Congratulations to the US Bobsled Team (and thanks for helping to launch my career)
By Robert Mudry, President, Airflow Sciences Corporation
What a great day for the US Bobsled Team, as Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor win Gold and Silver medals in the Monobob competition in Beijing. Congratulations!! It has always been thrilling to watch the US Bobsled Team compete; the sport is such a fantastic combination of athletic skill and aerodynamics.
I have a very personal connection to the bobsled. Way back in 1988, I was an aerospace engineering student looking for a summer internship and heard through a friend about a company in Livonia, Michigan that had done wind tunnel testing for the US Bobsled team. What? An aerodynamic engineering company in Michigan? I had thought my career choice would lead me to Florida or Texas or the West Coast. Well, I landed that internship, became a full time engineer the next year, and have now been with Airflow Sciences for 34 years. It’s been a great place to work – I’ve really enjoyed the variety of engineering projects and the tremendous talents of our team and our clients. And in the back of my mind I have the US bobsled team to thank.
As a retro look at cutting edge bobsled aerodynamic design, check out the photos below from Airflow Sciences Corporation’s past wind tunnel work for Team USA.
Airflow Sciences was selected as the lead aerodynamic design team of Team USA in the mid-1980s tasked with optimizing the aerodynamics of their bobsleds. The testing was completed in the University of Michigan’s 5’x7’ wind tunnel and ultimately led to a World Cup victory for Team USA in 1987, the first win in this event since the 1950s. Today you can find the bobsled runner along with other interesting photos and articles on exhibit in the Engineering School at the University of Michigan.
1986 World Cup two-man bobsled race in Lake Placid, New York.
Airflow Sciences founder Jim Paul is seen here collecting performance data on his Apple 2e computer.
Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me. Congratulations to Team USA! And best of luck in the remaining 2022 Olympic bobsled events!!
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