May 9, 2012
Engineering student presents research in India
USU engineering student Mitch Dabling presented his research paper at the International Workshop on Piano Key Weir for In-Stream Storage and Dam Safety in Delhi, India last week.
"It is extremely warm here, but I am really enjoying this trip thus far," Dabling wrote from India on May 28. "Tomorrow I present on my research to a group of international piano key weir experts and select engineers and government officials from around India."
Dabling's research focuses on a special type of dam, called a piano key weir, a relatively new nonlinear weir design used to increase spillway discharge capacity without significant increase in the upstream reservoir water level. It is primarily used for dam rehabilitation to decrease the risk of flooding upstream of the dam.
“Prior to my study, there was little knowledge about how piano key weirs were affected by submergence,” said Dabling.
Submergence occurs when the water level downstream of a weir is higher than the top of the weir, which could reduce its discharge efficiency.
“I tested physical laboratory-scale models of two designs of piano key weirs and compared my results to published data on the submergence effects of linear and labyrinth weirs,” he said.
A senior in civil engineering, Dabling grew up in Syracuse, Utah and graduated from Clearfield High School. His involvement includes Engineers Without Borders as well as leading the USU Concrete Canoe Team as captain.
At USU, he received numerous awards such as Presidential Scholar, Goldwater Scholar, Research Fellow, Tau Beta Pi Scholar, Eccles Scholar, Utah Engineers Council Scholar, Outstanding Civil Engineering Pre-Professional, and Outstanding Civil Engineering Junior.
“I love doing research at USU!” he said.
As an Undergraduate Research Fellow, he has been able to participate in many projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory and USU Smash Lab. He has presented his research at USU Research on Capitol Hill, USU Student Showcase, and took first place for his presentation and research paper at the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers Rocky Mountain Student Conference.
“These opportunities have shaped my education,” said Dabling. “My journal article on the submergence effects of piano key weirs was recently accepted into the American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Hydraulics.”
He is currently working on another project at the Utah Water Research Laboratory, studying the flow characteristics of staged and notched labyrinth weirs. He will be presenting his research paper at the 4th International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures. He is also planning to submit a journal article to the American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Hydraulics this summer.
“I am honored and excited to present at the PKWISD-2012,” said Dabling. “It's been a great opportunity to represent USU and to gain more experience sharing my research with others.”
- Nadiah Johari