Anabel del Val was born in Málaga, Spain. From a very young age, she has been interested in Space travel, leading to her enrolment at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2009 in a BSc and then a MSc in Aeronautical Engineering with a specialization in Space Vehicles.
During the five-years studies, Anabel broadened her knowledge in Space-related topics and was also introduced to the field of Fluid Dynamics, which opened a wide range of challenges that still remain unsolved today. Fluid Dynamics was one subject she found intellectually stimulating and rewarding when well understood, especially with many new concepts and mathematical approaches required for problem solving.
After finishing her MSc in Madrid, Anabel del Val carried out her Master’s thesis in the field of Aerothermodynamics at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics and where she saw the perfect blending of Space travel and Fluid Dynamics when dealing with the reentry of spacecraft. She discovered the importance of Uncertainty Quantification methods when dealing with experimental measurements in ground testing facilities used to reproduce reentry flight conditions. The need for UQ in terms of validation and optimal experimental conditions determination motivated her to apply for the UTOPIAE network as a research fellow.
When looking at the future, one of Anabel’s main concerns is education. As new generations of scientists and engineers become leaders in the field, she thinks it is important to support them with an adequate educational system embracing today’s societal and technological challenges. In this envisioned educational system, the History of Science should play an important role as it contains a high educational value regarding the human side of the struggle for knowledge, how important ideas came to be, and why and how we understand what we understand. She would, therefore, like to devote her career to academia.
Other interests include astronomy, which started when Anabel was 10 years old with her first telescope and continued throughout the years when she was the coordinator of an astronomy club back in University. She is an avid poetry reader and writer having won two international literary contests in a row resulting in the publication of two books. Sports such tennis, swimming and running rank among her favourites.