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Release: July 13, 2000

UI to host international engineering conference July 23-27

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nearly 400 engineering professionals from 41 different countries are expected to visit Eastern Iowa when the University of Iowa's Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR) hosts the 4th International Conference on Hydroinformatics July 23-27 at the Collins Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids.

Conference Organizer Jacob Odgaard says that this is the first time the conference has been held in the United States and that it is logical for the world's largest meeting on hydroinformatics -- the application of information technology to a wide range of problems in environmental and water engineering -- to take place in Iowa.

An associate dean for graduate studies and research in the College of Engineering and an IIHR researcher, Odgaard notes that the Institute is one of the nation's premier and oldest fluids research and engineering laboratories and has long been a leader in such fields as hydrometeorology, river hydraulics, ice modeling and ship hydrodynamics. In addition to providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, he says that the conference will encourage Eastern Iowa business development.

"This conference can help stimulate information technology development in Iowa," he says. "A lot of new technologies are being developed that allow us to better integrate information from many different sources to make better business decisions. This also allows the general public to see how those decisions are made. In hydroinformatics, we are dealing with decisions related to the water business and our aquatic environment."

Conference participants will be greeted by Eastern Iowa leaders, including Cedar Rapids Mayor Lee Clancy, State of Iowa Science and Technology Advisor (advising Gov. Tom Vilsack) Bob Tibor, UI Vice President for Research David J. Skorton, IIHR Director Virendra C. Patel, and International Association for Hydraulic Research (IAHR) President and UI Professor Forrest M. Holly. Conference activities will include a tour of IIHR facilities, as well as workshops and lectures on such topics as data mining, hydroenvironmental modeling systems, hydrologic remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Previous IAHR hydroinformatics conferences have been held in The Netherlands in 1994, Switzerland in 1996, and Denmark in 1998. Additional information can be obtained by contacting IIHR at (319) 335-5239, and conference registration forms can be downloaded from the web site and faxed to the UI Conference Center.