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315 – Modeling Socio-Technical Systems

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Socio-technical systems are systems where (groups of) humans interact with (non-trivial) technical systems; an example is the power grid. The people, the technical system and the combination might easily lead to complex behavior that is hard to predict and control over the long term. However, as illustrated by, for example, the need to transition our energy infrastructure to a more sustainable structure, it is necessary for society to “control” such systems. Igor Nikolic is a professor at the TU Delft where he uses agent-based modeling approach to try to understand, and thus help control and evolve such systems. We discuss the systems, the challenges as well as the modeling approaches.

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314 – London Air Ambulance



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(average: 4.76)
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Earlier this year I visited the London Air Ambulance, a charity organization that flies two MD-902 helicopters over the UK’s capital. I chatted with their chief pilot Neil Jeffers about the flying and some of the medical aspects. My recorder then joined Neil on a short flight to their hangar at RAF Northolt. There, we met Adam Spink, a NATS air traffic controller at Heathrow, and the three of us chatted about the ATC perspective of flying helicopters (sometimes) in Heathrows’s approach.

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313 – Volocopter



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(average: 4.27)
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Letzten Herbst war ich in Bruchsal bei Volocopter, die Multikopter-Flugtaxis entwickeln. Ich habe mich mit Stephan Wolf über Software und die Steuerung unterhalten, mit Michael Harms über Struktur und Aerodynamik und mit Alexander Zosel über Einsatzszenarien und Geschäftsmodelle.

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312 – The Wendelstein 7-X Fusion Experiment



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(average: 4.50)
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In our never-ending quest to understand fusion and its potential use in energy production, I visited the Wendelstein 7-X fusion experiment in Greifswald run by the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik. We started out with a visit to the experiment hall, while experimentalist Matthias Hirsch gave us an overview over the machine. Next we discussed theory and modeling with Ralf Kleiber. Finally, I returned to Matthias Hirsch, and we chatted about more experimental aspects of Wendelstein. It is probably best to listen to our previous fusion episodes (22, 157 and 304) before listening to this one.

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311 – Dampfloks



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(average: 4.60)
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In dieser Coproduktion mit dem Zugfunk Podcast geht es um Dampfloks. Letzten Herbst bin ich mit der 01-150 mitgefahren, die Nils Hirche und Tobias Pokallus von den Ulmer Eisenbahnfreunden von Koblenz nach Krefeld überführt haben. Und im Januar diesen Jahres haben Marcus Metzdorf und ich und dann wieder mit Nils und Tobias, sowie mit Patrick Schönenberg in Heilbronn getroffen um über die Technik von Dampfloks zu reden. Dementsprechend hat die Episode auch zwei Teile: Mitfahrt und Gespräch.

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