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Staff Profile: Sally Rugala

Sally Rugala
Sally Rugala

Sally's jewelry
Some of Sally's jewelry

Title: Computer Analyst

Education: B.S. Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park

How long have you worked for Flow Science?  1.5 years

What was it about Flow Science that attracted you? Flow Science is a small company packed with highly motivated employees that are quite passionate about their work. The high quality of our software product is a direct result of this dedication. Scientists all over the world use our fluid dynamics software to improve the design of existing and future products. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to make a measurable difference.

What is it that motivates you to get out of bed each morning? Every day is another opportunity to ask myself, "What's next?" For me life is about growth, and most growth happens while searching for
answers, not after I have found them. So, with every question I'm able to answer, I'm always sure to have a pile of unanswered ones.

What is a typical day for you? What projects occupy most of your time? Well, here at Flow Science, we all wear many hats. It's hard to break it down into a short summary, but I'll try.

I'm a software developer at heart. I've been working to improve the building and testing process for the FLOW-3D source code by updating the current processes and creating new ones. We have a wide array of hardware platforms that are supported, so each version of the FLOW-3D preprocessor, solver, and postprocessor software is compiled 16 different times. The GUI interface is compiled 8 different times. We then test these builds on as many platforms as possible. I help to coordinate this process.

Since I joined the team here, we've added several new hardware platforms including the Opteron and Itanium 64 bit platforms. I played a significant role by setting up the build environments and porting to the new platforms.

I also play a significant role in preparing the installation files and installation programs that are on the CD’s we distribute. With so many different hardware platforms, this can be an important task.

In addition, we all work together to troubleshoot software imperfections and respond to customer issues as they come up. It's a dynamic environment and there is always something new to learn.

Who has had the greatest influence on you, and how? My parents, of course. They did what all good parents do. They provided a stable, safe environment for me to grow up in. I am very lucky, and to this day, they still occasionally surprise me with their never ending support and wisdom.

With that said, I don't think that it makes much sense to allow any individual to provide too much influence. As humans, in many ways we are similar, but what sets us apart is our vast differences. I try to learn from everyone I come in contact with. Fashioning my life after any single individual, could compromise my chance of being exactly who I am.

There's much to be learned from observing other species as well. I've had several house cats over the years. Currently, my husband Steve and I have two: Dora and Wilkins. It is important to take the time to observe and be present in the moment, and here is what cats have to offer:

  1. They know how to relax.
  2. They know what is important (companionship, love, food, a good scratch behind the ears).
  3. If it' not important, they don't worry about it.

Of course I can't really live my life that way, but in these busy times, it's helpful to identify what is important and stay focused.

What is your favorite pastime? I have many hobbies, but my favorite one is silversmithing. I make jewelry, boxes, and other small sterling silver objects. I've made hand fabricated and cast pieces. I also create wax carvings for lost wax casting. I have an art studio in a spare bedroom in my home. I like the feel of the metal in my hands while I'm working with it, and I like the idea of taking a small amount of metal and turning it into something beautiful, that I hope will be providing someone with happiness, long after I am gone.

Who has the best Mexican food in New Mexico? Well, I've lived all over the state, and I know that you just can't beat a great chile relleno, and the best place to go is Chope's on Hwy 28 between Las Cruces, NM and El Paso, TX.

You commute from Albuquerque each day... what is on your playlist? I have XM Radio in my car, I wouldn't be caught on the road without it. My favorite artists are Aimee Mann and the earlier Sheryl Crow albums. I also like U2 and have recently discovered Coldplay and the Killers. I also like The Beatles, The Doors, and Nat King Cole. If I had to pick a favorite song it would probably be "Every Day is a Winding Road" by Sheryl Crow.