1000 E University Ave
Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2379
Fax: (307) 766-6729
Jared Baker's summer break wasn't spent on a beach or in the mountains.
The only place Baker wanted to be this summer was at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.
While most college students enjoyed a respite from homework and exams, Baker spent 10 weeks in front of a computer inside an office where he tested various numerical methods and algorithms in an effort to optimize efficiency at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) near Cheyenne.
"I was just waiting for the spring semester to end," says Baker, a University of Wyoming graduate student in mechanical engineering. "I couldn't wait to get there."
Baker's desire was obvious from the first day, says Aaron Andersen, NWSC project engineer.
"Jared was outstanding," says Andersen, who mentored Baker during the internship. "He was super eager to work and he would turn things around faster than I could keep up with him. I was always thinking, ‘What can I put in front of him next?'"
Baker's work during the summer will be used by NCAR to help ensure proper air flow and cooling inside the NWSC, which is expected to be operational by next June.
The NWSC is being developed in partnership with UW, the state of Wyoming, Cheyenne LEADS, the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power. It will contain some of the world's most powerful supercomputers dedicated to improving scientific understanding of climate change, severe weather, air quality and other vital atmospheric science and geoscience topics. The center will also house a premier data storage and archival facility that holds irreplaceable historical climate records and other information.
"All of Jared's work related directly to the efficiency of the building and will help save money and energy," Andersen says.
Relying on his background in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to analyze and solve fluid flow challenges, Baker constructed virtual rooms using TileFlow, a 3-D software tool for simulating cooling performance of data centers, and conducted various simulations to collect data on temperature distributions and air flow patterns, among other things.
"He asked great questions, he challenged some assumptions and he dove into the inner workings of the software at a level I hadn't anticipated," Andersen says. "He really took what he has learned at the University of Wyoming and applied it here, and that was nice to see. He has a bright future ahead of him."