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Engineer Spotlight: Meet Nick Vastine at Applied Flow Technology

Nick Vastine Engineer at Applied Flow Technology

Contributor: Applied Flow Technology

The Support Team at Applied Flow Technology sees extremely interesting cases of how AFT software is used daily. While some engineers use it for basic pressure, many utilize the software in innovative ways to meet their design criteria. Customers call for a variety of reasons – from installation issues to waterhammer concepts and challenging applications. And on the other end of that phone line, is an AFT Engineer.

In part 2 of our 4-part series highlighting some of AFT’s awesome engineers, we hear from Nick Vastine, graduate from the Colorado School of Mines and current Business Applications Engineer. Here is what he had to share!

“I remember a call I received from a customer one time where they needed help with an AFT Impulse model. The customer wanted a transient event to trigger only if there was a sustained criterion (i.e. a pump should trip only if high pressure is maintained for more than 20 seconds). I was able to work with other AFT engineers to creatively implement sustained criteria within the AFT Impulse model.

I love the ability to be adaptable and inventive in my job. Rather than following a strict routine from project to project, I like being able to stay on my toes and resolve all sorts of issues. This keeps my mind sharp while also exposing me to subjects relevant in all my other responsibilities; such as writing blogs, beta testing, and detailing documentation.

One recent problem I helped to solve was an AFT Impulse case where the client was performing a waterhammer analysis on their system. A downstream valve closure caused a high pressure wave to travel upstream, but instead of reflecting a low pressure wave like anticipated, the pressure increased at the reflection. For the client, this brought the validity of the entire model into question.

Upon my review, I realized this discrepancy was actually due to a partial reflection at a pipe contraction just downstream of the expected reflection point. This contraction partially reflected the high pressure wave, constructively combining with the existing high pressure in the system. Not only was AFT Impulse doing the calculation correctly, it provided a higher maximum pressure than the engineer would have otherwise designed for using traditional hand calculations. Having a strong background in waterhammer and a familiarity with the software ultimately made the solution to this problem trivial. It’s all about knowing where to look.”

Nick, having worked one-on-one with customers, has the insight and knowledge to improve AFT’s existing product offering. He has been working with the team to add new features to the AFT software that will further benefit their clients in 2020.

“The feature I’m most excited for is multi-scenario comparison. From a user standpoint, scenarios are a great way to keep all your design permutations in one file; whether it be testing different pumps during sizing, running your system under max and min load conditions, or testing your system for steam blowdown. The scenario comparison tool really improves how users locate differences between this vast range of scenarios.

From a troubleshooting standpoint, it is much easier to open a model from someone else and interpret exactly what changed between scenarios, much better than trying to rely on nondescript scenario names. Even in my own models, it is much easier to ensure I am varying only my independent variable for that scenario. For example, rather than check each scenario individually to confirm their pump curves, I can just create one scenario comparison. This feature makes an already powerful scenario manager even easier to manage.”

Thank you, Nick, for giving the #PumpTalk Community a window into your engineering world!

Be on the lookout for news and updates about new product features by following AFT on social media! They’re on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube.

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