Computational wind engineering
This year is the 4th year of the assignment of TMC Physics’ Ivo Kalkman at Dutch research organisation TNO. He develops methods for computational wind engineering, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). "Wind engineering", he explains, "covers a variety of topics ranging from wind loading of structures to pollutant dispersion and from environmental risk assessment of chemical hazards to pedestrian wind comfort”.
Ivo focuses on the calculation of wind loading of structures. “To calculate these wind loads, both the structure involved and its environment have to be modelled. In most cases this results in very complex models. For the sake of simplicity, parts of the environment (e.g. cars, trees and lamp posts) are eliminated. Even then, modern supercomputers encounter difficulties when calculating these wind loads with sufficient accuracy."
"What attracts me most", he says "is the wide scope of the topic. Wind is never constant and fluctuates all the time. This means the wind loads on structures also fluctuate. In the design of a façade it is important that it can resist the peak load and this requires very accurate calculations. A great challenge for me!”
Ivo is happy with TMC's support in his personal and professional development. “There is ample time for training and personal coaching. Besides, my account manager monitors my development. It is my ambition at TNO to make CFD analysis of all wind engineering problems computationally feasible.”