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'Top secret' technology to help US swimmers trim times at Beijing Olympics
Date:8/8/2008

and mechanical engineer, including hydrodynamics research for the U.S. Navy. But lately he has expanded into bio-related research, such as working with a vascular surgeon to study effects of flow over endothelial cells, and partnering with a neurosurgeon to understand the mechanisms behind hydrocephalus, or excess fluid in the brain.

As a young researcher, Wei dreamed of measuring flow around swimming whales, but the idea never progressed to fruition. Recently, however, in the midst of his work with USA Swimming, Wei worked with marine biologists Frank Fish and Terrie Williams to measure the flow around swimming bottlenose dolphins at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Wei said he's confident that the United States will have a strong showing in swimming at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and that he's already thinking of ways to improve his technology to be even more effective when training swimmers to compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

"It's been a wonderful, unique experience," he said. "It's everyone's dream to make a difference, and I'm excited to keep helping the team for as long as they need me."

Wei is also currently working with the U.S. Olympic skeleton team and looking at new flow measurement techniques to help shave precious milliseconds off downhill times.


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Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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