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CEE professor authors comprehensive overview of fluid dynamics

The three-volume Free-Surface Flow presents a detailed look at the fluid dynamics of surface water flow.| Short Read
EnlargePortrait of Nikolaos D. Katopodes
IMAGE:  Nikolaos D. Katopodes

The field of fluid mechanics has an important new addition to the literature with the publication of three books by Professor Nikolaos D. Katopodes.

The publication of these books represents the culmination of a project that Katopodes began twenty years ago. He continually revised and improved the text as he taught Flow in Open Channels (CEE 521), Stream, Lake and Estuary Analysis (CEE 590), Environmental Fluid Mechanics (CEE 591), and Free-Surface Flow (CEE621). Katopodes’ former students may recognize many of the concepts in the books from his lectures over the years.

The Free-Surface flow series provides a path for readers to learn the rules of fluid dynamics well enough in order to bend them, and even break them. This delicate process requires respect for existing knowledge without dependence on or unquestionable acceptance of past authorities. Some of the concepts are centuries old. Some of the applications remain the same. But others have changed or altogether disappeared while new challenges have emerged.

The goal of this book series is to ask provocative questions while presenting the fundamentals of the accepted theory of free-surface flow. The book does not necessarily provide new methods of solution, but rather gives the readers enough confidence to seek their own. By exposing the tentativeness of the present state-of-the-art, the book hopes to promote liberation from established methodology and conservatism.

“The books are a teaching aid based on the hypothesis that knowledge of causes, rigorousness of presentation, and fellowship of learning provide the means to understanding the laws governing surface water dynamics,” said Katopodes.

EnlargeCovers of three books in Free-Surface Flow series
IMAGE:  The three books in the Free-Surface Flow series

The first volume, Free-surface flow: Environmental fluid mechanics, introduces a range of environmental flow problems that cover a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Basic concepts are introduced with a focus on environmental and geophysical problems and solutions.

The second volume, Free-surface flow: Shallow water dynamics, presents a novel approach to the analysis of flow in rivers, lakes and estuaries. It bridges the gap between traditional books on open-channel flow and wave mechanics.

The third volume, Free-surface flow: Computational methods, presents a modern approach to the simulation of free-surface flows, bridging the gap between numerical analysis and applications. The main goal of this book is to provide numerical solutions of the turbulent Navier-Stokes equations in three space dimensions, including the explicit determination of the interface between air and water.

The three volumes of Free-Surface Flow are intended to build upon each other as a comprehensive set, but each volume can also stand on its own.

Portrait of Nikolaos D. Katopodes
Covers of three books in Free-Surface Flow series
Jessica Petras


Jessica Petras
Marketing Communications Specialist

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

(734) 764-9876

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