staying home with computational fluid dynamics

One of the many perks of my job is that I don’t absolutely have to go into the office every day. I’m sure I *should* especially being the Engineer-In-Training (EIT) on projects, coordinating with project managers, and working on interdisciplinary teams… But…. If I can swing not putting on pants and working with a disgruntled cat on my lap, that is where you’ll find me.

Today, I had a meeting near my apartment. So I spent the morning at the early voting poll, grabbed a bagel from a local fav Rockstar Bagel (rosemary sea salt, every time), and sat at Quickie Pickie with a cold brew and morning mosquito companions. The morning was beautiful. The fog was rolling out, trucks and buses lumbered by, and hipsters on bikes whizzed past the patio. I reviewed the computational fluid dynamics memo that our smart guys in one of the large design offices had completed.

The study was super cool as they modeled not just the hydraulics of the secondary clarifiers in the wastewater plant, but they assigned velocities and weights to different particles to track their pattern. From it, they were able to tell that under different EDI (energy-dissipating inlet) scenarios, particles are being broken up by shear forces. The particles float instead of settling out (the whole point of the clarifier). We are able to recommend not spending the cash on EDIs at this particular plant.


I arrived at the wastewater plant a little bit early, but I was super excited to show off my voter’s sticker. On the way over I found that Texas has one of the lowest voter turnout rates across the country. Y’all, we can do better than that!


After our meeting, we snuck out to the flow equalization basins (FEBs) which are underground here. Part of our project includes replacing the temporary nonpotable water piping with something more permanent (and less messy!). The little white tubes are carrying mag hydroxide to mix in with the water.

I’ve just realized the flow arrows are going in totally the wrong direction!


Listening: 99% Invisible podcast – my all-time favorite.
Working: Coordinating with our CAD tech on how to route that nonpot water over to both FEBs.
Reading: I just completed the Martian Chronicles. A solid sci fi read. Recommend.