Doyle Computational Fluid Dynamics to improve sail making

Tyler DoyleDoyle is a CFD company creating 3D computer simulations for efficient sail designs.
Tyler Doyle, a mechanical engineer graduated from Stanford University specializing in automated shape optimization, holds his company which grew out of Doyle Sailmakers’ engineering department in 2010.
Doyle CFD is made up of Tyler Doyle and Duncan Swain: they started focusing on industrial projects, such as wind and water turbines, but  they shifted back to the sailing industry, helping sail and yacht designers make their designs as efficient as possible.
“Sailing applications are the most challenging we ever deal with,” Tyler Doyle said. However, the complex simulations he runs can cut down on the expensive trial and error method to create the optimal sail shape.
“If you think about what we do is like a virtual wind tunnel,” he said.
“With sails, everything is unsteady, the wind is unsteady, the waves are unsteady,” Tyler Doyle said.
Tyler Doyle credits the advance in computer power in the last 20 years to making his company possible. What used to take a week to simulate on a supercomputer at Stanford can now be done in a couple of hours using cluster computing. In some instances, it can take tens of millions of calculations to model the air flow around a sail.
“One of my goals for starting this company was to kind of bring the technology the big guys were using to the little guys,” Tyler Doyle said.
Computer simulations allow Doyle Sailmakers to suggest subtle changes to a sail design without the expense of building prototypes and trying them out on the open sea.
Doyle Sailmakers is one of the largest and well-known sailmakers in the world. It employs 50 people locally and has more than 70 sail lofts around the world, said its founder, Robbie Doyle.