Controls in the fluids laboratory

The Fluids Fundamentals Laboratory is where most students will experience their introduction to fluid mechanics.

The long success of the institute’s education program is due in large part to Hunter Rouse, former director of IIHR, recognized by many as the “father of modern hydraulics.” Rouse came to IIHR in 1939 and became director in 1944. Rouse developed a new curriculum emphasizing scientific principles rather than merely practice in manipulating equipment. Rouse said that while there was nothing wrong with teaching the use of instrumentation, “the error lies in disregarding the fact that [the engineer] needs to know a great deal more.”

Rouse designed, constructed, and tested teaching instrumentation at IIHR. For example, in the early 1940s, Rouse designed a complex pipe system used to determine resistance to flow through smooth and rough pipes. For decades, this experiment was used to teach fluid mechanics to undergraduates. Today, Rouse’s refurbished pipe system is part of the new fluids laboratory.

The Fluids Exploration Laboratory today features a mix of modernized original experiments and new experiments.