Most people occasionally have dreams of flying — without the aid of an airplane or other mechanical device — just soaring through the air on their own power. The thrill ends with dream, unfortunately. Closer down to earth, many of us enjoy the feeling of gliding effortlessly across the snow on skis or a snowboard, over the ice on skates, or on a surfboard cutting through the water. There is something about the effortless gliding sensation that can’t be approached by the more mundane act of walking — though walking has its pleasures too.
With a clear mission in mind, huge government funding and thousands of talented scientists, the early pioneers of space exploration were disrupting innovators, able to achieve what many thought impossible. Then organizations grew in size, and projects and goals multiplied while public funding was often in doubt. Despite other significant success, this led to a slowdown in the innovation pace. Now, another wave of innovators has come: Space 2.0 players.
With no history, no legacy of tools and processes and no constraints in workflow design, they were able in a few years to attract huge private funds and challenge the leadership of the big established players.
Both the old players and the newcomers rely on simulation, but I see a big difference in the results they get in terms of efficiency, costs and innovation pace. The secret is in how they implement it. Continue reading
Each year the University of Canterbury Motorsport (UCM) team in New Zealand pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in racing; in 2016 they overcame their greatest challenge to date. After three years (2013-2015) of competing in the Australasian Formula SAE competition with an internal combustion engine vehicle , the team decided in 2016 to design and build New Zealand’s very first four-wheel drive (4WD) electric vehicle for the competition. The results were remarkable: UCM made history by becoming the first team with an electric vehicle to win a dynamic event at the Australasian Formula SAE competition.
From all of us at ANSYS, we want to congratulate the team of Emirates Team New Zealand who just won the 2017 America’s Cup. Wining the America’s Cup is a feat in sailsmanship, a feat in teamwork, but also a feat in engineering.
What I love during the America’s Cup season is that all of my colleagues and friends ask me about the competition as if I was an expert (Hint: as you can see on the picture, I am a more of a Sunday sailor than a high tech boat skipper). What I can talk about, however, is some of the technology behind the amazing boats that compete in the America’s Cup. Continue reading
Today we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Shini Somara over coffee one afternoon. Shini is a broadcasting science and technology journalist who reports engineering and innovation on television and online, both in the UK and USA for networks such as the BBC and PBS. She began her career as a fluid dynamicist, having studied mechanical engineering at Brunel University and has always been passionate about making the invisible, visible! An interest that began with Bernoulli’s equation and has continued through her communication of science.
When we met, we started to share some common views about how to encourage more engineers into this field. Dr Somara is well placed to discuss this with her tireless work advocating STEM education, including providing free online education on physics, through a 48-episode series called Crash Course: Physics. Continue reading
I was reminded just how complicated and expensive it is to develop a jet engine when I came across a video describing GE’s recent $26 million Cdn investment to upgrade its Winnipeg test facility. That is on top of even bigger investments by Rolls-Royce ($50 million) and GE ($40 million) and in recent years. Physical testing is not only expensive, it is time consuming and can lengthen design cycles.
Meanwhile, it has become easier than ever to simulate engine performance prior to any physical testing. Improved techniques like harmonic analysis, turbomachinery-specific workflows and better validation coupled with faster, more capable high performance & cloud computing are quickly expanding simulation so engineers can be confident in their designs before the first prototype is ever built. While physical testing is not going away anytime soon, ANSYS is working on digital prototyping with leading turbomachinery companies and helping them to cut it down to size. Continue reading
Stringent emission regulations force the gas turbine combustor community to come up with new designs. Lean Premixed combustion (LPM) is gaining popularity to meet the emission regulations. However, lean combustion process is prone to other issues like combustion instabilities and noise.
Self-excited combustion instabilities in a gas turbine play a vital role in the lifecycle of combustor, noise generation and pollutant formation. If the instabilities in the combustor dominate at natural modes, there are risks of resonance that can lead to bursting damage to the combustors. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the combustion dynamics performance of a given lean premixed combustor. Continue reading
Semiconductors touch every aspect of our lives — from the computers that we work on to the automobiles we drive to the medical devices that keep us healthy. As these amazing chips become smaller and more packed with functionality (the latest NVIDIA graphics chip has 21 billion transistors!), designing and producing them becomes far more complicated. Yet increased demand for smaller, more powerful integrated circuits is increasing so companies can create the products of the future. Continue reading
I’m happy to announce that our team will once again be showcasing our industry-leading solutions at the 54th Annual Design Automation Conference (#54DAC) in Austin, TX. I invite you to stop by and meet with our domain experts in booth 647, from June 19-21, to learn how our industry-leading technology can help meet your SoC design challenges with production-proven solutions. Continue reading
Transient blade row simulations in turbomachinery are needed either to improve the aerodynamic performance predictions or because the flow interaction we are trying to resolve and predict is unsteady in nature such as aeromechanical, aerothermodynamic or aeroacoustic interactions. Because the blade pitch is not similar between the rows of turbine or compressor, a transient blade row simulation will usually require the modeling of the full wheel (or full geometry). This constraint renders these simulations not practical and in many cases prohibitive as analysis or design tools. Continue reading