I recently cleaned up the bookshelves in my office so that when I’m doing my daily vlog videos it’s neat and tidy. During that process I put my little wind tunnel model back up on display, and I was reminded, quietly, of my desire to be involved in more physical testing and specifically, wind tunnel testing.
I was asked this week by a colleague to help him sort out an issue he was having with pressure drops in a pipe flow, and it brought me back to my undergrad textbooks, and understanding the fundamentals of fluid flow again.
I get so wrapped up in the project that I’m working on, or the job title that I have, that I forget what it was about fluid dynamics and aerodynamics that I loved in the first place. It was the information that is contained in those undergrad textbooks that sparked my interest in the subject. I loved learning about the artful nature of fluid flow, about the physical structures within that cause it to behave in a weird and complex and beautiful way.
I loved the black magic aspect of it all. I loved that it didn’t always make sense. I loved that there was still so much to be learned, understood and applied. I loved the potential and the possibility. I loved going into a lab session or wind tunnel test, not knowing what the outcome was, but excited to learn something new.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was never intending to go into simulation full time, and the funny thing is that all those years ago I knew that a full time desk job would not suit me. But I took what I could get when I got home from the UK, and I am lucky that a small part of my job does still utilize wind tunnel testing. But it is a very small part.
I wanted to explore this a little more in a blog, because I think it might be the physical aspect of a test, versus a simulation, that I prefer. I think it might be the same reason why I love exercise, and learning about nutrition, and cooking / baking new things on the weekend. It’s experimentation, it’s the real world, it’s moving and shaking, not just the virtual world.
There’s also an aspect of art within the science that always has me intrigued. I study exercise science and effectiveness, but I love the ebb and flow of yoga. I research recipes, but I love the act of creating a new dish. I analyze trends and data, but I love the non-linear and organic nature of fluid flow.
I’m a walking dichotomy.
I need to find ways to incorporate both the analytical, academic side of myself, and the creative, sensitive, artistic side. That’s a tall order, and one that will require some further thought this weekend. But for now I’ll display my wind tunnel model proudly as a reminder to listen to my heart.