Wow, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi have been amazing and make me even more impatient to go to skiing in early April. I’ll especially remember three of the sporting events. First, Bart Swings from Belgium finished in fourth place in the 5,000-meter speed skating just behind a fully Dutch podium. Maybe aerodynamic simulation could have improved his performance and delivered him a place on the platform. There was also some great ski jumping where the skiers literally flew, and I found a flapping ski to perfectly illustrate fluid–structure interaction. I don’t know if this flapping is good or bad for performance. What do you think? Finally, I’ll remember the breathtaking downhill race. Continue reading
Tomorrow, December 6, is an important day for many because it’s the final draw that will deliver the verdict on the eight football (soccer) groups that will kick off the 2014 FIFA World Cup — one of the most popular sporting events in the world, surpassed only by the Olympic Games. The 2014 World Cup will take place in Brazil from June 12 to July 1. This year will be special for me because, for the first time since 2002, Belgium has qualified. The team from Belgium includes a large number of players from prestigious European championships, so we have a fair chance to go quite far in the competition.
Whether the Belgian team will be a tough competitor or an easy seed could influence the rest of the World Cup. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely I will be able to support our Belgian Red Devils in person in Brazil next summer. But I’ll feel a part of the event thanks to the remarkable work done under the auspices of NOVACAP, Maruska Holanda and Pedro Almeida performed by Prof. Paulo de Mattos Pimenta and ESSS, the ANSYS channel partner in South America.
The Stadium That Will Host the 2014 World Cup
Because a stadium is usually considered a prestigious landmark that is expected to last for decades, the quality of the design is crucial. The stadium must be able to withstand any situation it might experience during its lifetime such as heavy wind or cheering crowds. Continue reading
Two weeks ago, while visiting some partners of the ANGIOVISION project, I had the unique opportunity to be in the operating room to attend an open heart surgery. It was fascinating to see live what we have been simulating for years. The replacement of the calcified heart valve combined with some bypass is a delicate surgery that necessitates extra corporeal blood circulation. I found myself very aware of the anxiety felt by the patient’s family, as my father-in-law had a similar operation a few months ago.
Despite the complexity of the situation, I was amazed by the serenity of the surgeon moving from step-to-step with professionalism, expertise and extreme calm, taking a few seconds to show me in reality what I usually see on the screen. For sure, the most moving time was when they brought the heart back to working temperature and watching this robust pump spontaneously feeding life into the body again. Continue reading
A year ago we were all amazed by the daring achievements of so many athletes during the Olympics. We discussed the impact of engineering simulation for these elites in a special edition of our ANSYS Advantage magazine. Personally, I look forward to each summer in July, when I watch with great admiration as cycling athletes embark on the route of the Tour de France. Once again, I’m very proud that ANSYS is somewhat part of the race through our clients.
Like most others, I’m impressed by the mountain ascents, watching the leaders who climb these slopes at an amazing speed. But I also respect those behind the leaders, who reach the summits with the thought of assisting their teammates the day after. Geographic names like Alpes D’Huez, Galibier, Col de la Madeleine and, of course, the beast Mont Ventoux, the giant of Provence, all sound like exceptional challenges reserved for an elite pack. Continue reading
If I had to choose a winner for the Best ACTor in 2012, It would be Oticon A/S in Denmark, a world-leading developer of hearing aids. I’ll tell you more about that company later. But first, let’s talk about ACTing and ACTors. ACT is ANSYS’ Application Customization Toolkit. It can help to capture analysts’ expertise and know-how as well as give non-expert users access to advanced models, among other things. But why is this tool so important?
I keep hearing people say that “there are no better codes than our in-house codes, as they are perfectly fitted for a given application.” But the reality is: The cost of developing and maintaining in-house codes — not to mention issues related to an integrated environment (CAD integration, meshing, post-processing, optimization and DoE) — simply makes the practice unsustainable. Continue reading
There are many fascinating medical evolutions that designers and engineers will discuss next week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, CA. Let me share one example, among many, for which engineering simulation plays a key role.
Advances in Implantable Medical Devices
With the world’s population aging, we can enjoy interacting with our parents and grandparents much longer than previous generations did. What is really even better is that their quality of life is improving. Today we can continuously monitor conditions that typically affect the elderly, such as heart malfunction, fluctuating blood glucose levels and hearing troubles. In fact, some implantable devices — like the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) that corrects heart arrhythmia — connect to the web so they can immediately and transparently call for medical assistance if there is a sudden change in the patient’s health statistics. Continue reading
As the ski season gets into full swing, friends who recently suffered a sprain or had a total hip arthroplasty (THA) (implanted hip prosthesis) are wondering whether they will be able to hit the slopes this year. Did you know that 400,000 American had a THA this past year? How long after a THA must they wait before skiing? And beyond that sport, before they are jogging or biking again? Most doctors offer a conservative approach, allowing for full recovery before pursuing such rigorous sports. Their judgments are based on the average recovery of a large group of patients, throwing in a reasonable safety margin to try to avoid joint deterioration.
If you’ve had to endure the seemingly never-ending recovery period of THA, you’ve no doubt felt the frustration of feeling perfectly fit to go skiing, probably just before the season ended. Too soon, according to doctors’ recommendations. But let’s imagine imagine a more hopeful scenario: that your doctor could evaluate (for you as an individual patient, not an average) whether the risk of injury practicing your favorite sport is indeed real. Will the exercise induce too large a movement between bones and implant, thus preventing proper healing? Would the stress in your weakened ankle be too great, leading to a new injury? Could you at least start some light training again? If only we could estimate the exact stress induced by various movements in the different parts of the body, we would know for sure if we can get back in the game or need to rest further. Continue reading
Just like me, when you’re faced with a possibly serious surgery, you might feel uncomfortable — maybe even anxious. But unlike most other patients, we experts in modeling think it would be great if surgeons could have access to simulation to see what’s actually happening in our bodies before they cut into us. Through the use of computer-aided surgery, medical teams could even train on “virtual clones” of ourselves, so that on the big day they’d be more prepared and confident in reacting to any situation, planned or not.
A team at the University Hospital of Rennes, France, led by Dr. Antoine Lucas didn’t hesitate to embrace such an opportunity. This team performs endovascular surgery to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA); a well-known solution involves implanting a stent graft. To minimize the risk of post-operative complications, the accuracy of stent graft positioning is crucial. The medical group scans the patient’s cardiovascular system at rest to gain insight about what they will encounter once the procedure starts. But during the surgery, the cardiovascular system gets deformed by the introduction of the wire guide and the stent — so releasing the stent based only on at-rest geometry could be less accurate. Continue reading