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Challenges To Teach Modern Hydraulics And Water Resources Engineering In Brazil

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.99.1 - 1.99.6



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Paper Authors

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Paulo S. F. Barbosa

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Enno 'Ed' Koehn

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J. G. P. Andrade

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E. Luvizzoto Jr.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

I -— . . . Session 2660 .

— Challenges to Teach Modern Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering in Brazil

P. S. F. Barbosa, E. Koelle, J. G. P. Andrade, and E. Luvizzoto Jr. Civil Engineering Department State University of Campinas-Unicamp P.O. Box 6021, 13083-970, Campinas-SP, Brazil


Brazil is a country where hydraulic engineering has occupied a prestigious position. The distribution of water resources throughout the country and the increasing urbanization process that took place during the last three decades required the construction of reservoirs, hydroelectric projects, water distribution networks, irrigation systems and other hydraulic systems. Some of these, such as the Itaipu project -- the greatest hydropower project in the world -- became well-known worldwide.

During the decade of the seventies this process of developing infrastructure reached its peak, mainly due to international financial credit which was readily available at that time. Since then a progressively distinct scenario has been taking place. As a result, the more modest recruitment of young engineers resulted in the decreasing interest of students in studying the traditional areas of hydraulics. On the occasion of a national meeting of Brazilian professors of hydraulic engineering, held in Campinas, Sao Paulo State in August 1995, this lack of interest primarily in research activities based on experimental work, was fully recognized,

We have knowledge of the occurence of a similar process in Europe (Carstens[l]). We understand this process there as mainly having for saturation point for infrastructure works, thus requiring the majority of hydraulic engineers to work in the operation and maintenance of such infrastructure systems. In Brazil, nevertheless, the absence of a hydraulic infrastructure is evident and it is becoming a major public concern in several areas such as hydropower generation (only 25°/0 of the total potential has been exploited), urban flood control, sanitation works, fluvial navigation, etc. Therefore, we have other reasons to explain the decline of traditional hydraulics in the Brazilian context.

Firstly we think the impact of informatics was a major factor in shifiing move students and professors from the laboratory to computers. The pace of this movement towards computers modelling was accelerated by two simultaneous factors: (a) the scarcity of financial fi.mds for research, mainly those requiring higher magnitudes (e.g., hydraulic physical modeling); (b) the decreasing cost of personal computers, nowadays accessible to a great majority of graduate and undergraduate students. Older professors are watching this- movement with apprehension since they think the students may miss the physical sense of hydraulic phenomena. On the other hand there are new professors who have been following the most recent advances concerned with the applications of computers to hydraulics, from the computational hydraulics stage up to the so-called hydroitiormatics phase. Engineering courses usually have good computational support (hardware) for developing research and teaching computational hydraulics. But there are few commercial packages (software). available for the teaching of hydraulics.

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Barbosa, P. S. F., & Koehn, E. E., & Andrade, J. G. P., & Luvizzoto Jr., E. (1996, June), Challenges To Teach Modern Hydraulics And Water Resources Engineering In Brazil Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5911

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