Friday, November 18, 2022

A University of Iowa mechanical engineering associate professor is developing an artificial intelligence-powered model to optimize how water reservoirs are used to regulate streamflow during flooding. 

Shaoping Xiao, also a researcher at the Iowa Technology Institute, hopes to improve how hydrological systems are managed in the face of expanding constraints, such as the increased frequency of severe weather events and growth of urban centers. 

Flood mitigation is an increasingly complex task that requires high-level coordination. Officials must make time-critical decisions with incomplete information and the best solutions may not be feasible. Several weather presents disastrous consequences to infrastructure, public health, and national security.  

National Science Foundation has award Xiao, the principal investigator, a grant to develop applications to help scientific communities of hydrologic systems, control, and robotics. The project will also provide undergraduate research opportunities and outreach activities, including educational materials for K-6 students to learn how climate change affects people’s lives, with emphasis on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

NSF has awarded a three-year, $547,101 grant for the project is titled, Boosting Research Ideas for Transformative and Equitable Advances in Engineering (BRITE) Pivot: Learning-based Optimal Control of Streamflow with Potentially Infeasible Time-bound Constraints for Flood Mitigation.”