SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Engineering Department at Angelo State University is home to a flow simulator that replicates natural weather conditions that can be seen when students get out of school. The simulator has a wide variety of settings including 20 spillway options and a floodgate that can release up to 660 gallons of water every minute.
“It’s one of the largest pieces of equipment that we have in the whole university here in the engineering department,” said Dr. Aldo Pinon Villareal. “It’s called the gunt H. M. 162. Hydraulic simulator.”
The German engineering device comes with a 170,000 dollar price tag but is well worth it as it allows students to capture real-world environments through its open-channel simulations.
“We use the plume to study the interaction between fluid and the structure,” said Mechanical Engineering professor, Manuel Garcia “So the fluid passes through a strip of plastic in this case and it will deform it while we want to study how much the fluid is deforming the structure. What are the properties of the structure that makes the deformation?”
They also say that the device helps them study topics outside of weather events.
“What we can do is produce a mathematical model, a computational model that will allow us to extrapolate to other situations like in the biological scenario of an artery,” said Garcia.
To learn more about the Simulator and how it is used in Angelo State’s engineering department, visit www.angelo.edu/departments/engineering/