A hydraulic jump simulation in the lab
A hydraulic jump simulation in the lab.
11 August 2016

A University of Queensland researcher has won a coveted international award for his research in hydraulic engineering, which focuses on a water flow phenomenon known as a “hydraulic jump”.

In the past 50 years, The Lorenz Straub Award has been awarded to only three Australians, and UQ’s School of Civil Engineering Dr Hang Wang has joined those ranks with his 2014 PhD thesis ‘Turbulence and Air Entrainment in Hydraulic Jumps’.

Dr Wang said understanding air-water flow had broad applications for society.

“A hydraulic jump is something you would see when flowing water runs into a barrier and has to slow down, making it jump suddenly,” Dr Wang said.

“Even though we encounter this phenomenon almost every day in our sinks and bathtubs, we still know very little about it at large scales.

 “When you build something like a dam, water mixed with air is always a basic safety concern for the structural integrity of the wall, but understanding oxygen levels is also critical to processes like waste water treatment.

“Basically, I play with bubbles that are entrapped in running water, not that different than those you see filling up a water bottle.”

Since completing his PhD, Dr Wang has worked as a post-doc researcher at UQ and studies a wide range of open channel flows,  including dealing with fundamental fluid mechanics problems and helping to understand issues like ecological impact of man-made waterways on fish migration and environmental conservation.

Dr Wang said his work had greatly benefited from the solid record of systematic research activities at UQ.

“I had an excellent knowledge base to work from thanks to 20 years of research led by my supervisor Professor Hubert Chanson,” he said.

“Being able to physically study hydraulics jumps using the large-size facilities in the hydraulic labs was a huge advantage.”

Dr Wang’s PhD thesis was also awarded the 2014 UQ Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Theses, his publications can be found here.

Media:  Dr Hang Wang, hang.wang@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 3520: UQ Communications, Casey Fung, c.fung@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 8525.