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Seminar Series: Understanding the Mechanics of Environmental Changes using Autonomous Systems

Posted on: January 22, 2021

Center Seminar Series: Understanding the Mechanics of Environmental Changes using Autonomous Systems, Physically-Based Numerical Modeling, and Geospatial Techniques

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Presenter: Dr. Laura V. Alvarez, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences ,UTEP

Date: Thursday, February 11, 2021

Time: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Location: Virtual

Meeting Link: https://bit.ly/3jfRjjc

Abstract: Dr. Laura Alvarez’s research efforts have followed two main cores, autonomous systems applied to earth sciences, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling of river systems. In the autonomous systems field, she has been working on adapting algorithms of path planning for reconnaissance by applying machine learning in the development of autonomous robots, such as autonomous boats and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to deeply understand water-mediated environments, including bathymetry, flow features, object recognition, and material classifications. The use of autonomous systems significantly reduced the time of data collection and human power hours, compared to traditional methods, becoming an alternative for collecting and studying water bodies. One of the primary goals of this research is to achieve a deeper understanding of geomorphologic processes, where a-priori information is unavailable, using advanced algorithms adopted from geo-statistics, mathematics, geophysics, and information theory. She complements the robotics research with physically-based models as a tool to understand the fluid dynamics and macro-turbulence in relationship with sediment transport and bed evolution in large-scale scale river systems. She also develops state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models for the study of sediment transport and morphodynamic processes in fluvial systems. Her primary goal is to achieve a deeper understanding of fluid and sediment motion in river systems, and how these motions are represented at different spatial scales. In this seminar, Dr. Laura Alvarez will discuss her research.

Video courtesy of NOAA CESSRST via Zoom.

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