December 2013)
    Description: Design and construction management of the “Multi-purpose river hydraulics research facility”. The river facility consists of a re-circulating system with a 20 m x 8 m concrete slab (platform for experiments), two independent head tanks, a sediment catchment, a clean water sump, pumps, and impulsion and return pipe lines. This hydraulic facility has been designed to accommodate two simultaneous and independent experiments. Any of these experiments could use flows up to 1000 L/s (~ 35 cfs). This river facility is a multi-purpose testing system that could be used for a large set of research projects such as flood control, reservoir sedimentation, density currents, erosion and scour, aquatic habitat, stream restoration, fish passage, hydraulic structure testing and dam removal (See webpage).
    Funding Agency: Research Equipment Reserve Fund, Oregon State University (RERF - OSU)
    PI: Arturo Leon

  • Project: Design and Construction Management of a 10m-long flume (October 2011-March 2012)
    Description: Design and construction management of a 10 m long semi-circular (D = 18'') recirculatory flume. This facility is located in Graf Hall (OSU) and is intended to be used for academic purposes but it can be used for small-scale research. The maximum flow discharge is 10 liters per second. (See webpage)
    PI: Arturo Leon
    Funding Agency: Oregon State University

  • Project: Development and Demonstration of an Improved Ranking Algorithm for Fish Passage through Culverts (March 2012-December 2012)
    Description: The overall goal of the research is to develop a computer algorithm to allow scientists and engineers to quickly determine if a culvert is acting as a fish passage barrier. Leon’s work focus in CFD simulations for the generation of two-dimensional velocity maps that are used in the fish passage analysis.
    Funding Agency: Federal Highway Administration/CTME
    PI: Hans Tritico
    Co-PI: Arturo Leon, Jose Vasconcelos

  • Project: Omaha combined storm-sewer system (April 2012-August 2012)
    Description: Troubleshooting on the use of the Illinois Transient Model for the analysis of flow dynamics in the Omaha (Nebraska) Combined Storm-sewer system.
    Funding Agency: Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Inc.
    PI: Arturo Leon

  • Project: Water Resources in a Changing Climate (2009-2012)
    Description: The focus of this project is to address basic research questions about potential effects of climate change on Idaho's hydrology. The main function of my research group is: (1) Design and develop real-time reservoir operation schemes, adaptive water management strategies under climate change, floods and drought conditions, (2) Develop and Apply advanced computer technology, decision support systems, mathematical programming and artificial intelligence involving reservoir planning, management and operations for water supply, hydropower, flood control, irrigation, wastewater management and conjunctive use of ground water and surface water in the Snake River (Idaho) and tributaries, and (3) Develop Dam safety risk assessment, analysis and modeling of dams and application of uncertainty analysis.
    Funding Agency: NSF EPSCoR program.

  • Project: Dallas combined storm-sewer system (June-August 2010)
    Description: Troubleshooting on the use of the Illinois Transient Model for the analysis of flow dynamics in the Dallas Combined Storm-sewer system.
    Funding Agency: Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Inc.

  • Project: Transient study of the Desplaines and Mainstream TARP system, Chicago (March 2009-July 2009)
    Description: Application of the Illinois Transient Model (ITM) for simulating the formation and propagation of hydraulic transients in the Desplaines and Mainstream system of the TARP project, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of six complex hydraulic systems in the TARP System, Chicago, USA (November 2008-February 2009)
    Description: Curves of pressure head versus flow discharge for six complex hydraulic systems were obtained using the CFD model FLOW-3D. Each system included pumping stations, spillways, chutes, tidal gates, channel diversions and drop shafts.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Modeling of the Calumet and Mainstream / Des Plaines TARP Systems, Chicago, USA (July-December 2008)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate.
    Description: Developing a hydrologic/hydraulic model for simulating overland flows, street flows, Curb-and-grate inlet flows and pipe flows in the Chicago city area. For the street and pipe flows a Finite volume-shock-capturing scheme was used.
    Collaborator: Prof. Leonardo Nania (Spain)
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Study for eleven Low-Head Dams in Illinois (2008)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate.
    Description: Structures for boat and fish passage at eleven dam sites in Illinois were proposed previously based on Laboratory studies. Currently, we are working on CFD analysis of the dams including the modifications proposed.
    Funding Agency: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Project: Geysering in a U-tube (May 2008 - July 2008)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate.
    Description: Performing Experimental and numerical tests (using CFD and a 1D transient model) of transient flows in a U-tube with the objective of evaluating the conditions that would lead to geysering. 
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Hydraulic Conveyance for the Saint Clair River. International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) (November 2007 -  2008)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate.
    Description: Analysis of the conveyance of the Saint Clair River system. Hydraulic Performance Graphs (HPG's) were generated to assess the influence of the Lakes Huron and Saint Clair on the conveyance of the Saint Clair River. 
    Funding Agency: International Joint Commission (IJC).

  • Project: Experimental and CFD Modeling of a Vortex Flow Restrictor (November 2007 - February 2008)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate.
    Description: Performing Experimental study and Numerical analysis (using CFD) of a vortex flow restrictor (VFR). A VFR is a device installed at inlets or manholes to limit storm runoff entering a Combined Sewer System.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Phase I Modeling of the Calumet and Mainstream / Des Plaines TARP Systems, Chicago, USA (2007-2009)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate
    Description: (1) Development of a numerical model for simulating the development, propagation, coalescence and release of air pockets in pipelines, (2) Conveyance analysis of the TARP systems, (3) Numerical modeling of possible geysering and transient phenomena in the TARP systems associated to heavy rainfall events, and (4) Impact of gate closures in the generation of transients.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.
     

  • Project: Safe yield and Sedimentation analysis of Valenciano reservoir, Juncos, Puerto Rico (March 2007- May 2007)
    Position: Post-doctoral Research Associate
    Description: (1) Analysis of the sedimentation progress in the Valenciano reservoir (including deposition of sediments by turbidity currents) and (2) Safe yield analysis with and without sediments.
    Funding Agency: CSA Group, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Project: Tunnel and Reservoir Plan Project (TARP) Phase II, Chicago, USA (2003-2008)
    Position: Research Assistant
    Description: (1) Development of a mathematical and numerical model for the modeling of unsteady free surface flows, unsteady pressurized flows and the simultaneous occurrence of free surface and pressurized flows for complex tunnel networks (Finite volume & shock tracking-capturing schemes). This model is named the Illinois Transient Model (ITM), (2) Development of a mathematical and numerical model for the modeling of unsteady two-phase (air-water) waterhammer flows (Finite volume & shock capturing schemes), and (3) Applications of the developed models to simulate the formation and propagation of hydraulic transients in the Calumet system of the TARP project, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: The Botanical Gardens at the University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico (June 2005 – August 2005)
    Position: Research Assistant
    Description: Numerical modeling to determine the horizontal and vertical configuration
    of the Rio Piedras channel along the campus of the university and design of the upstream energy dissipation structure. 
    Funding Agency: The University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico.

  • Project: Tunnel and Reservoir Plan Project (TARP) Phase I, Chicago, USA (2003)
    Position: Research Assistant
    Description: Development of a numerical model to determine the hydraulic capacity of each component of the Calumet TARP system, Chicago, Illinois.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Sedimentation management in combined sewer overflow storage reservoirs using water jets  (2003)
    Position: Research Assistant
    Description: Assisted performing experiments on water jets for removal of sediment.
    Funding Agency: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Project: Exploratory study of flow-particle interaction using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)  (2003)
    Position: Research Assistant
    Description: Development of a numerical code for the tracking of sand particles in water flows. Thousands of frames are analyzed in order to get information on flow turbulence and particles carried by the flow.
    Funding Agency: The Marine Geophysics Program of the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

  • Project: Infrastructure design of Cerro Yanacocha Stage 4, Cajamarca, Peru. (2002)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A.
    Description: Design of channels, culverts, detention ponds, dams, energy dissipation structures, spillways, sediment control structures, surface and underground drainage, etc.
    Funding Agency: Minera Yanacocha S.R.L.

  • Project: Infrastructure design of Carachugo Stage 8, Cajamarca, Peru.  (2002)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A. 
    Description: Design of channels, culverts, sediment/erosion control structures and energy dissipation structures.
    Funding Agency: Minera Yanacocha S.R.L.

  • Project: Upper Arkansas River Restoration Project, Colorado, USA. (September – December 2001)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A. 
    Description:  Design of drop structures, sediment/erosion control structures and detention ponds.
    Funding Agency: Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado, USA.

  • Project: Definitive study for Huachuacaja Tailing Dam, Cerro de Pasco, Peru.  (2001)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A.
    Description: Water balance, design of spillways, channels and sediment/erosion control
    structures.
    Funding Agency: Sociedad Minera El Brocal S.A.

  • Project: Pallca Hydrogeological Study, Ancash, Peru (2001)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A.
    Description: Calculation of flows at tunnel galleries.
    Funding Agency: Mitsui Mining

  • Project: Hydrologic study of Conococha Lake, Ancash, Peru. (2001)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A.
    Description: Hydrological studies including surface flow measurements, measurement of infiltration, water balance, etc.
    Funding Agency: Minera Antamina S.A.

  • Project: Control structure of Conococha Lake, Ancash, Perú.  (2001)
    Position: Staff Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer of Knight Piesold Consuting S.A.
    Description: Hydraulic design of the control structure of Conococha Lake.
    Funding Agency: Minera Antamina S.A.

  • Project: Improvement and Construction of the Yura-Patahuasi-Santa Lucía Road to asphalt surface - Section IV, 50 km.  (1999-2000)
    Position: Assistant Engineer 2 of COSAPI S.A.
    Description: Hydraulic and structural design of more than 100 hydraulic structures, and field responsible of surface drainage and sediment/erosion control.
    Funding Agency: Ministry of Transport and Communications, MTC, Peru.

  • Project: Protection of the piers of the Girasoles and Naña bridges, Rimac River, Chaclacayo, Lima (1998)
    Position: Independent Consultant Engineer
    Description: Study for the protection of the piers of the Girasoles and Naña bridges
    Funding Agency: DGAS - INRENA – Ministry of Agriculture, Peru

  • Project: Hydraulic, Hydrologic and Geotechnic studies for the construction of the Omaya and Uviato bridges, La Convención, Cusco, Peru.  (1998)
    Position: Independent Consultant Engineer
    Description: Hydrologic and hydraulic studies for the design of the Omaya and Uviato bridges.
    Funding Agency: Proyecto Especial Sierra Centro Sur

  • Project: Underground excavation of Tunnel I Chiara – Chontaca and associated works to the east, siphons and aqueducts. Chiara-Chontaca, Ayacucho, Peru (January 1996 -April 1996)
    Position: Assistant of Field Engineer (Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo - INADE)
    Description: Quality control of the construction of several hydraulic structures (canals, water intakes and sediment/erosion control structures)
    Funding Agency: Proyecto Rio Cachi (INADE), Peru

  • Project: Construction of different facilities (channels, reservoirs, culverts, roads, etc.) for various local communities: Cangallo, Vilcas Huamán, Ocros, Tambillo, etc. – Ayacucho, Peru. (1994-1995)
    Position: Assistant of Field Engineer EL AGUA S.R.LTDA
    Description: Quality control of the construction of several hydraulic structures and assistant in the design of various hydraulic structures (water intakes, canals, sediment/erosion control structures).
    Funding Agency: Proyecto Rio Cachi, Proyecto Sierra Centro Sur, and Foncodes, Peru.

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