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TNWRRC Newsletter

Fall 2016

FY 2017 WRRIP RFP

Each year, the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TNWRRC) funds projects through the US Geological Survey’s 104B program as instituted by the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. Pre-proposals are due by October 14, 2016

PI Spotlight

Jon Hathaway earns NSF CAREER award
Jon Hathaway, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, recently earned a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his work in sustainable urban water management.

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pic of Jon Hathaway

Research Focus Areas

picture of bank erosion
Bank erosion is a problem
There is growing evidence that much of the sediment load in some streams comes from the channels/banks rather than upland areas, as channels adjust to altered flow regimes. Eroded bank soils trigger losses from fertile farm lands, as well as elevate turbidity and Phosphorus levels in the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico.

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picture of bank erosion
The Mississippi River Basin (MRB) Network:
A NIWR-USGS Center for Understanding the Hydrologic, Nutrient, and Sediment Cycle of Intensively Managed Landscapes across scales


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Recent Highlights

TNWRRC Advisory Board
TNWRRC recently re-established the Statewide Advisory Board to support the research and outreach programs at TNWRRC. The Board met on July 11, 2016 at the Tennessee Water Science Center (USGS ) in Nashville to set research priorities for FY 2017.
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NHEC Conference Highlights

Thanos Papanicolaou, professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee and TNWRRC Director, traveled to Portland, Oregon for the 2016 National Hydraulic Engineering Conference in August. The conference hosts researchers and engineers from both state and federal Departments of Transportation, as well as from universities and consulting firms across the country.

Papanicolaou, as director of the UTK Hydraulics & Sedimentation Lab, presented his team’s groundbreaking work with Radio Frequency ID tags (RFID). Papanicolaou and his team are using the RFIDs as a new technology (patent pending) that looks for the underwater safety of bridge structures. 

His talk, titled “Scour Monitoring around Hydraulic Structures with RFIDs,” highlighted the results from past work that shows the RFIDs are detectable buried in sediments over 40 ft. deep. The return signal strength received from the RFIDs relates to amount of sediment over top of them. The RFIDs provide a reliable monitoring, inspection, and life estimation tool to measure in real-time the scour around bridge piers. With more than 150,000 bridges across the United States that are vulnerable to scour, this tool is much safer and more cost-effective than current methods. This work will ultimately translate to an inexpensive, automated bridge monitoring system with the potential applications for other critical infrastructure, such as dams, levees, or other near-shore structures.

UT Watershed Symposium
"Careers in Water" the focus of the 5th Annual Watershed Symposium at UT held September 13, 2016.
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Upcoming Events

Seminar—Jerald Bales, USGS Chief Water Scientist, will be giving a seminar at UT on Monday, September 26, 2016 from 3:30-5:00 in the John D. Tickle Building
Upcoming conference—Tennessee Stormwater Association Conference, October 18-20, 2016, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Pikeville, TN

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Contact Us

Tennessee Water Resources Research Center
311 Conference Center Building
Knoxville, TN 37996
P: 865-974-2151
F: 865-974-1838
E: tnwrrc@utk.edu

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