Angelo State’s new, state of the art hydraulic flow simulator


SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Civil Engineering department at Angelo State University recently installed a state of the art GUNT H-162 Hydraulic Flow Simulator. The simulator, or flume, allows users to simulate a number of different upstream and downstream conditions involving the flow of fluids that students might encounter in their professional lives after they finish school. We spoke to Dr. Aldo Piñón Villarreal, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Angelo State about the machine and how it will affect teaching, learning, and research in the department.

“The GUNT H-162 Hydraulic Flow Simulator helps us to have a deeper impact in the way that we teach here in our water resources engineering classes in the civil engineering program,” said Dr Piñón Villarreal, “We train the students to be better prepared with the instruments that they will use in their job so by the time they get to work in the industry they are much better prepared than students that weren’t exposed to this type of equipment.”

“Basically the flume is state of the art equipment,” said Piñón Villarreal, “It’s equipped with sensors for pressure and flow measurement devices all along the working section of the flume. It allows us to control flow rates from fifty to one hundred and fifty cubic meters per second. It allows us to change different degrees in the slope to have negative or positive and use a wide variety of accessories.” 

“They’re better prepared for the work in the irrigation district and the stormwater department and that has relevance because we are seeing more high-intensity storms and higher flooding events in the region,” said Piñón Villarreal, referring to the direct relevance the equipment has to the people of the Concho Valley, “They’ll be able to use what they’re learning here with this equipment and create better designs that account for these higher capacities that they need.”

“The most important thing is for them to link what they’re learning in theory with the real world. Typically they would just look at an equation on the boards and solve it. Sometimes they look at a bench scale, a small apparatus, to get an insight of how water flows really behave in closed or open containers. But having equipment such as this gives us a more realistic feeling of how some of these actual conveyance channels in the city function.”

When asked how students reacted to the new machine, Piñón Villarreal responded, “They love it. Every aspect of it. They get super excited. They really want to be able to use their hands and play with the equipment and see the data coming in real time. This is research that is important, not only for the region, but for the world as well.” 

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