A swift career start

For her climate master’s, Regina Daus specialized in atmospheric sciences. Today she’s a professional when it comes to simulating wind fields.

How does the cooling effect of the wind affect the capacity of power lines? How do trains and trams react to crosswinds blowing through cities? Regina Daus deals with these types of questions every day. “From early on I knew that I was interested in questions about wind and wind energy,” she says. In 2015, she completed her climate science studies at the University of Bern. Her thesis topic? Wind, of course, with the title, “Wind Resource Assessment in Complex Terrain: Validation and Comparison of Two Computational Fluid Dynamics Models”. Already as an undergraduate in environmental studies, Regina Daus had written her bachelor’s thesis on the influence of wind energy on atmospheric environmental conditions.

Regina Daus, who grew up in Lörrach, Germany, on the Swiss border, chose to do her master’s in Bern because of the variety of courses on offer. “Though I did take more natural science classes.” During her studies, the budding wind energy specialist certainly didn’t just coast. She made a point of choosing the courses that promised in-depth knowledge in the fields of simulation, statistics and atmospheric dynamics. And finally, she wrote her master’s thesis at the wind assessment group of the Bern-based company Meteotest, where she compared two numerical fluid mechanics models.

After completing her studies, Regina Daus came up with a simple hack to show potential employers where her particular strengths lay; she sent them a list of the lectures she had attended to earn her master’s certificate. “So, I was able to show what a climate master actually is.” She quickly found a job at a company in Germany that conducts wind assessments, mostly on behalf of banks or investors who are looking for a second opinion on the potential of a planned wind farm. There she also investigated noise emissions and the shadows cast by wind turbines, as well as their resistance to turbulence.

In the meantime, the graduate of Bern’s climate master program has founded her own company together with her former colleagues: menzio GmbH in Emden, Germany. Wind is still the focus, naturally. However, the young entrepreneurs don’t want to focus solely on simulating wind for energy purposes, as the boom in wind farms has subsided somewhat in Germany. “With our wind field models, we can simulate the wind for a wide variety of questions,” emphasizes Regina Daus. For example, when electricity producers want to know whether their high-voltage lines are cooled or heated by the wind. Or when a city asks how crosswinds between buildings affect the trams.

(May 2019)