Our Industry Person of the Week is Dylan Witte, P.E. Dylan is a Project Manager at Purple Mountain Technology Group.
Q:How did you get started working in your field?
Dylan:I started as an Applications Engineer for Applied Flow Technology (AFT) who develops a comprehensive software suite of fluid simulation tools. In this role, I quickly learned the dos and don’ts of pump & system operation. I was able to work with engineers around the world to troubleshoot models of systems from all industries that use pumps to move fluids from A to B.
After a year, I wanted to apply my knowledge to building models of my own with a special emphasis on waterhammer and surge. I moved to Purple Mountain Technology Group (PMTG), the consulting sister company of AFT, and started leveraging my expertise of the AFT software tools to help clients with some of their hardest fluid handling problems. I received my Professional Engineer (P.E.) license in 2019.
Q:What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Dylan:I love the immense variety of systems I work with. I’ve completed projects with cryogenic fluids, municipal water, hydrocarbons, and all the way to non-Newtonian sludge in wastewater processing. I learn something new from each project.
The majority of our projects are related to waterhammer or pressure surges. I am proud to be able to help protect these systems during significant transient disruptions. Protecting these systems is especially true for piping systems transporting hazardous fluid. Often, using a pipeline is the safest way to move these fluids and my analysis allows these systems to have an additional layer of safety during emergency shutdowns or valve closures.
Q:What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Dylan:I would advise a young engineer to always remember that the systems we make, and projects we perform, are there to serve people. Make sure everything you help design leads to increased safety, efficiency, or functionality.
Additionally, I would advise young engineers to pursue licensure as a Professional Engineer (P.E.) as soon as they are able. It will open doors and allow for new opportunities and waiting too long after graduating will only make studying and taking the test harder.
Q:Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Dylan:I recently wrapped up a project analyzing check valve slam on a cooling water pump station that delivers approximately 60,000 GPM to a large number of heat exchangers. Not only was I able to validate that a check valve slam was indeed a significant concern for their system, but my analysis also revealed something unanticipated.
I tested a sudden shutdown of their operating pumps and showed that the transient pressure wave would result in transient cavitation, the formation of large vapor cavities near sensitive plate heat exchangers, and excessively large pressure spikes when the vapor cavity pocket collapsed. After presenting these results, the client revealed to me they’ve had numerous undiagnosed failures of these heat exchangers that were consistent with a sudden high pressure event.
To mitigate this issue, I completed the specification of four 30” specialized check valves and the inclusion of an 18,000-gallon surge vessel. These components will protect the system from both check valve slam and the transient cavitation within the cooling system.
Q:Anything else you would like to add?
Dylan:Getting involved in the industry and helping to elevate the topic of waterhammer for the next generation of engineers has been fun for me. In 2018, I presented a technical paper to the BHR Group Pressure Surges conference in Bordeaux, France. I will be attending the same conference this year in Prague, Czech Republic to present another paper. Both papers discuss the impacts of waterhammer and practical solutions to mitigate severe pressure surges. I am also working with the Hydraulic Institute on the new Waterhammer Committee which aims to provide visibility to waterhammer in pumps and systems. We are actively looking for other engineers to join us if anyone is able to contribute their time and talents.
Connect with Dylan onLinkedIn.
THANK YOU, DYLAN! WE LOOK FORWARD TO KEEPING UP WITH YOU THROUGH THE #PUMPTALK COMMUNITY!
KNOW AN AMAZING PERSON WHO IS MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS WITHIN INDUSTRY?NOMINATE THEM TO BE AN “INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE WEEK”!