NWI faculty members participated in a two-month research project last spring to study
tornadoes in the Southeastern United States. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and organized by the National Severe Storms Laboratory,
the Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment-Southeast (VORTEX-SE) project was intended to study how the landscape and near-storm environment
of Mississippi and Tennessee contribute to tornado development. They will continue
the research this year with VORTEX 2-SE.
NWI combines the former Wind Science and Engineering (WiSE) research center, which
created the first doctorate in wind science and engineering, with the Texas Wind Energy
Institute (TWEI), creator of the only bachelor’s degree in wind energy. NWI strengthens
the university's interdisciplinary approach to all things wind.
Through NWI, scientists and engineers have collected one of the country's largest
repositories of wind data and helped develop the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale, implemented
in 2007 by the National Weather Service.
Christopher Weiss, associate professor of atmospheric science, has researched the genesis and low-level wind structure of tornadoes for more than
a decade. He also maintains a research interest in the processes responsible for the
generation of the parent thunderstorms. He can speak to the current scientific understanding
regarding why tornadoes form and intensify as well as how the structure of the tornado
relates to the observed damage seen on the ground. He can be reached at (806) 834-4712
Ernst Kiesling, research professor, executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association
and executive director of the NWI Debris Impact Facility, can discuss the construction
and use of residential and community shelters. Kiesling has more than 35 years of
experience in the field documenting storm damage, writing performance standards for
safe rooms and verifying compliance of safe rooms with those standards. He can be
reached at (806) 834-1931 or email@example.com.
Larry Tanner, research assistant professor and manager of the NWI Debris Impact Facility, has
years of field experience studying tornado damage and debris. Tanner's research of
approximately 400 manufactured homes damaged by a 2005 tornado that killed 22 people
in Evansville, Indiana, prompted new standards for mobile home installation in the
region. Tanner can be reached at (806) 834-2320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darryl James, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and WiSE associate, and his team spent more than a year and a half building a tornado
simulator at Reese Center. The device, known as VorTECH, simulates tornadic winds
in the mid-EF3 range or less, in an effort to understand how tornadoes do their damage.
James can be reached at (806) 834-3386 or email@example.com.
Daan Liang, associate professor of construction engineering technology at Texas Tech and interim
director of NWI, has studied with various probability models of how the construction
of buildings affects their vulnerability against severe windstorms. His research is
focused on the advancement of remote sensing technology in documenting and assessing
wind damage to residential structures. Liang can be reached at (806) 834-0383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Schroeder, professor of atmospheric sciences, brings extensive experience in wind flow characterization
and atmospheric measurements, including directing Texas Tech's hurricane research
program and West Texas Mesonet. Schroeder can be reached at (806) 834-5678 or email@example.com.
Bradley Ewing, professor of operations management in the Rawls College of Business, has studied the economic impact of hurricanes and tornadoes for more than a decade.
He can speak to the impact of hurricanes and tornadoes in cities like Oklahoma City,
Corpus Christi, Wilmington, North Carolina, Miami and Nashville, Tennessee. Ewing
can be reached at (806) 834-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Wind Institute (NWI) is world-renowned for conducting innovative research in the areas of wind energy,
wind hazard mitigation, wind-induced damage, severe storms and wind-related economics.
NWI is also home to world-class researchers with expertise in numerous academic fields
such as atmospheric science, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, mathematics
and economics, and NWI was the first in the nation to offer a doctorate in Wind Science
and Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy.