City College of New York

Summer Research Opportunity

Wind Tunnel Studies for Resilient Electric Power Infrastructure


Project Description:

Motivated by the catastrophic hurricane Maria, under the sponsorship of the US National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Education, a team of researchers from City College of New York, and other academic institutions launched the project:  Integrated Socio-Technical Modeling Framework to Evaluate and Enhance Resiliency in Islanded Communities (ERIC) [].  The project main aim is to use Hurricane Maria as learning lesson to research the impacted critical infrastructure to make it more resilient for future extreme events. 

This component of the project consists of quantifying failure modes of power lines.  The approach will consist of: scale sections of power transmission lines (3  or more poles) so that they may fit in wind tunnel experiments; build multiple prototypes such that they representative of the variety of power lines (i.e. size parameters such as the height, and material type); test these samples under simulated extreme weather conditions; and compare with Computational Fluid Mechanics (CFD) simulations.  These prototypes would be tested in a wind tunnel to explore their failure behavior under different wind speeds and soil conditions (saturation levels, and slope) in order to define critical wind speeds before failure. This will be the speed at which the transmission line starts to show damage and ultimately, the speed at which the line completely fails.  Finally, critical wind speeds would be scaled up to the original transmission line size. 

Expected Outcomes:

·       Critical wind speed values for different pole size, materials, and soil conditions.


·       This project seeks to recruit two under-graduate students in good academic standing with background in mechanical or civil engineering or related field, with minimum courses in fluid mechanics and strengths of materials.  3D Printing Prototyping experience and/or CFD are welcome.  Students are expected to work individually as well as part of a team. 

Period of Performance & Location: 

·       June 17-August 16 (8 weeks).  The project will be conducted at the City College of New York, in New York City. 


·       $450 - $550/week. 

Application & Deadline:

·       Interested students should apply online to the CiPASS Experiential Learning Program [], or contact Prof. Jorge E. González,  Deadline to Apply is June 7th 2019.