Wind Research @ Western

The University of Western Ontario is internationally recognized as the leading university in wind engineering and wind-related research. Western’s strength comes from a strong, interdisciplinary team of more than 20 researchers from several faculties, including Engineering, Science, Social Science and Business. The University is also the only institution in Canada currently offering a graduate program in wind engineering.

The Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory (BLWTL) is a cutting-edge facility for developing wind tunnel testing and analysis methods and providing planners at the design stage of projects with important solutions to complex wind engineering problems. BLWTL has contributed to most of the world’s major advances in wind engineering since it was established in 1964.

The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes (IRLBH) – which hosts the “Three Little Pigs” project – is the first facility in the world to subject full-scale homes to simulated winds up to a category five hurricane in order to make them safer and increasingly cost-effective.

Advanced Facilities for Avian Research (AFAR) is a specialized centre providing the infrastructure and initiative to facilitate interdisciplinary studies of bird behavior, physiology and neurobiology.

The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment (WindEEE) Dome, the world’s first hexagonal wind tunnel, represents a technological breakthrough in the study of wind-related phenomena as it has the capability of physically simulating high intensity wind systems – including tornados, downbursts, gust fronts or low-level nocturnal currents – that cannot be created in any of the existing wind tunnels.

Western researchers have introduced technologies and influenced public policies to help mitigate the devastating effects of natural disasters like windstorms and triggered new programs in renewable energy. These collaborative efforts and core strengths have further benefited from the founding of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR).