180912 Breaking borders and world records with our science – in Newton Lab, Milan, Italy! And I met Christian…

Christian, the skier, was very patient, keeping his position still inside the wind tunnel and allowing us to repeat the test several times. I can imagine why he was so focused:
Christian, who has had one of his legs amputated when he was 5 years old, is dreaming of breaking a world record, reaching the maximum speed possible skiing on one leg. The current record is 210 km/h, but Christian is not afraid at all of these speeds!

Meeting Christian left me really touched. I wish him to realize his dream!
Below you can see Christian during our tests.


Field tests are always very interesting: they are an opportunity to test equipment, to see how it performs and to work on the field!
Yesterday has been one of the most exciting days I have had as a performance engineer, so far.
Newton Lab, in Milan, is a stimulating environment for an engineer (and for anybody who is interested in science and technology). Here, they conduct tests to assess the mechanical performance of helmets for skiing, cycling, boxing etc, but also ballistic tests and safety tests for seats used in rallying and formula one. The team at Newton is very professional and kind: thank you for welcoming us in your lab!

As I wrote in my previous post, the reason why we travelled to Milan Lab was to assess and compare the aerodynamics of different skiing and cycling helmets. Their wind tunnel is fully equipped with cameras, screens, load cells and many other types of sensors. These allow to assess the resistance that a body opposes to the air flow and analyse any turbulence effect that could occur, at different wind speeds. The measurements were performed both with a human skier and with a sensorized dummy’s head, able to map the pressure distribution and acoustic noise due to the wind.
No we are waiting for all data so that we can analyze it – meanwhile I am taking the plane back to Sweden:-)