Thought Leadership

Now Playing: Engineering Marvels in IMAX

One of the best things about working at RWDI is collaborating with others who understand the excitement of developing solutions to tough technical problems, and watching those solutions come alive in the world - for example, in the completion of an “unbuildable” building.

The new film Dream Big captures some of that excitement, giving viewers - especially young people - a taste of what’s possible in STEM fields. A project of MacGillivray Freeman Films, makers of some of the world’s biggest IMAX hits, Dream Big features engineering feats from around the world and introduces the amazing people and teams who make them real.Derek Kelly and Peter Irwin testing Shanghai Tower in wind tunnel

This fall our team welcomed the filmmakers to our headquarters to do some IMAX filming in our new state-of-the-art wind tunnel. Our founding partner Peter Irwin, an eminent wind engineer, and Derek Kelly, one of our Principals, walked the filmmakers through a wind tunnel simulation, showing them how we used a scale model of the record breaking Shanghai Tower to optimize its performance in high winds. The filmmakers also met with the RWDI design team of the tuned mass damper to understand how it keeps the building comfortable.

Dream Big was released in February and is currently being screened in museums and science centers throughout North America.

See the segment that highlights our work below. You can also check out the movie's official site to find a screening location near you. 

Segment from ‘Dream Big’: Showing how RWDI’s wind engineering expertise and tuned mass damper helped make the Shanghai Tower possible.Flow visualization around shanghai tower model

The combination of wind, smoke, and turntable lets us simulate variations in wind direction.Film crew in wind tunnelIMAX crew shooting video in wind tunnel

IMAX crew shooting video of a smoke visualization test of the Shanghai Tower.