Tuesday, January 26, 2016

URSP Student Sherwin Zahirieh Works with Hydrologic Modeling Software from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: HEC-HMS and HEC-GeoHMS

At the beginning of my junior year, I was struggling to see on what path concentration of Civil Engineering I wanted to follow. However, not long into my CEIE 340: Water Resources Engineering class, I realized that studying water was the right path for me. I went to the professor of that class, who is now my mentor, asking how to get involved into the work he was doing. This led to him suggesting that I apply for URSP funding.

I hope going through this experience of independent research will allow me to learn the steps and procedures for completing individual scholarly work. I am already determined to continue my education through graduate school, during which I will complete a thesis. While my thesis will be much more complicated than this project, the experience I will have gained by participating in the URSP will give me a huge advantage.

Most of my work so far involves working with hydrologic modeling software from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: HEC-HMS and HEC-GeoHMS. My current goal is to set up a current hydrologic model of the George Mason Fairfax Campus. Then, using aerial images, I will set up hydrologic models for the campus over the past thirty years. I will then analyze the changes that have occurred to the campus hydrology as a result of the rapid development that has been happening. With the consistent construction of many new buildings, such as Taylor Hall, Academic VII, and the Fenwick Expansion, our results should show an increase in runoff volume and peak flows, which ultimately leads to more flooding on campus.