What do iPhones and 3-D printers, drones and self-driving cars, cloud computing and composites airliners all have in common? They are all man made, made by minds and hands, made by those with expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Referred to as STEM, it is the foundation for a U.S. education initiative. Yet we seem to learn daily about the coming shortage of engineers and scientists.
From corporate boardrooms and the halls of ivory towers to humble classrooms at high schools with a few dozen students, leaders in technology and education are looking for answers to the same question. How can we improve education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics?
National Robotics Week provided us with a unique opportunity to answer this question. Development of robots is a challenging field that combines many engineering disciplines. Most robotics endeavors require knowledge of at least electrical, mechanical and software engineering. When students are exposed to robotics, they gain invaluable broad-based experience in these and other STEM fields. Continue reading
Equestrian sports are not something one generally associates with an ANSYS blog. Normally we blog about the realization of a jet engine program, or the promise of a new car on the road with lower emissions, or — to quote a recent blog by my colleague Daniel Burton — “How ANSYS Can Save the UK Economy.”
So why equestrian sports? I have a passion for horses, as do my family and many friends. Most of them compete at various levels in the equestrian world, and it’s in the equestrian world where a recent convert to ANSYS is making things safer.
Charles Owen designs riding helmets that benefit the equestrian world. Using ANSYS, the company designs and creates riding helmets that meet required standards well before they are manufactured. In addition, Charles Owen continually works developing techniques that maximize dissipation of energy from an impact. Continue reading
Guten Tag ANSYS Schweiz – Bonjour ANSYS Suisse – Buongiorno ANSYS Svizzera – Bun di ANSYS Svizra
Today we announced with great pleasure the addition of EVEN – Evolutionary Engineering AG (EVEN) to the ANSYS family. EVEN was founded in 2004 in Zürich by Marc Wintermantel, Oliver König and Nino Zehnder with the goal of making optimization and composites post-processing software.
Composites are created by blending two or more materials that possess different properties. Because they combine light weight, high strength and outstanding flexibility, composites have become standard materials for manufacturing in a range of industries. For this reason, composites will continue to be extremely popular with leading manufacturers around the world.
For example, we have seen growth in the use of composites in such industries as jet engines, wind turbines and automotive, among many others. We expect to see even more applications in which composites play a key role in the future, and ANSYS will be ready to supply the tools needed to get this critical work done. Continue reading
Continuing from my post yesterday about the new frontier of embedded software.
Nowadays it is not enough to just fly the plane, pilots have to manage tons of information while flying and they are connected with other units on the battlefield through a network that allows real time co-ordination.
F-104 Starfighter Cockpit
Lockheed Martin F22A Raptor Cockpit
Have you seen the cockpit of a new generation aircraft? Google the F-22 or the F-35 and compare them with the one from an F-104; you will not recognize a single piece of equipment. Head to YouTube and enjoy a video showing the maneuverability of one of these modern airplanes. Amazing!
Today simulation is widely used, aerodynamics is now explored in detail so engineers can master all the phenomena that affect the flight even in extreme conditions, and new configurations allow these aircraft to challenge physics laws… and win!! I’ve seen a Eurofighter Typhoon during a test flight operate at 80 knots and at no more than 100 feet from the runway — almost still in the air — flying with an angle of attack of 60 degrees. This could have been considered science fiction by an F-104 pilot. I’m amazed by the maneuverability of the F-22 or what an SU37 can do. I’m always impressed and fascinated with how aircraft designers created these masterpieces of engineering. Continue reading
A few months ago at the ANSYS Worldwide Sales Conference, I had the opportunity to view the many advancements and get briefed on other news concerning our simulation platform. As part of this learning experience, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting our newest colleagues from Esterel Technologies and finding out how embedded software is becoming key in the development of a new generation of products. From aerospace to automotive and transportation, from medical devices to energy generation plants, it is an important piece of the Simulation-Driven Product Development vision. In a 2-part blog, I’ll explain what this means to me.
Lockheed F-104C Starfighter
As I’ve mentioned before I’m quite fond of aircraft, so I’ll illustrate this point by talking about some very famous military planes, starting with the glorious Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. This incredible aircraft was designed in the early 1950′s by a myth among engineers — Kelly Johnson. His goal was to create a light, easy-to-maintain, simple and cost-effective airplane that would climb as fast as possible to operating height and engage in hostile contact with radar-guided missiles. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered how the electricity at your wall socket was generated? Or how the fuel in your car was produced? I expect you have at some point, as the things we see and do every day continually remind us of fuel prices, sustainability and the complex environmental issues concerning the energy supply.
For me, electricity is a hidden source of energy. It’s not usually “seen” and it can’t be smelled or tasted. But with the click of a switch, you can experience its power. Our lights turn on, the TV flashes into life and our smartphones receive a much-needed recharge to make it through to the end of the day. But electricity doesn’t just appear from out of nowhere. It needs to be generated somehow — and here we look to coal, gas, solar, wind and wave, to name but some sources.
I recently attended a regional energy conference and was fascinated by two very different speakers’ presentations. One focused on the need to keep safe and extend the life of our existing, aging energy assets, such as for oil and gas extraction; the other emphasized making more cost-effective supply and manufacture of new, sustainable assets, such as wind and wave power generation. You might say these topics represent two very important aspects of our future energy supply, and of course, the environmental debate that surrounds it. Continue reading
You never know what you’ll find when cleaning out a workshop. Several months ago, my husband and I spent some time cleaning out my father-in-law’s workshop in Meaford, Canada. He was an accomplished woodworker, a marksman, and could fix just about anything. My father-in-law had, as my husband said, two of every tool plus one to spare, so sorting and cleaning this space was quite a chore. Under a pile of hand tools covered in sawdust, we discovered a small, worn wooden box. Surprisingly, the inside was lined with satin and velvet and contained part of a set of drafting tools with plastic handles carved to look like ivory. We found more of this set around the workshop — well used and obviously well loved by the woodworker. We collected the tools and put them back in their toolbox.
But how did my father-in-law come to have this elegant set of delicate tools? Continue reading
One of my colleagues mentioned to me that it is National Engineering Month in Canada and that reminded of a great tradition I learned about from a dear Canadian friend — the Iron Ring.
The Iron Ring (which is actually now primarily made of stainless steel) is a ring that Canadian engineers wear on the little finger of their working (dominant) hand. The finger on which the ring is worn is crucial because as the engineer works the ring will drag on the surface where he or she is writing or moving his/her mouse. This is especially true for newly graduated engineers, whose rings have sharp, unworn facets.
Now you may wonder why would engineers wear such a ring, which is designed such that engineers can always feel its presence when they work. It seems like an awfully bad design! On the contrary! It is the perfect design for its purposes:
- A reminder of the obligations and ethics associated with their profession
- A reminder of the social significance of being an Engineer
- A reminder for experienced engineers to welcome and mentor newly-graduated engineers Continue reading