An Easy-to-Use Online Resource for Learning and Teaching Engineering Simulation

Recent technological developments have significantly lowered the barriers to entry in FEA and CFD, leading to excitement about the “democratization of simulation”. Employers are looking for engineers who have FEA and CFD skills in their repertoire and students are eager to pick up these skills. However, faculty have found it difficult to integrate industry-standard simulations tools into core engineering curricula for a variety of reasons including lack of teaching materials that connect simulations with existing textbook content.

Cornell University SimCafeThe SimCafe wiki at is being developed at Cornell University as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and to provide a resource for supplementary learning. Professors and students around the world use  for free to teach and to learn simulations. SimCafe learning modules on FEA and CFD cover a broad spectrum of subjects: solid mechanics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer. Short embedded YouTube videos demonstrate the software steps. Continue reading

Reshaping the Future of CFD Using Mesh Morphing

A cool title, isn’t it? Hello ANSYS blog readers! This is my first time in this blog as a guest blogger. You will notice a brief resume of mine together my photo as the author of this post, but let me introduce myself so that you can understand why I am here writing about mesh morphing to the ANSYS audience.

I am a Professor at University of Rome, with good experience in fluid structure interaction (FSI) and Fluent customization using UDF programming. Five years ago, driven by a Formula 1 Top Team, I developed a powerful mesh morphing tool crafted by tough specifications. Managing any kind of mesh, precise, fast and parallel! Nothing at that time was able to do this kind of job. We tried to go with (RBFs) Radial Basis Functions mesh morphing, one of the most promising techniques. And we made it. Continue reading

Canadian Ingenuity Reduces Risk of Powerhouse Flooding

In Canada, we are proud to contribute to reducing the global carbon footprint by exploiting renewable energy sources that are readily available, like hydropower. However, it is important to manage this resource responsibly and cost effectively by reducing risk of failure and increasing efficiency. Using fluid dynamics, structural mechanics and thermal analysis, Kawa Engineering Ltd. delivers a broad range of services to the hydropower industry (as well as others) to allow customers to design and test many parts of these facilities before they are built. As part of celebrating Canadian Engineering Month, here’s a recent interesting project that developed a location for a powerhouse.


3-D geometry used for flood analysis. Elevations are relative to sea level.

We used engineering simulation to help locate the powerhouse close to a waterfall but in a spot with minimal flood risk. If flooding occurred in the powerhouse, it would be extremely costly. Finding a proper location also means that there is decreased need for additional components to protect electrical equipment (generator, turbine, switch box, etc.) if flooding occurs; it determines the cut and fill required for construction; and lessens construction resources. Continue reading

Bidding Farewell to My Internship at ANSYS

image of Katherine Bradley - Internship ANSYSAs a farewell to my internship, I am writing this piece to reflect on my time working as a guest blogger for ANSYS. For my high school Senior Independent Study, I searched for companies involved in engineering around the upper valley. It was my friend’s father, Swaminathan Subbiah, the vice president of corporate product and market strategy at ANSYS,  who worked with me and helped me to establish an internship at ANSYS. He has been the catalyst for my involvement at ANSYS, by helping to educate me about ANSYS and finding an internship that suited me. Sandy Adam, the manager of social media marketing at ANSYS, then took over with a crash course on the art of blogging. She gave me ideas for articles and acted as my editor.

My first assignment was to research, conduct interviews, and draft an article on drones. I remember walking into the ANSYS office in Lebanon, N.H., one rainy Friday to interview Subbiah, Suti, and Rob for the article. Once I signed in and donned my visitor pass, I was led through a labyrinth of natural wood, green carpeting, and winding staircases. Eventually I found myself in Subbiah’s office. A floor-to-ceiling window circled the back of the room, while on the wall there was a large chalk board, detailing formulas and diagrams that looked like Einstein’s work. Continue reading

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and ANSYS Part II

image of Katherine Bradley and Swaminathan Subbiah

Katherine Bradley discusses unmanned aerial vehicles with Swaminathan Subbiah from ANSYS

“Designing unmanned aerial vehicles has many technical challenges, on the fluid dynamics side as well as the software control side,” remarked Swaminathan Subbiah, the vice president of corporate product and market strategy at ANSYS. In my last blog, I talked about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their use in reconnaissance in the military and commercial applications in industry. I also touched on how ANSYS software solved some engineering problems of UAVs. To find out how ANSYS was involved, I interviewed Suti Wirogo, the senior technical account manager, and Rob Harwood, the aerospace and defense Industry marketing director, both at ANSYS. We all sat down one rainy Friday afternoon to discuss the challenges of UAVs and how ANSYS can help to solve the devices’ engineering challengers. Continue reading

James Cameron and Finite Elements Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean

Earlier this year, I eagerly read the reports of James Cameron’s successful solo venture in the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER to the ocean’s deepest point. Making the nearly 7-mile (11-kilometer) descent requires a craft unlike any other, and I am proud to say my company, Finite Elements, was part of the engineering team that optimized the crucial structural elements of the vessel.

Finite Elements Advisor to James Cameron Project Team

Finite Elements has been the principal mechanical and structural engineering advisor to James Cameron and his project team for six years. Our application of ANSYS engineering simulation in the design process gave early confidence about the submarine designs, materials and construction methods.

Model of pilot capsule and hatch

Without a doubt, simulation was essential in creating the innovative sub. A physical test can tell you that something failed, but it does not always reveal exactly why. A physical test that succeeds cannot tell you “why” or “by what margin.” And when the team asks the question, “Where can we save weight?” or “Why can’t we do this?” you need to answer with the benefit of engineering experience — and the ability to whip back to the office and test a few of your best ideas on the computer. Continue reading