I recently attended a course at the University of Minnesota on rheological measurements. I arrived in Minneapolis on Saturday evening after almost 22 hours of travelling. The next day, I had planned to get to know the area and go to the maths review in the evening. I did manage to go out for breakfast, but by the time I got back, I was exhausted and had a nap, so not much happened.
Monday morning started at 8am which is not a feat I would usually be able to achieve but the time difference worked in my favour. I enjoyed a walk in the sun to the university and arrived early, where I registered and was invited to have some breakfast. Then I was greeted by this massive folder!
Lectures started at 08:20 with a nice introduction into rheology but quickly became serious maths (or math as they say over there). A much needed break was taken at 10:00 and to my surprise, more food was served. The next lectures covered some of the phenomena in more detail and lunch was provided by a nearby hotel. Then back to lectures to learn about some common models and the equipment used before another buffet was served. I arrived back at my hotel around 7 pm feeling very tired but not at all hungry.
The schedule for the rest of the week was much the same. Tuesday covered different measurements and models and what they could tell us. An evening question and answer session was very interesting and helped me get to know people more.
Applications for different fluids and some demonstrations in the lab were given on Wednesday. The last lecture was “Culinary applications of rheology” which was highly entertaining and samples were given. This was given by Barry Kudrowitz who created the ketchup robot! This was followed by a rheology inspired banquet dinner.
Thursday was the last full day and included some newer technologies and some advice on spotting bad data. This finished relatively early (only 5pm!) so some of us went out for dinner and a drink.
Friday gave extra time in the lab and I visited the Mall of America (the largest mall in the USA). I had mentioned to a few people I planned on visiting and they said the same things:
1. There’s a bigger one in Canada now.
2. There’s rides there
3. It’s really big
And I can confirm, there is rides, and it’s MASSIVE. Photos can’t really show the scale but I think you could fit a shopping centre just in the atrium.
On Saturday I flew to Chicago for a few days holiday, which was amazing. I didn’t see nearly as much as I would have liked to but I had a great time.