IHCantabria researchers awarded with the “Excellent Young Challenger” prize

by | 10 Feb, 2021 | Hydrodynamics and Coastal Infrastructures, General News | 0 comments

The technical committee of the 17WCEE Blind Prediction Contest on Flood and Tsunami Impact (Taro Arikawa, Naoto Kihara, Masashi Watanabe and Chiaki Tsurudome) has awarded the Excellent Young Challenger Award to the work developed by the IHCantabria research team formed by Benedetto Di Paolo, Javier L. Lara, Gabriel Barajas, María Maza, Alessandro Romano, Iñigo Aniel-Quiroga and Inigo J. Losada.

The 17WCEE Blind Prediction Contest is one of the activities organized within the 17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (17WCEE), to be held in Sendai (Japan), between September 27th and October 2nd, 2021.

The objective of the contest is the reproduction of a laboratory test that simulated the propagation of a tsunami wave and the subsequent coastal flooding and impact with buildings and different coastal infrastructures. The tests used for the competition were carried out at the prestigious Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI, Japan), an international reference center in the field of coastal engineering, with the support of Chuo University.

The work requested to the different teams consisted in the reproduction of the coastal flooding and the forces exerted by the tsunami wave in the different buildings through the use of numerical or analytical tools. Due to the characteristics of the contest, only the information of the characteristics of the tsunami far from the coast was provided to the teams, asking them to model the behavior of this tsunami wave transformation and flooding. The jury evaluated the accuracy of the predictions and the ability to reproduce the flooding and the tsunamis wave effects on the coast.

For this purpose, the IHCantabria researchers applied the latest developments of the IHFOAM software (, based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and developed by the Hydrodynamics and Coastal Infrastructures group of IHCantabria. This software is built on the OpenFOAM® platform, which is a reference in the field. For the specific case of the competition, a novel 2D-3D coupling methodology was applied, which Benedetto Di Paolo has developed as part of his doctoral thesis, which is advised by Javier L. Lara and Inigo J. Losada.

This technique, recently published in the prestigious journal Coastal Engineering, allows the modeling of wave hydrodynamics with a high degree of detail and with a very reduced computational cost. The progress achieved with this new technique, which has been key to the achievement of the award, allows to put at the service of numerical modelers a new approach that does not require the use of large computer infrastructures, thus fostering the use of this technique to the industry of coastal and ocean engineering.

More details on the results of the competition can be found at