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PhD Insights: Research visit in Wuhan…just before the pandemic!

10 March 2020

Wuhan by night © Giovanni Musolino

PhD student Giovanni Musolino spent six week working at Wuhan University's hydraulic laboratory to conduct flood experiments.

Between October and the end of November 2019, Giovanni Musolino, PhD student in the School of Engineering, conducted his research project in the hydraulic laboratory of Wuhan University, China.

Giovanni's research project focuses on the application of numerical modelling to flood events. Giovanni aims to produce an improved, fully conservative 1D/2D coupled model that includes shock capturing algorithm (SCA), to predict hydrodynamic processes in river and estuarine water.

Through my project, I am hoping to improve the assessment of flood hazards for pedestrians and the design of evacuation plans in case of flood events.

Giovanni Musolino

The purpose of Giovanni's research visit was to use a physical model present in the Wuhan University laboratory to “create” several floods in the small scale model of a river and floodplain system. This would have allowed him to collect data for the calibration and validation of numerical models. While access to the lab was unfortunately restricted for most of his stay, Giovanni came back to Cardiff with data from previous experiments provided by Wuhan University.

Wuhan's laboratory
The hydraulic laboratory of Wuhan University where Giovanni conducted his experiments © Giovanni Musolino

Giovanni also took his visit as an opportunity to learn more the Chinese culture and hardworking spirit. He said: 'it's not unfrequent to plan meetings with professors over the weekend there'.

He also created friendships with colleagues and visited most of Wuhan, a Megacity where modernity and tradition coexist: 'Wuhan is a great place to visit...after the pandemic!' he concludes.

Giovanni in Wuhan
Giovanni with his Chinese colleagues visiting Wuhan © Giovanni Musolino

If you are interested in flood modelling and flood hazard assessment and in finding out more about Giovanni's research, feel free email him at

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For more information, visit the Water Research Institute website.