Project Description

During the summer of 2010, I performed research at the University of Hawaii and Manoa through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program. Under the leadership of Dr. H. Ronald Riggs, I worked with other students to model the accumulated velocity of shipping containers in tsunami conditions using ANSYS Fluent. A tsunami bore can achieve on-shore velocities approaching 20 mph, providing enough energy to propel shipping containers and other debris into buildings. A 40-ft shipping may weigh up to 60,000 lb, and can easily cause significant damage to nearby buildings. By better understanding how quickly these containers accelerate under tsunami conditions, buildings along the coast can be designed to withstand these impacts with minimal damage. Preliminary results from this work were included in an industry newsletter published by Pointwise.