Thursday, August 7, 2014

An Emflume1 off to Switzerland!

We shipped an Emflume1 to Nikolaus (Klaus) Kuhn at the University of Basel today.

Klaus does some amazing work; check out this video at ZeroG flights.

Props to LRRD colleagues Jim Nation and Anna Durrett, who put in extra time to get this shipment done exactly right.  And to contractor John Cotter for his work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 at Little River.

We've been too busy to blog.  Why?  Growing, busy, crazy.

A snapshot:  Beth Fisher's joined us in a planning/management role, Anna's her old self, Meriam remains our amazing business director; Keisha Lurhsen's working in the shop and office; Radia (Meriam's daughter) is a summer intern, Akiyo Matsumoto (松本 明代) is our Japanese laison.  My wife Kate's co-owner.  Jim Nation runs the shop, Cameron Lenzini is an undergrad intern; Wahid Rahman is a post-doc collaborator leaving for a new job next week, and Awoke Teshager  is an ABD engineer from SIU who will work with us on the Emflume.

Here we include our contractors John Cotter (left, a man who's certified to work on jet engines) and Bill Bauman.  No sentence, no book, could do justice to Bill and the things he's done in his life, and for Little River, so he's just Bill for now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The UK's Rivers Trust uses our Em2 to protect people from floods.
                                                                  >> Click the image above for link to video on Vimeo.

 Last winter England saw terrible flooding that has renewed concern over river and floodplain management in the UK and EU.

Parts of the UK saw the wettest January in history. 

The Rivers Trust is a key player in advancing knowledge and practice in this area; our Emriver Em2 was shown at its recent Spring Conference and featured in a well-done video news report by itv's Katie Hunter.

Flooded fields around the river Tone in Somerset. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA  (From The Guardian)
At the conference, floodplain managers from northeastern Europe and the UK discussed the ALFA initiative.  This EU-funded project aims to address increased climate-change-caused flooding in northeastern Europe.

Many thanks to Alistair Maltby (Rivers Trust Director - North) for letting us know about this coverage, and for his successful use of our model in this important role.

Our 2-meter Em2 models don't pay the bills at LRRD, but fulfill our mission to provide practical river models for education and outreach at a cost affordable to educators and non-profits.  Seeing them play this important role so well (in the able hands of Rivers Trust staff) makes us eager to get to work building more!

And speaking of building, this is a good opportunity to show Jim and Anna celebrating the shipment of our 200th model last month.

UPDATE:  June 26 Guardian article on UK flood infrastructure deficiencies.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Help us design a cart for the Emflume1.

We live in a shark-filled capitalist world where people steal designs, and the thousands of hours it took to make them.

So our design process has to be kept under wraps.  Usually.

Today I have a chance to reveal our design process and ask you for help!

Our Emflume1 --the result of five years of design effort -- was a big hit at ASEE 2014 last week.  We need a cart for it.  Design problems:

1.  The model should fit inside the cart for shipping protection and also for storage, which is a big deal for a lot of university departments. 

2.  We could build the cart from "80/20" extrusions.  Cool stuff we already use.  Or weld up an aluminum frame in-house.  Not much difference in cost.  Which would be best environmentally?  We might make 100 a year.

3. For the top and shelf, I'm considering Corian (we have a local fabricator); Starbord, HDPE, and other stuff.  Has to be very strong, zero-maintenance, and tolerate water.  The top is the toughest part of the design.

I've scoured the Internet for carts that meet our needs, and none do. 

LRRD's Jim Nation at ASEE 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA last week.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

ASEE in Indianapolis and so much other good stuff!

Buttons to celebrate 200.
Anna and Jim celebrate the hard-won move in to the Indiana Convention Center.
Me, Anna, and driver Jim Nation on the way to Indianapolis, Indiana and ASEE.  Great company!

 Bad news: this blog has been neglected.  Good news is we’ve been too busy to write about all the cool things LRRD’s doing.

We have a waiting list now on our Em2 models; they are selling faster than we can build them.

The first production Emflume1 units are finished; this was a huge job.   We have engaged gifted post-doc Wahid Rahman to work with me (Steve) and Kathryn Shulte Graham at Northeastern on a comprehensive curriculum to go with it.

We are working with Loligo Systems in Denmark to adapt their DPTV velocity measurement system to the Emflume1.

We’ve shipped our 200th Emriver model.

NOW we’re in Indianapolis for the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) conference.  Anna, Jim and I have just unpacked our truck.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A treadmill desk for LRRD!

All of us at LRRD spend a lot of time sitting at computers, and it's not good for you.

After hearing about treadmill desks, I set out to build one. 

I see they're available commercially now, but that's no fun.  Research and Design, right?

So far, so good.  We need to refine the keyboard holder.  And Jim and I both had some motion sickness after using it, but I think we'll get used to that.  Today I walked about a half mile while answering email!

We'll report on how it works out.

Treadmill desk at LRRD May 2014 from Steve Gough on Vimeo.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Our plastic sand demonstrates mass wasting. A draft.

Mass wasting and other slope processes using Emriver plastic sand. from Steve Gough on Vimeo.

At LRRD we have notebooks full of "what ifs" for our models.  As I worked on other things last weekend I put together this little demonstration and checked one off the list.

The video speaks for itself.  I've always known our plastic media could be used to demonstrate hillslope processes, but this is the first time I've attempted to record it.

I'm a fluvial guy and not so well versed on slope stability outside of the situations I see in stream banks — and even those are usually handled by a geotechnical engineer on my team.

So I'd appreciate comments on this little demonstration and how we can improve and expand it.

I was surprised to see how well the "mudflow" demo worked, especially since my wetting method was very crude.  With slow, methodical saturation of the slope, I think we could make wonderful simulations of this process.

We will likely have some interns working here this summer, and this looks like a great project for one!

As noted in the video, the flickering you see is from one of the awesome skylights we installed — great for energy savings, but not too hot for time lapse lighting on a partly cloudy day!