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CFD and airflow prediction for airborne viruses

Computational Fluid Dynamics has a long history.  This history relied on validation models.  We never will know if predictions of any analytical model are correct.  However, engineering analysis has always relied on validation of the models for known cases.  For example, we know that flow over a cylinder has 0 lift and the numerical  product should reflect that.  From there, we can advance to wind tunnel data and then to flight test data to validate a numerical model.

As computational methodologies advance, we must be careful to not introduce errors from the computation and also that the computational analysis has built up its reputation on validation with example for cases where the answer is known.  We can then progress into the unknown with a level of confidence in the prediction.

Currently, I am writing a book on the history of transonic flows and it's approximate 40 years of evolution.  We must constantly keep in mind that faith in CFD solutions only comes about after years of painstaking and accurate comparison with real life accurate test data.  This dance between analysis and test data has been in existence since we started modelling problems for their engineering solutions.  This process cannot stop now that we are dealing with airborne viruses.  We know what we know because we have developed faith in the answers from the analysis through years of comparison with real life test data.  Airborne viruses, and their associated low speed flows are difficult to model and their is a stochastic nature to their CFD solution.  However, there must still be validation before we just churn out a colourful particle tracker. More on this to come.  Please come back to read more on the current state of CFD modelling and airborne viruses.

EdX Online Course on COVID-19 and airborne transmission

This course was taught by MIT Professor Martin Bazant.  Here is the course link.  The course is totally amazing when you go from 0 knowledge of airborne, ok maybe a little fluids, to calculating, using an online pre-cooked spreadsheet, how many people can be in a room without infecting others.  I thought it was great timing to put that together.  I highly recommend it.

Edifice Podcast is the place to listen!

It was a great event to be talking to Robert Bean, Adam Muggleton, Professor Shelley Miller, Professor William Bahnfleth and Professor Ron Clift.  Give this podcast a listen on YouTube here.

A little chat with my mentor Robert Bean along with Adam Muggleton on the Edifice Podcast!

This was a great conversation with two greats in the building science field.  Yes, that's a new topic for me but having taken Robert's course at Heatspring, I got a fast education into Building Science and how aerodynamics, or the flow of air affects buildings!

Catch the interview here.

What we know about Covid-19


  • Prime information sources should be scientists
  • Buyer beware on data
  • Make sure you are following info from a reputable scientist who does their due diligence, has a strong background and years of experience in scientific thinking
  • Critical thinking is key

Famous Female Engineers in 2021

According to Global Citizen

Tiera Guinn is 21  years old and works at Boeing to design and build a more advanced rocket, specs to be determined and released later.  Here's something to remember.

Data Science

We have been updating our education with Edx

and this series of courses are amazing for resources that provide up to date information on data science technology


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