As the year 2012 comes to a close, I look back on the accomplishments, milestones and triumphs and can smile with pride. Google Zeitgeist releases an annual video that features the most memorable moments for that year – this year’s video includes clips from Felix Baumgartner’s space jump, the infamous US Presidential Election, the London Olympics, medical milestones, the cries for change across the world, The Euro Cup and many other special events.
But as I watched this video, I realized that I see it through a different lens than most people. Being in the business of simulation, I often wonder about the underlying technology that was used to achieve these great moments in history.
When I stared in awe as Felix jumped out of that capsule, I marveled at the thought of the technology that made it possible. I wondered about the team who designed his suit and I could almost feel the enormous amount of anticipation the engineering team must have experienced when Felix took that step out of the capsule and plummeted toward the Earth.
When I heard James Cameron say, “See ya in the sunshine,” – I visualized how the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER project team worked hard for the seven years prior to that moment, and thought of how proud they were to finally see this event come to fruition.
When I saw the image of Michael Phelps in the pool, I was reminded of the engineering simulation that enabled Speedo to design his cap, goggle and suit so he could cut through the water as fast as humanly possible.
When SpaceX launched the first ever commercial flight to the International Space Station, I envisioned the complex technology that helped the team accomplish that monumental goal, to the countless hours spent behind the scenes to ensure that it went off without a hitch.
As long as we have groups looking to push the envelope and expand our capabilities, I realize that we, ANSYS, will remain in a valuable position, helping achieve the goals of the “go-getters.” Simulation was used to test Baumgartner’s suit to make sure he didn’t experience any life-ending situations; simulation helped Phelps secure his record 18th gold and 22nd overall medals in his illustrious career by providing an optimized racing system; and of course, simulation assisted in the design of the first ever commercial space craft to dock at the International Space Station.
In 2012, thought leaders took the world another step closer to the future, in 2013 and beyond. Who knows — one day, space suits like the one worn by Felix Baumgartner could be a part. My guess is as good as the next as to what we will see in the next edition of the Google Zeitgeist 2013 video. As we wrap up the year, I wish the best to all the idea-generators, forward-thinkers, designers, engineers, and ingenious organizations and look forward to what you bring to the table in the new year!