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.

Crash, Smash and Splash — Why Safety is Critical for Autonomous Vehicles

There seems to be an unstoppable momentum toward the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Almost every day there is a story about the latest advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), drone or supposedly intelligent robot. As this rush to market accelerates, we are also regularly reminded that these technologies remain in their infancy when it comes to full autonomy and the much touted societal benefits it will bring.

autonomous vehicles las vegas bus crashFor example, the Las Vegas self-driving bus was involved in a crash less than two hours into the first day of its career. It stopped when a human-driven truck in front of it stopped, as it was programmed to do, but was powerless when the truck then backed up into its front fender. Whichever vehicle was at fault, the slogan “Look Ma No Driver” in the front window of the bus reads like a child showing off. As we know, pride comes before a fall. Continue reading

Lightening the Load with Composites and Digital Prototyping

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are doing everything they can to lower their costs, including lightweighting every component possible, which can improve fuel efficiency. The industry spends more than a hundred billion dollars on fuel every year. While the price of oil is relatively low today, manufacturers and airlines must look ahead to the more than 25-year life span of the average airplane, assuming someday prices will rise again. Cost is a major driver, but the industry is also committed to reducing emissions during flight, and reducing fuel burn from the engine helps achieve this goal. Lightweighting, then, is one of the most important trends in the aerospace industry, and using composites, that can offer the required strength but at lower weight than metals, in manufacturing is a key strategy.

aircraft cargo area

Continue reading

Digitalization, Dyson and Dimensions

Whether you are a digitalization veteran or just starting on the path of digital transformation, you need to read the Spring 2017 issue of Dimensions magazine from ANSYS, which is available now. Perhaps you think digitalization is just the next buzzword, or maybe this is the first time you have heard the term. No matter your starting point, we think this issue of Dimensions will convince you of the tremendous opportunities ahead in the field of digitalization. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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