Dr. Michael Gormley is a specialist in water supply and drainage as well as an electrical building services engineer. Here he shares with us here about his work on completing the book Transient Free Surface flows in Building Drainage Systems, which is published by Routledge and is also available to purchase from Amazon.
John Swaffield was, without argument, one of the great academic stalwarts in the world of water supply and drainage for buildings for more than 40 years. Following his retirement as head of The School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University in 2008 and his Presidency of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE) in 2009, John planned two books to cover the vast amount of research he had led in his career spanning over 40 years in academia and working with industry. The first of these books: Transient Airflows in Building Drainage Systems was published in 2010. In this celebrated book he dealt with the mechanisms of air pressure transient generation, suppression and modelling in buildings, effectively collecting his work on this subject in a thoughtful and provocative way. Following on from this book, John set about work on his final book, a companion to the first; Transient Free Surface flows in Building Drainage Systems was set to complete his treatise on modelling and mechanisms of all flows in building drainage systems, and its contribution would be focussed on attenuating wave flows, solid transport and roof drainage, set in the context of climate change. Sadly, John died before this work could be finished and published.
The late Professor John Swaffield
In late 2011 three of us at Heriot-Watt University – myself, Grant Wright and Ian McDougall – undertook the task of completing this work. John had completed about 40% at the time he passed away, however the task of piecing together the completed parts to make a coherent work was way beyond what we had expected. There were a number of challenges in completing this work. Firstly, trying to piece together the material John had left, particularly those parts which were half finished, presented a considerable challenge. The next big challenge was to try to maintain John’s voice throughout. While we had all been involved in the research being presented we were keen to make sure that john’s personality pervaded the text. The final challenge and, arguably the biggest one, was trying to remain faithful to John’s opinions. We were acutely aware that we weren’t just finishing a book, but producing a piece of work which was his legacy to this field of engineering.
The book itself is a unique blend of engineering physics and practical application of free surface flow modelling, all placed in the context of climate change. Future challenges in this area of engineering design of systems to cope with changing loads, will strain outdated design procedures, as the industry attempts to cope with the dual opposing threats of ‘too much water’ from increased rainfall intensity and ‘too little water’ from reduced flow appliances and water conservation initiatives. The challenge has never been greater and current design methods are too rigid and abstract to fully deal with the vast range of possible scenarios. Transient free surface flows in building drainage systems contains all the physics relating to free surface modelling, solid transport prediction, wave attenuation, rainwater modelling and whole system design to give the reader an opportunity to engage with the topic from an engineered design point of view. Practical case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of this method and shows how designs can be modified to improve system performance, even under extreme conditions.
In finishing this book we are more than aware that it is not exactly the way John would have done it. We hope that we have retained his voice throughout and that it is a befitting testimony to his legacy.
Dr. Michael Gormley
MSc MPhil PhD CEng MCIBSE MIET FHEA
Room 3.14 William Arrol Building
School of the Built Environment
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS
e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: + 44 (0) 131 451 8262