Wind Research Experts Available as 2009 Tornado Season Begins

Texas Tech University, home to some of the nation’s most prominent wind researchers, has experts available as tornado season made an early and deadly entrance Feb. 10 across Oklahoma.

Through the collaborative Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, scientists and engineers have collected one of the country's largest repositories of wind data and helped develop the Enhanced Fujita Scale implemented in 2007 by the National Weather Service. Daan Liang, assistant professor of construction engineering technology at Texas Tech,  has studied with various probability models, how the construction of buildings affects their vulnerability against severe windstorms. Recently, his research is focused on the advancement of remote sensing technology in documenting and assessing wind damages to residential structures. Liang can be reached at (806) 742-3538 or daan.liang@ttu.edu. Bradley Ewing, professor of operations management in the Rawls College of Business, has studied the economic impact of hurricanes and tornadoes for more than 12 years. He can speak to the impact of hurricanes and tornadoes in cities like Oklahoma City; Corpus Christi; Wilmington, N.C.; Miami; and Nashville, Tenn. Ewing can be reached at (806) 742-3939 or bradley.ewing@ttu.edu. Ernst Kiesling, professor of civil engineering and executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association, can speak on the construction and use of residential and community shelters. Kiesling has more than 30 years of experience in the field documenting debris damage and testing different materials and types of construction. He can be reached at (806) 742-3476 ext. 335 or, ernst.kiesling@ttu.edu. Kishor Mehta, former director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, helped lead a team that developed the new Enhanced Fujita Scale implemented by the National Weather Service in February 2007. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his studies of structural damage caused by windstorms and leadership in developing structural design standards for wind loads. He can be reached at (806) 742-3479 ext. 323, or kishor.mehta@ttu.edu. Larry Tanner, research associate in civil engineering, 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, Ind., prompted new standards for mobile home installation in the region. Tanner can be reached at (806) 742-3476 ext. 336, or larry.tanner@ttu.edu.