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AFT President & Founder | ASME Fellow - Trey founded AFT in 1993. He was the original developer of AFT Fathom (including the GSC and XTS modules), AFT Arrow and AFT Impulse. He was active in software development until 2011 and still works with the development team in addition to managing AFT. He has taught hundreds of training classes on AFT’s...

AFT President & Founder | ASME Fellow - Trey founded AFT in 1993. He was the original developer of AFT Fathom (including the GSC and XTS modules), AFT Arrow and AFT Impulse. He was active in software development until 2011 and still works with the development team in addition to managing AFT. He has taught hundreds of training classes on AFT’s software products in twelve countries across every populated continent. He worked previously for General Dynamics in cryogenic rocket design and Babcock & Wilcox in steam/water equipment design. He holds a BSME (1985) and MSME (1986), both from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a registered Professional Engineer.  

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Trey Walters

The Knowledge Quest: Connecting With Fluids Education at Universities

This week was not a typical week for me. For the first time in 30 years I found myself in not one, not two, but three university classrooms. Each classroom was in one of Colorado's excellent engineering schools.

I had a chance to come face-to-face with about 140 students in classrooms this week and several professors. A number of positive things came of the week which I will summarize below.

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Trey Walters

Hydropower Big and Small: My Recent Visit to a 5 MW Plant

Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA is often called "America's Mountain" and is the most visited mountain in North America and second most visited in the world. Barr Trail is the 13 mile (20 km) hiking trail that leads from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak. And right next to the Barr Trail trailhead is the famous 100+ year-old Manitou Hydro Plant.

Famous? Why is this tiny 5.5 MW hydroelectric power plant famous?

And how would a fluid systems engineer like myself compare it to other famous dams like the 14,000 MW Itaipu Dam and the 2,000 MW Hoover Dam?

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Trey Walters

Hurricanes and the Art of Computer Modeling

Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean Islands and the state of Florida. Sixteen days prior, Hurricane Harvey ravaged the coastal area of Texas. Weather experts said this was the first time in recorded history that two Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the United States in the same season. Each hurricane caused billions of dollars in damage and impacted millions of people.

Especially in Irma’s case, there was considerable discussion of the computer modeling used to predict the path and strength of the hurricane. As I have worked in computer modeling for most of my 30+ year career, this piqued my interest and I decided to educate myself a little more on the topic as it relates to hurricanes.

The first resource I pursued is one of our software developers here at AFT, John Lindsay. John has an undergraduate degree in Meteorology and a Master’s degree in Computer Science. John is a self-described weather geek who has a weather station at his home. We talked about weather modeling and he gave me some links to read further, which I did.

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Trey Walters

The Itaipu Dam vs. the Hoover Dam is No Contest: Itaipu Wins By a Landslide

Unknown to me, a few weeks ago I was sitting across from a Brazilian hydroelectric engineer on an airplane flying across Brazil. His name was Roberto and he did not speak English. I myself was learning the basic Portuguese phrases but that was the extent of my language skills. I was traveling with my son (an engineering student himself) who was spending the southern winter (i.e., northern summer) working in São Paulo, Brazil. My son had learned to speak Portuguese amazingly well and struck up a conversation with Roberto. That was when he found out Roberto was a civil engineer who used to work in hydroelectric power.

I have to confess that until that day a few weeks ago I had never heard of the Itaipu Dam - the largest hydroelectric facility in the Americas and, until a few years ago, the largest in the world. Roberto and his family were planning to tour the dam as part of their trip to the area where the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. When we landed my son and I hatched the idea to rent a car and see if we could get in on a dam tour ourselves.

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Ricardo
Hi, What a great travel you made, it remembers me my own trip to the Itaipu dam with father, as he is an engineer and I am stu... Read More
Monday, 13 August 2018 00:04
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Trey Walters

Get the Salt Out! California, Israel, the World...and Desalination Technology

In February I reached a new low. Up until that point, my lowest point happened as a child in my home state of California. That was when my father took me through Death Valley - elevation 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.

But this was different. I was not going to the lowest spot in North or South America (Death Valley). I was going to the lowest spot in the entire world. I was on my way to the Dead Sea. Located on the border between Israel and Jordan (see my personal photos below), the Dead Sea is at an elevation of 1412 ft (431 m) below sea level - and getting lower all the time as it further evaporates.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Manuel Sabido
Mr. Walters, Dead sea and the Pacific ocean have a different different chemical components and salt levels, my concern is, what i... Read More
Thursday, 05 October 2017 16:24
Trey Walters
Hi Manuel - I am far from a desalination expert. When it comes to the California coast, I have a hard time seeing the discharged b... Read More
Sunday, 15 October 2017 15:11
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Trey Walters

Hang on when riding a banshee on an alien world!

Technology has sure come a long, long way. As I am sure all of you know, Disney has been a technology innovator in the entertainment industry for nearly a century. The gee-whiz things Disney does has helped inspire many like myself to pursue technology careers.

Once again Disney has used technology to create a "Wow!" experience. I am talking about the new Flight of Passage ride at Disney World in Florida. I visited there a few weeks ago on opening weekend of the new Pandora - World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. The new land and this ride in particular are based on the top grossing movie of all time - Avatar. This new ride ("attraction" in Disney parlance) is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I got to ride it twice on this trip. This ride simulates a wild ride on the back of flying banshee like those found in the Avatar movie. The Na'vi word for the banshee is Ikran.

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Trey Walters

All the Sexy Aerospace Stuff That is Happening

It was sometime around 1988 and it was pitch dark outside. I and some of my aerospace colleagues from work were driving in a car caravan from San Diego to Edwards Air Force Base at the ungodly hour of 3AM. The Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled to land that morning and we wanted to see it.

From the moment I woke up in the middle of the night and all the way through the drive to Edwards AFB to the parking and walk to the viewing area to the standing in the cool, early morning air for a couple hours, I was questioning whether the whole effort was worth it. The landing of Discovery was not even certain. Weather conditions could postpone the whole thing.

And then someone pointed at the sky and yelled "There she is!". And I saw her too. Then a minute later we all heard the distinct double sonic boom. And I instantly knew it had been worth it.

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