Monday, June 1, 2009

Of Hammocks and Fluid Mechanics

"It's an act of worship for me. I have been given a specific skill set for engineering work and while I'm not the type of person who can get up in front of a church group and play music, I can sit behind a desk and do calculations. Hopefully, I can bring glory to God that way."
-Ryan McGhee 2007

The first day or two after arriving at the Villa Helen's hotel, we had some design work and calculations to perform. Lisa, Eduardo, and Teresa were fresh out of a class called Fluid Mechanics, which studies the flow of fluids like water and air. They enthusiastically tackled a pipe flow calculation and were somewhat excited to break out their calculators! Engineers!

I don't know what Eduardo is frowning about here. Maybe he was reviewing the week's plans and saw that he was scheduled for food poisoning one day. Or maybe it was the slow Internet.

Ryan and Diana working on a budget tracking system. We blasted through over $20,000 in two weeks. Any undocumented purchases come out of my pocket, so I recruited Diana to be our team accountant. She kept track of everything and gave me real-time reports on how much money we had spent and on what things. This was wonderfully helpful and allowed me to focus more on other aspects of the project.

Liz and Juan were the only Electrical Engineers besides myself. Everyone else was Mechanical Engineering (except Diana who is Biomedical). So Juan and Liz spent a lot of time designing the electrical distribution grid we are deploying in Pueblo Nuevo. They had to make sure we used enough cable to make sure each home had adequate voltage, but do so with while minimizing the costs and lengths of the cables. This type of balancing act between competing, limited resources, is a typical engineering task.

David was watching and learning in this picture, but often, Juan and Liz were working together by themselves. We started calling them Juan and Two. Get it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fluid Mechanics in hammocks! :)