Baker Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory

At the Baker Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (BEHL) we study phenomena related to the dynamics of water, sediment and contaminant transport through waterways, floodplains and wetlands. Our work is focused on the interaction of the aforementioned components with structures, vegetation and biota. Relevant research areas our group is involved in include: environmental, fluvial, ecological and infrastructure hydraulics.

Our research philosophy and methodology are summarized in the following statements/goals:

  • Develop theoretical understanding of empirical reality
  • Solve real engineering problems by examining the phenomena from a fundamental point of view
  • Use state-of-the-art experimental instrumentation, computational, field and analytical techniques to develop better understanding of cause and effect relations

Under sponsorship from various agencies and the industry, Baker Lab group has actively promoted research on the role of instantaneous fluctuating turbulent forces on particle movement, scour around bridge piers, in-stream structures, river mechanics and morphology, stream restoration, ecological hydraulics, wetland hydrodynamics and renewable energy.

Co-Directors of the BEHL are Dr. Mark Widdowson (The Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) Dr. Clinton L. Dancey (Department of Mechanical Engineering).

“In 1999, Mr. Baker made it possible for CEE to host the premier facility in the mid-Atlantic region for hydraulics research”