There is a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein that I am very fond of.
“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.”
In my humble opinion, they are complementary. I have seen many great classes and books teaching the theory of CFD and FEA — how to discretize the governing equations, the difference between different numerical schemes, implicit vs. explicit formulations, etc. But when engineers are trained, we need to make sure we also give them the tools and tutorials to put the theory to work and help them practice how to use CFD and FEA to develop better products, solve complex challenges.
With the increase of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) in the skies, the rapid rise of robotics, and the development of embedded technologies and autonomous smart systems for the Internet of Things, small teams of engineers face bigger and bigger challenges. While it was once enough to be an expert in a single type of physics, these complex, interacting systems require modern engineers to have more knowledge of multiphysics, model-based systems engineering and embedded software than their predecessors.
My 4th grade son participated in an after school Code Club this school year. It was an excellent introduction to coding and STEM. During the Club, kids use Scratch from MIT to create animations and games that they later showcased to their parents. Mrs. Pollard leads the code club and writes her own blog about it. There were 2 rounds of Code Club this school year, with about 20 kids in each session and with ½ being girls. Continue reading →
In coastal areas, hurricanes can severely damage buildings, people and cause a lot of havoc. Therefore, scientists at Florida International University (FIU) are studying hurricanes and how their effects can be mitigated using the Wall of Wind (WOW). WOW is a research facility developed by FIU’s International Hurricanes Research Center (IHRC), Miami, Florida. Continue reading →
The Swanson School of Engineering — located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, a short four miles from the downtown — is having its first Student Design EXPO today, Thursday, December 4, from 6:00 to 8:30 in Alumni Hall. This first EXPO has a unique focus on sustainability — each of the 71 projects must include a sustainability component as this is the “Year of Sustainability” at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Swanson School has an obvious strong relationship to ANSYS. John Swanson, ANSYS’s founder received his PhD from us. On December 5, 2007, John presented the University of Pittsburgh with a most generous gift and we became the Swanson School of Engineering. John is a frequent visitor to the Swanson School and is currently mentoring several student projects focused on harvesting and using solar energy, a current passion of his. Continue reading →
The Lebanese American University (LAU) challenged its students to design an unmanned aircraft capable of long flights at high altitudes. Our LAU Solix Team, comprised of eight mechanical engineering students, is very familiar with ANSYS tools and is skilled at handling CFD and fluid–structure interaction (FSI) simulations so we put these tools to work on our unmanned aircraft design. The team had to deal with the interaction that happens between fluid and structure that occurs in a wide range of engineering problems — especially in aircraft design. Continue reading →
The University of New South Wales employs campus-wide licensing to serve many departments. Photo courtesy UNSW.
Engineering simulation products are invaluable to professors in multidisciplinary research and teaching. Students recognize the importance of simulation skills as they graduate into industry. To gain this experience students embrace simulation to write theses and participate in student competitions. However, professors and students are facing some real challenges as the use of engineering simulation ramps up.
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.
The SimCafe wiki at simcafe.org 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 simcafe.org 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 →