Dr. Constantinescu is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa and a research engineer at the IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering.
Dr. Constantinescu’s main research interests are in the general areas of large-scale numerical simulations, turbulence modeling and applications in environmental hydraulics and river engineering. As part of his involvement with the Iowa Flood Center, Dr. Constantinescu’s research efforts are focusing on numerical simulation of floods in watersheds using 1D Saint-Venant solvers and on numerical simulations of flood propagation in natural environments using fully non-hydrostatic 3-D RANS models with deformable free surface capabilities.
Besides providing a wealth of new detailed information on flood wave propagation and its erosive effect on the loose bed over which it propagates, such computationally-intensive 3-D simulations will be used to assess the performance of common numerical 1-D and 2-D shallow flow solvers used by the Iowa Flood Center and to propose better ways to calibrate these lower-order models commonly used for flood prediction. This is crucial given the lack of detailed validation data existent from direct measurements during floods. The development of a 3-D flood simulation capability will help improve flood monitoring and flood prediction efforts by the Iowa Flood Center and should eventually allow the development of more accurate Flooding Maps by FEMA. This will be a major step forward toward a wider application of such advanced methodologies for river flood research and flood hazard (e.g, dam break type problems generated by sudden failure of hydraulic structures).