Hydrodynamics laboratory

The function of the Hydrodynamics Laboratory is to provide space, facilities and equipment for physical, coastal and ocean research.

About us

The Hydrodynamics Laboratory was established 40 years ago. The idea for this laboratory originated from Professor Vilhelm Bjerknes for the study of fundamental fluid dynamical problems. But, it was professor Einar Høiland (1907-1974) who founded the lab. This happened in conjunction with the building of Niels Henrik Abel's house (The Mathematics building). The exclusive wave and PIV laboratory has been running since 1994 and before that, water wave measurements were conducted in much smaller water tanks.

The current Hydrodynamics Laboratory group, led by Atle Jensen, is affiliated with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Mathematics at the University of Oslo. We consist of professional scientists and graduate students. Visiting scientists join the group from time to time. Opportunities also exist for graduate research assistantships and summer undergraduate fellowships.

Hydro Lab : on the left is a 25 m wave tank and on the right is a 10 cm Perspex pipe on the top and a 5 cm Perpex pipe.
Hydro Lab : on the left is a 25 m wave tank and on the right is a 10 cm Perspex pipe on the top and a 5 cm Perpex pipe.

Facilities and equipment


The function of the Hydrodynamics Laboratory is to provide space, facilities, and equipment for physical, coastal and ocean research. A partial list of equipment includes two water wave tanks with dimensions 25*1*0.5 and 7.3*1*0.25 (length, height and width in meters).

We have two pipes available for use, a 5 cm diameter Perspex pipe with a measurement section 25 m from an inlet venturi. The pipe is designed for single-phase water flow and can be seeded with tracer particles for PIV and with dense particles. The other pipe is a 10 cm diameter Perspex pipe that can be run with a two-phase air/water flow or with air only. We have two seeders capable of generating seeding particles between 1 and 10 microns for conducting PIV measurements in the air phase.

Key Hardware:


  • 10W CW arg-ion laser
  • Quantronix Darwin Duo 15mJ@3000Hz, Nd:YLF
  • 15mJ dual CFR pulsed-laser (200HZ), Nd:YAG
  • Two PCO, 1k*1k, down to 200nS dt
  • Two pco.4000, 4008 x 2672 pixels
  • Photron APX-ultima, 2000fps, 1k*1k resolution
  • Photron APX-PCI, 1000fps,  1k*1k resolution

Machine shop

Lead by Olav Gundersen, the UIO Machine Shop is a 120 square meter machine and welding shop.  Design and engineering capabilities are available; the shop staff has extensive experience supporting a multitude of research projects for UIO faculty, staff, and students.

machine shop
CNC Machine


The greatest strength of UIO’s Hydrodynamics Laboratory (Hydro Lab) is the combination of having latest equipment and research technology along with a dedicated and knowledgeable academic staff.

Scientific investigations at the Hydro Lab span the fields of sea, air, land, (ETC) and how these systems work and interact. Our researchers and students study diverse areas: from designing computer models to avalanche impacts on local fjord communities.

Observation, measurement, and collection of samples and data are accomplished within the laboratory. We use a combination of laboratory experiments, theoretical analysis and numerical modeling to improve our understanding of fluid flow phenomena.

The Norwegian government and private sector has a great interest in the research of fluid dynamics. During the last 30+ years Norway has become an important oil and gas supplier to the world from fields developed in the North Sea. The advancement in technology and the need for understanding the science of fluid mechanics is in increased demand. The new energy/climate discussions also focus on the need of research of fluid dynamics; for example within applications of wind-mills, wave energy and transport.

Nd:YAG laser and optics

For information about research projects in relation to the lab, see the web page of the research group in mechanics.

The oil industry and the Norwegian Research Council has funded many of the research projects on ocean modeling and prediction of waves and currents. External projects are funded by; StatoilHydro, FMC Technologies, Inc. and Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) among others.


We have close contact with other key researchers in the field both nationally and internationally:

  • University of Bergen
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Cambridge University
  • University of Dundee
  • University of St Andrews
  • Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California San Diego (UCSD)
  • Cornell University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis

Contact information

Contact person: Atle Jensen

Visiting address

Niels Henrik Abels building
Moltke Moes vei 35

Reception phone: (+47) 22 85 58 88

Laboratory phone: (+47) 22 85 72 28
The Hydrodynamics Laboratory is located in the basement (underetasje) of Niels Henrik Abel's House (Mathematics building). The Mechanics section has its offices on the 9th floor. The main offices of the Department of Mathematics are located on the 7th floor.

Mail address

Mechanics section
Department of Mathematics
PO Box 1053, Blindern
N-0316 Oslo

* If PO Box addess is not accepted (DHL, FEDEX) send small packages to:
Mechanics section
Niels Henrik Abels house 7th floor
Moltke Moes vei 35
N-0851, Oslo

** Only very large packages should be addressed to the physical location of the lab. Please call ahead.
Hydrodynamics Laboratory
Niels Henrik Abels building, basement 
Moltke Moes vei 35
N-0851, Oslo


liten logo hydrolaben


Published Mar. 5, 2021 9:52 AM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2021 9:52 AM