Technologia et Circenses et ANSYS Sports

Running with determinationIn just a few days, millions of eyes will be on the biggest sporting event of the summer. This upcoming major international multi-sport event is due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5th to the 21st. For those of us participating in sport or simply keen to watch these events, I think this will be a fantastic firework of performances, achievements and discoveries of sports that we barely know but that we might be watching with great interest. Continue reading

Should They Ban Motorcycles from Cycling Races?

The former Belgian top cyclist Johan Museeuw once stated: “Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love.” Indeed, probably every elite cyclist has experienced in-race crashes that put him or her in the hospital. But recently, things seem to have become much worse. In the past two years, many prestigious elite races have been stained by serious crashes between riders and in-race motorcycles. The tragic culmination so far of these crashes was reached on 27 March 2016, when Belgian rider Antoine Demoitié got hit by a motorcycle in the race Gent-Wevelgem and died later in hospital due to his injuries. Later, on 28 May 2016, 19 cyclists were involved in a major crash with two motorcycles, which put Belgian rider Stig Broeckx in hospital in a coma. Continue reading

Zyz Sailing Team Designs Using ANSYS

Zys sailing teamZyz sailing team started designing and manufacturing small sailing boats in 2008 to participate to Italian inter-university regattas called 1001velaCUP. During the first eight-year experience of the team, different boats have been launched, trying to optimize all different aspects that influence the final performance of a boat. R3 class rule adopted in this competition imposes geometrical and structural constrains to the design process: maximum length x beam of the boat is 4,60 x 2,10 m, while a minimum percentage weight for the hull constituted by 70% of plant-origin material is imposed. Continue reading

Feather or Synthetic Shuttlecock Design to Win the Game?

Every Friday night, I’m playing badminton with a few friends in my village of Perwez in Belgium. Beyond the motivation of staying fit and healthy while having good time, I’m also pushed by the strong desire to defeat my friend and colleague Michel Rochette from our Lyon office. Occasionally, we are organizing international games to challenge each other and so far, the results are very tight. But I now have a winning strategy!  Continue reading

Could a Car Following a Cyclist Determine the Tour de France Outcome?

This Sunday one of the most popular sporting events for tens of million people around the world begins. The Tour de France starts in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We will again see the world’s best top athletes fighting for the stage victory every day. We’ll admire them as they climb the steepest slope at an amazing speed and be impressed to see them completing a time trial at an average speed above 50 km/h. Throughout the past years, the regulations have continuously improved to guarantee a clean and fair race. As an example, during time trials, neither cars nor motorbikes are allowed in front of the cyclists as this would obviously reduce air resistance. Similarly, if a cyclist is catching up to the one ahead, they must stay on different sides of the road. However, there is no regulation to prevent a vehicle from following the athlete as it is commonly believed that a car riding behind a cyclist cannot influence him.

But is this really true?

Continue reading

Modeling the Risk of Concussion Post Super Bowl 2015

suberbowl 2015 concussionThis year’s Super Bowl and an often controversial NFL season are behind us and I’d like to congratulate the New England Patriots on the nice win. (Seattle, you put up a good fight but that was a pretty risky call at the last minute!) But, even as the win by the Pats fades, a new controversy has stirred. Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril exited the Super Bowl in the third quarter after being diagnosed with a concussion. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman passed a concussion test during the Super Bowl on Sunday, allowing him to continue to play, but it could have just as easily gone the other way. Continue reading

Superbowl DeflateGate Scandal Debunked Using Engineering Simulation

You can’t turn on the news without hearing about the latest scandal to hit the sports industry. The New England Patriots — the National Football League (NFL) team that faces the defending champ Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday — are under pressure (pun intended) for using under-inflated footballs when they routed the Indianapolis Colts in the recent AFC championship that decided who would go on to the Super Bowl. One of the theories around DeflateGate is that a softer, less inflated ball will deform more when grasped, making it easier to hold. This could make for a more consistent pass, or a softer catch.

So, as simulation experts, what can we add to the national dialogue? Good question! Continue reading

Prof Bert Blocken Kicks off CFD MOOC This Month

“Sports and Building Aerodynamics”, MOOC with Professor Bert Blocken

“Sports and Building Aerodynamics”, MOOC with Professor Bert Blocken

A fun and interesting online course to learn fluid mechanics and CFD as well as how they are applied to sports and environments around buildings is coming up soon. In his MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) entitled “Sports and Building Aerodynamics,” Professor Bert Blocken of Eindhoven  University of Technology (TU/e) plans to introduce wind tunnel testing and the use of ANSYS CFD. The course begins April 28, 2014.

You might have wondered about how aerodynamic shaping of cars, bikes, etc. affects the win/loss or margin of victory in a race. This course will give you insights about how the physics shapes these objects and influences performance. Continue reading

As We Say Goodbye to Sochi … Let’s Start Working on Pyeongchang!

stacey cook rossignol skis

Stacey Cook (USA) performing with the Rossignol skis

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

The World Cup is Already a Success for Brazil!

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

The National Stadium of Brasilia Mane Garrincha

The National Stadium of Brasilia Mane Garrincha

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