Welcome to the website of Assoc. Prof. Ben R. Hodges at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm one of several faculty that focus on hydrology, hydraulics and fluid mechanics within the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.
My main research focus is on the fluid physics in natural systems - principally in rivers, lakes and estuaries; an area we usually call "environmental fluid mechanics."
What is Environmental Fluid Mechanics?
Like the proverbial elephant and the blind men - what you touch defines your understanding. My studies focus on water flows in the natural environment - so that's my personal EFM definition. But more broadly speaking, Environmental Fluid Mechanics covers fluid flows in surface water, ground water, the atmosphere, and engineered systems interacting with the natural environment (e.g. wastewater treatment plants).
Fluid Mechanics is the nexus of fluid mechanics from classical fluid mechanics, civil engineering hydraulics,
meteorology, oceanography, geophysical fluid dynamics, physical
limnology and environmental engineering.
Some people prefer “environmental fluid dynamics” to “... mechanics,” or "environmental hydraulics" as a narrower term, but it seems das macht nichts.
The bottom line (IMHO) is...
Environmental fluid mechanics is where density stratification, turbulence and boundary condition uncertainty are dominant effects.
And an irrelevant bit of history…
Anyone who has a Ph.D. has an academic genealogy - that is, you have a supervisor, and your supervisor had a supervisor, and so on - in many cases its possible to trace the lineage back to the Renaissance. Academic genealogies looking backwards are somewhat easier than family geneaologies because there aren't many branchings. My genealogy can be found here.