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Fluids exploration in engineering research using Maya

March 16-April 20, 2010

IDEA Studio residents from UC Berkeley explored how Maya software could be used to accelerate the pace of engineering research in the early stages. The team hypothesized that Maya-supported visualizations could provide a solid qualitative foundation that could be used as a building block for further research—in a fraction of the time it would take using conventional methods.

To test this hypothesis, the residents used Maya to engage in a scientific experiment involving the mixing of fluids. They set out to learn about how the shape of a mixer blade might impact the efficiency of how fluids are combined. They created rich visualizations of fluid phenomena in real-time by leveraging the advanced physics embedded in the Nucleus simulation framework of Maya. They used their insights from their qualitative simulations to inform the necessary laboratory measurements that will validate their conclusions.

Design and engineering solution

The residents working on this project are faculty members and students from the UC Berkeley Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. They include:

  • Evan A. Variano, PhD, assistant professor
  • Pedram Hassanzadeh, graduate student
  • James Liu, graduate student
  • Kurt Nelson, graduate student
  • Matt Ritter, graduate student
  • Ben Smith, graduate student
  • William Tsai, graduate student
  • Mike Zelazo, graduate student

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