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Dr. Brian Phillips of the University of Florida (UF) provided Southeast Region members with an update on the Hurricane Wind Speed Monitoring Program. The program, initiated several years ago by Dr. Forrest Masters, began with deploying portable wind measuring towers into the path of landfalling hurricanes to develop better data on wind profiles, a program that continues today with state-of-the-art refinements to analyze wind effects on buildings, materials, and other products.

“We are often the first people on the ground after a hurricane,” said Phillips, “so we can get our hurricane research towers out before the flooding damages them.”

Phillips also shared a video clip explaining the use of the university’s Terraformer wind tunnel, which takes hazards engineering research to a new level by simulating any type of terrain. It allows researchers to compare field data to wind tunnel results to improve the accuracy of model testing.

He additionally explained the new High Airflow Pressure Loading Actuator (HAPLA) that simultaneously applies wind pressure and simulated wind-driven rain to fenestration and other products under finely tunable conditions. “[This] next generation wind engineering facility draws researchers from all over the country,” said Phillips. “These new tools provide information to help save lives and protect property.”

Southeast Region President Kevin Seiling (VEKA) noted that FGIA/AAMA has had a long relationship with UF, donating significant funds to the Precipitation Imaging Probe (PIP) and working to elevate testing for fenestration products.