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Thinking Through Science

26 Mar 2014

IHPC’s researchers across the Engineering Mechanics, Fluid Dynamics and the Materials Science and Engineering departments joined forces to present the latest IHPC Student Seminar “Thinking Through Science”. Held at Breakthrough and Discovery Theatrettes in March 2014, the seminar introduced aspects of the Finite Element Method, computational chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, and how they are integral to our everyday lives.

Dr Bharathi Srinivasan from the Engineering Mechanics department spoke about the computational modeling and simulations of mechanical systems, and explained about the Finite Element Method (FEM). She demonstrated the concept of meshing and shared many practical examples of how important engineering problems are solved through FEM.

Dr Adrian Mak from the Materials Science and Engineering department gave the students a crash course on computational chemistry and molecule design, before zooming in on chromophores, parts of the molecules responsible for its colour. The students were also invited to examine how chromophores perform in absorbing light, and were given a go at designing molecules that best absorb light.

Mr Chew Lup Wai from the Fluid Dynamics department got students straightening up in their seats when he made a beach ball float on air, without the air blower projecting air directly beneath the ball. He then went on to explain the Bernoulli Principle, and showed the students how computational fluid dynamics can be used to simulate wind flow past aircrafts, race cars, and even across Singapore.

The Thinking Through Science seminar ended with a panel discussion, where the students were given an opportunity to interact with our scientists, and ask questions related to science and high performance computing.