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Laura’s passion for wind powered vessels
Alongside her whole professional career, Laura Marimon Giovannetti, now a senior researcher at SSPA, has also been an elite athlete in sailing, representing Italy and then the British Sailing Team at World and European championships. Now she’s (virtually) heading for the Olympics!
Laura’s knowledge of sailing as an athlete as well as an engineer has helped her shape her path in high-performance sports and now also in wind propelled vessels.
— The latter especially reflects not only my passion for sailing but also my personal involvement in sustainability, she says. I would really like to admire the sea that once again is used to transport goods in a clean and sustainable way.
Whilst competing at international level in the Laser first and then in the NACRA 17, Laura studied ship science at the University of Southampton, which is another name to define a naval architecture degree. During her PhD, when her experiments in Fluid Structure Interaction were more or less the first of their kind, she started working as an intern for the British America’s Cup challenge for the 35th Cup in Bermuda.
— There I met some of the most prominent names in yacht and foils design but also F1, CFD experts, advance material specialists and boat builders which for the most part I can now call friends!
Laura became part of the SSPA team in 2019.
— I started working with Sofia Werner and Vendela Santén in their team of people involved in the Ocean Bird research project. My main tasks initially were involving Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and evaluation of the hydrodynamic forces and how to tackle those to be able to improve the performances of the wind powered vessel. I had always been amazed by how fast the research group is growing and bringing new experiences together to learn from a wide range of different applications. I really look forward to see the real ship in action in 2025.
At SSPA Laura is now involved in several projects, one of which is a wind tunnel experimental campaign connected to the Ocean Bird project to test the interaction effects between a range of wings.
— I am very passionate about hydrofoils too, so now I am working actively not only to share my knowledge on foiling boats in the sailing community but hopefully to more work and passenger boats in the coming years. We have started some very cool projects that involve SSPA’s facilities to test new types of hydrofoils and I look forward to analyse the outcomes of those.
She also works in research and development projects for the Swedish Olympic Sailing Team through SSPA.
— My work with the Swedish Olympic Committee and the Swedish Sailing Team is aimed at a range of different projects mainly for Paris 2024. It is a very proactive team environment and we immediately started to make good progress with the huge help within SSPA of Adam Persson, Eliza Banhegyi and Axel Hörteborn.
All in all, Laura says she couldn’t be happier and more proud of how the team in SSPA is working in such interesting projects.
— I didn’t get the chance to go to the Tokyo Olympics as an athlete, but I am sure that the Swedish Sailing Team and in a small part the work that we have been carrying out in SSPA, will still make me very proud of our achievements.
Photo credits portrait: Harry KH