Dear colleagues,

Because of the Covid19 pandemic, opportunities for the international wind engineering community to meet physically have been very much restricted and are likely to remain so for at least the next year. To enable the community to continue to interact with each other, at least in a virtual way, the University of Birmingham is organizing a series six seminars via Zoom from October 2020 to March 2021.  These are sponsored by the IAWE and will hopefully have a significant international audience   Each seminar will last around an hour and a half to two hours, and will consist of a keynote speaker for around 30 minutes followed by further short contributions or a panel debate. There will also be an opportunity for online discussion by those attending.

The first seminar in the series will be held on Thursday October 6th at 14.00 UK time and will be entitled “Tornadoes – from research to design”. The programme will be as follows.

Keynote presentation

Identifying and classifying tornadoes in sparsely-populated regions: observations and research needs. Prof Greg Kopp, ImpactWX Chair in Severe Storms Engineering University of Western Ontario


Other contributions

Full-Scale Inquiry into Tornado Wind and Loading Characteristics,  Dr Franklin T. Lombardo, University of Illinois

Compact debris flow in tornadic flow fields. Prof. Mark Sterling, Beale Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham

WHAM Research: What Flow Structure of Tornado Should We Design Against? Grace Yan, Associate Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Consideration of tornado modeling based on the experimental and numerical results, Shuyang Cao, Professor, Tongji University, China; Jinxin Cao, Associate Professor, Tongji University, China

The lodging of cereal crops by tornadoes, Chris Baker, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics, University of Birmingham

Translation Speed Effects on the Static Pressure Distribution of a Tornado Vortex, Fred Haan, Jr., Professor, Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA


The abstracts for the talks can be found at, where I will also post recordings of the presentations there after the seminar is over.


To register for the seminar, please go to You will receive a Zoom link after registration.

The provisional details and keynote speakers for the other seminars in the series are:

  • Thursday November 5th  2020 – Indoor and outdoor ventilation and dispersion (Prof Bert Blocken, Eindhoven University)
  • Thursday December3rd 2020 – High rise structures (Prof Ahsan Kareem, Notre Dame)
  • Thursday January 7th  2021 – Developments in bridge aerodynamics (Prof John Owen, University of Nottingham)
  • Thursday February 4th  2021 – Wind loading code developments around the world (Svend Ole Hansen, Svend Ole Hansen ApS)
  • Thursday March 4th 2021 – Wind hazard modelling and prediction (Prof Yukio Tamura, Chongqing University)


The start times will vary to give opportunities for those in different time zones to take part at a reasonably civilized hour.

Further details will be posted at as they become available.


I look forward to “seeing” you on October 6th.


Chris Baker

Emeritus Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education

School of Engineering

University of Birmingham



B15 2TT


[email protected]

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