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Top Summer Vacations for Turbomachinery Engineers

By Barbara Shea
Jun 14, 2019

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Summer is almost here, at least in my hemisphere, so here are some of the best places around the world people in the turbomachinery industry might find interesting! Know of another? Share your favorite!


Local Flavor

Concepts NREC has an office outside of Boston, MA -  As the home of MIT, Harvard and numerous other colleges and universities, this city fully embraces its inner geek. Bring the whole family to the world-renowned Museum of Science, where you can see the large Tesla coil mentioned in the blog The Tesla Turbine – A Solution Looking for the Right Problem, or explore the universe at the Charles Hayden Planetarium. While in Boston, be sure to stop some of Harvard University’s fabulous museums, including: Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.


Boston, MA - Photo from Boston USA


Not to be outdone, the MIT museum is also spectacular with numerous exhibits on robotics, holograms and art. Are you an old-school engineer? Then you will want to see the Keuffel & Esser Company Slide Rule Collection, and learn more about that iconic symbol of engineering. There are also beautiful beaches, bountiful breweries and  boisterous Bostonians for a blissful bide in Beantown. Plus, you are only two hours away from our headquarters in White River Junction, VT.


slide rules

Photo from MIT Museum website



Turbochargers are probably one of the most recognized examples of turbomachinery; perhaps that’s why a lot of people in turbomachinery love cars! There are some outstanding car museums scattered around the globe:

Cité de l'Automobile

Cité de l'Automobile Museum - Photo from their website


Here is Wikipedia’s list of automotive museums around the world – find one close to you and enjoy!


Aerospace & Aviation

Space, the final frontier… We all dreamed about going to Space Camp as kids, but for some, the dream never dies – and it doesn’t have to! If you have some spare Rubles lying around the house, check out Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome and the formerly top secret Star City complex with Star City Tours. Unlike NASA’s sites, which are wonderful, but “sterile” with everything neatly labeled and displayed, this tour gets you up-close and personal with the launch vehicles, facilities, and other non-classified portions of the Russian space program. You can handle real space hardware, experience weightlessness,  put on an Orlan spacesuit that weighs more than 200 pounds (100 kg), and fly to the edge of space (65,000+ feet) on a flight on a MIG-29 fighter. Bring extra underwear!


Weightlessness Star City TousMig Flight

Images from Star City Tours


You can also attend an actual launch complete with prelaunch activities. Here is the 2019 Summer launches schedule:

  • July 20, 2019 — Soyuz MS-13 (manned)
  • July 31, 2019 — Progress MS-12 (unmanned launch)
  • August 22, 2019 — Soyuz MS-14 (unmanned launch)

There is also the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. It has the world’s largest collection of aviation and space artifacts. It opened in 1946 as the National Air Museum and in 2018 it had over 6.2 million visitors, which makes it the fifth most popular museum in the world.


Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Image from Air and Space Museum


Been there, done that, got the t-shirt?  Here is a website that lists out the top ten aviation museums in the world.


If you believe the Wright Brothers were the first to fly, then going to the national park in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina is also a must. Can’t get there? Read Dave Schowalter’s blog The Wright Stuff for Turbomachinery, it’s the next best thing.


The Great Outdoors

Want to get outside and enjoy the fresh air instead of being cooped up in a museum all day? How about a river cruise that includes a visit to the Three Gorges Dam in China? You can also get there via a bus tour from Yichang. Go in the rainy season, usually June through October, when there is the greatest chance they will be releasing water. It is the largest dam in the world and an engineering marvel!



Image from Wikipedia


Or you can tour the MaunaKea Observatory in Hawaii to look at the stars turbomachinery is helping to explore. Learn about some of the really spectacular discoveries that have come from data gathered there, including the first image of a black hole.


Black hole

Image form MaunaKea Observator website


Sadly, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is closed until 2021, but you can read about the upgrades so you can plan ahead.



The Large Hadron Collider - Courtesy Matin Durrani


There are thousands of places to go that feature some link to turbomachinery, the important thing is to get out there and explore.


Wherever you go, I wish you safe travels. Happy Summer!

Tags: Turbines, Turbochargers, Engineering, Turbomachinery Design, Turboshaft Engines, Aerospace, Aviation

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