Robert Harwood

About Robert Harwood

Global Industry Director Rob obtained his engineering PhD in 1998 and since that time has focused on the industrial use of simulation based engineering in a broad range of industry sectors. Rob has been with ANSYS for 16 years.

Is Uber Actually a Space Company? The Discussion at AIAA SciTech

While attending the AIAA SciTech aerospace event in January I was surprised when the discussion turned to Uber as a space company. Seriously? I understand that Uber is revolutionizing the business model for transporting people, but I thought it was purely terrestrial.

Even though this statement was said somewhat tongue in cheek, with a stretch of the imagination you can see how it can be argued that Uber’s business model is predicated on monetizing data — GPS in this case — that is a product of the space industry. From this follows the (somewhat tenuous) proposition that Uber should be considered a part of this industry.

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How to Make a Full Spectrum Disruption in Aerospace: AIAA SciTech 2017 Preview

aiaa scitech 2017 ansys booth 412January brings with it not only New Year’s resolutions, but also a time to look forward to one of the highlights in the aerospace calendar — the AIAA SciTech 2017 conference takes place January 9th-13th in Grapevine, Texas, with the theme of full spectrum disruption in aerospace.

And what has been more disruptive in recent years than the rise and acceptance of the commercial space industry? What was not so long ago the terrain of dreamers is now part of the mainstream space industry. Long standing companies in the industry have had to rapidly adjust to this new paradigm. Continue reading

Excellence in Aerospace Engineering Simulation

Aerospace and defense companies share many commonalities in the type of products they produce, the harsh environments within which these products operate and their overriding focus on safety and reliability. However, each of the commercial aircraft, space and defense sectors faces unique market trends. One common response to the pressures they each face is to deliver excellence in engineering simulation and how it is applied to deliver tangible business impact.

But how do they do this? Continue reading

Giving Thanks to Our Customers: Excellence in Engineering Simulation

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-00-39-pmAs the end of the year approaches, it’s always a good time to reflect on our achievements — did I really stick to those resolutions I made at the start of the year? — and to look forward to new goals and possibilities. It is also a time to celebrate the holidays and give thanks for the many good things that have happened this year. None more so than those showcased in ANSYS Advantage Magazine: Excellence in Engineering Simulation. Continue reading

ANSYS Advantage Magazine: Breakthrough Energy Innovation and Sustainable Design

ANSYS Advantage - Breakthrough Energy Innovation Sustainable Design

Energy systems innovation and sustainable design are key business initiatives in almost every industry sector. And, these initiatives are not only required to meet customer demand for “green products” or to satisfy environmental regulations. Many businesses have realized there is an opportunity to drive new growth with energy innovations. The new issue of ANSYS Advantage highlights the many ways our customers are delivering these energy innovations by leveraging the power of engineering simulation.

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Is the Aviation Industry Innovating Fast Enough to Deliver Sustainable Design?

This year has been one of significant milestones for the aviation industry. Two examples are Boeing’s hundredth year and the UK Royal Aeronautical Society’s 150th. Times like this provide a chance to reflect on some of the key technical innovations that have made major contributions to performance, safety, comfort, economy, energy innovation and sustainable design in the industry. Continue reading

Coming Full Circle in Paris: From COP21 to the ANSYS Dimensions Innovation Conference

paris-at-nightAlmost one year ago, Paris was the stage for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) that adopted the first international climate agreement, setting a goal to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees C. Now I am pleased to say that on November 15th and 16th this year Paris will also play host to the first ANSYS Dimensions Innovation Conference. Let me explain the connection.

As I discussed in a blog last month, to meet the challenges of the COP21 commitments, only breakthrough energy innovation is going to help customers achieve their sustainability goals, lower operational costs and drive growth by opening new markets for their products. Continue reading

Breakthrough Energy Innovation. What Will You Change Today to Drive Sustainable Design?

Energy efficiency, sustainable design and green products are not new concepts but they are increasingly coming to the fore. Of particular recent note was the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris and the commitment to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels.

Why the increased emphasis and urgency? A widespread and growing recognition that our use of Earth’s resources is accelerating at an unsustainable rate, with measurable consequences. Continue reading

From Waterloo to Wi-Fi: The Transition to the Connected Soldier

Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. I recently read an excellent account of the battle by Tim Clayton. What a tremendous difference between the technology available to the soldiers and generals in those days compared with today’s connected soldier. Continue reading

It’s a Bird! It’s a Drone! No, It’s a Bag!

OK, apologies for the Superman theme in the title but I could not resist after watching this clip of one of the more innovative uses for a drone.

images of a droneI am sure you are aware of the rapidly growing market for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and drones. They are in the media almost every day for one reason or another and you may even have bought one for your kids (or really yourself and are just using the kids as an excuse).

On a more serious note, there have also been quite a few headlines of drones in near misses with commercial aircraft and much speculation about what might happen if contact was to occur. To begin to understand some of the factors that might influence what happens in various drone strike scenarios, one of my colleagues, Alex Pett, undertook some preliminary, proof-of-concept-type simulations. The simulations are preliminary and no concrete conclusions can yet be made, but it does show how simulation can help in this very complex area.

Video: Courtesy Alexander Pett, ANSYS UK Ltd

For many though, it is not a question of “if” a collision between a drone and an aircraft will happen, it is a question of “when.” In April, the pilot of a British Airways flight landing in Heathrow reported that his aircraft was struck by an unmanned aircraft. But this has subsequently been played down and it may now have been a plastic bag, not a drone, that made contact with the aircraft.

However, whether or not is was a drone, the incident continues to raise the serious concern regarding drones and their safe use.

And the safety of drones is not just about where and how high they can be flown. It also has a lot to do with their design and construction. For example, the rotor blades on many quadcopter designs are driven to high speed by powerful motors that in the wrong situation could do a lot of damage.

In the light of this interest regarding both the rapid development of the drone market and the concern over the trade space between performance and safety, I’d like to let you know about a webinar we are holding with Aviation Week on June 16th.

ansys webinars this weekThe webinar is titled Engineering Drones: Challenges and Opportunities and I am also very pleased to say that we will have a guest speaker, Trey Kasling, the CEO of a drone startup company Kasling Aircraft,who will be sharing his perspective not only on the drone market but how simulation can be used to develop safer drones and how drones can be used to excite young people about the world of engineering. I hope you can join us.