Many of the world’s most iconic structures, such as the Freedom Tower in New York City, the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, had a Canadian professor guiding the extreme wind-proofing necessary for their structural integrity.
Founded and designed by civil engineering professor Alan G. Davenport, BLWTL was built to test structures in realistic wind conditions in a scaled simulation of the earth’s boundary layer (the section of the atmosphere where the velocity of wind increases with height and air is turbulent and variable), extending upward from the Earth’s surface approximately one kilometer.
“We advocate for safe houses — something that, if possible, can withstand extreme storms, or if not, something that can rebound quickly and does not compromise on the safety of the public,” says Girma Bitsuamlak, director of the WindEEE Research Institute, which encompasses Western’s three wind engineering laboratories.
Funding for WindEEE signals the facility’s importance on the national stage
“WindEEE is at the forefront of innovative research, creating new ways of measuring, testing, and finding engineering solutions for evolving challenges in wind and climate engineering. This support will help us maintain our leadership in climate and wind engineering research,” said WindEEE Research Facility director Girma Bitsuamlak.
By Jeff Renaud,
August 19, 2022Read News
WindEEE director, Girma Bitsuamlak, explains to Global News’ Candace Daniel how testing works at the research facility.
At WindEEE, Girma Bitsuamlak and his team study the aerodynamic forces that develop during different wind systems such as tornadoes, hurricanes and downbursts, so that buildings can be designed to withstand them.
“You can design the building environment appropriately … to withstand the tornado load or at least to save lives,” said Bitsuamlak, who is the director of WindEEE.
By Krysia Collyer and Candace Daniel Global News
Published May 13, 2023