PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL: JURE ODER
Could you briefly describe your role and responsibilities in the SESAME project?
I am a PhD student at JSI, which is a partner in the SESAME project.
The main involvement of my team is in the Work Package 1, which is about Fluctuations and Vibrations. It is our responsibility to provide reference data about thermal fluctuations in a flow of sodium in a heated backward facing step geometry (Task 220.127.116.11).
To produce this reference data, we perform calculations of the fluid and thermal flows with the use of the Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). This is a very precise and accurate form of simulation. However, it also requires many computational resources. Although it can produce a lot more data than can be measured in an experiment, the computational cost usually makes this kind of simulation impractical and is therefore avoided in real-world practical applications.
My team’s role in the SESAME project is to design, perform and analyse the data provided by such simulation.
What would you say are your biggest challenges?
A big challenge in performing a DNS is always with computational resources. You try to balance between precision that is still considered a DNS and the number of computers you can use for the calculation. There are shortcuts you can make, simplify particular aspects of the calculation, but that take you away from the original goal. I am very grateful to the people who helped attain more resources.
Nevertheless, the biggest challenge is definitely the lack of an experiment to compare our results. It is hard performing a blind simulation. You try to do your best under the circumstances and hope it will turn out all right. However, there is always that feeling that maybe you could have done more. When other people use our results there is always an uneasy feeling that maybe it is all wrong.
What do you enjoy most about your involvement in SESAME?
To me, the most memorable will be the wonderful social interactions within the SESAME project. Being a bit introvert, I was struck with the friendliness and openness of other participants. As an inexperienced PhD student, I was afraid I will feel lost among giants, but I received a very warm welcome. The meetings were full of questions, suggestions, ideas and preparedness to help.