NEW ANSYS Student Community is LIVE

I have very exciting news to share with you. The ANSYS Student Community is now live and ready for action. If you are one of the 400,000+ users who have downloaded ANSYS Student Products since their launch in August 2015, you can now communicate with other ANSYS users worldwide via this platform.

The ANSYS Student Community provides a forum to share ideas, ask questions, guide users and post cutting-edge information or useful technical resources. It is primarily intended for students, but academic faculty, staff and other users in academia are welcome to participate. Continue reading

A Very Different Kind of Startup

In the Pacific Northwest there is a very different kind of startup emerging in the shadows of Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing. Hardware is being built, software is being written, and deadlines are being made (and sometimes missed). But this startup in Tacoma, Washington is not fixed on competing with their friendly giant neighbors to the north. To the contrary, its “employees” aspire to work for them one day. That’s because this startup is no company at all. Rather it’s a high school that just completed its first year.

The School of Industrial Design, Engineering and the Arts, better known as iDEA, runs on an innovative concept that invites local businesses into the school as a partnership. Working as mentors or adjunct instructors, these “community partners” work directly with the students in a project-based learning framework. The projects may range from developing software apps, to wooden boats, to bicycles, to guitar pedals. One look around the reconfigured gymnasium packed with CNC machines, lathes, and countless other tooling equipment and it’s easy to see how serious they are. They are going to build stuff — lots of it! Continue reading

Embedding ANSYS AIM into a STEM Education

In a high school classroom, we battle constantly against a storm of changing technologies, competing educational needs, time and materials. As technology advances and industries change, educators do their best to keep students competitive and prepared for these changes. It becomes increasingly difficult, though, to develop meaningful challenges for students because of the cost of materials and other resources.

At the same time, it is challenging to justify the time and importance of your content against other subjects in the school, such as math or science. With the power of ANSYS AIM and ANSYS SpaceClaim, the technology education classroom has been given an important tool to fight back against the storm. Continue reading

Tools of the Trade – Preparing Students for the Real World with ANSYS AIM

Preparing students for the real world means introducing them to industry-standard tools such as ANSYS AIM — as early as sophomore year.

Undergraduate engineering students are incredibly busy, overloaded with curricular activities. My mechanical and mechatronics engineering students carry a load of five courses in such complex subjects as mathematics, physics, materials, thermal science, and automation and control. Every four months, they also complete a co-operative education term in industry.

Because undergrads are so busy, I was shocked two years ago when a group of second-year students approached me about incorporating a new project into an already-challenging class, numerical methods. Continue reading

BadgerLoop Takes Number 3 Spot at Hyperloop Competition

badgerloop hyperloop competition ansysOur story began in the afternoon of Monday, June 15, 2015. It was just like any other day until an email with SpaceX’s announcement of a Hyperloop competition was received. We got to thinking and within a week, BadgerLoop was created purely by word of mouth. 15 students worked from around the world, while on summer internships, to solidify the core of BadgerLoop. Continue reading

Games: An Abstraction of Reality

Abstraction is a fundamental principle of engineering. It allows engineers to ignore the seemingly infinite number of details about reality that don’t impact the solution to a problem, and instead focus on the few details that do affect the problem. The simplified problem is (hopefully) easier to solve. But abstraction is not limited to the field of engineering. Most of us make useful abstractions each day.

Whether a professional sport or a chess match in the park, games provide us with a very useful abstraction of reality. We can worry only about how to hit a round ball with a round bat, or determine only how to deal with the Queen’s Gambit while we blissfully ignore the rest of reality (if only for a few minutes).

Best-Robotics

But games provide more benefit than just the occasional leisure time activity. Educators have found that games can be a useful vehicle for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. In the same way engineers have used abstractions for centuries to progress technology, educators have now begun to use an abstraction to educate the next generation of engineers. At ANSYS, we are proud to support games that promote STEM education, like BAJA SAE India and BEST Robotics. Continue reading

This Week’s Top 5 Engineering Technology News Articles

Happy Friday, folks! This week, Spiderman makes an appearance in our most interesting engineering technology news articles and SpaceX makes history for the 2nd time as they launch the Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule into space to resupply the International Space Station again.

Enjoy!

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Top 5 Engineering Technology News Articles This Week

Happy Friday, folks! This week’s roundup of interesting engineering technology news includes Disney’s new “Test Track” that incorporates CAD software into the rider experience, EV batteries making an appearance in the residential energy sector and a bright future for simulation in R&D.

Enjoy!

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How to Become a Formula 1 Engineer

image of red bull racingThe Formula 1 engineer is the royal class of automotive engineering. Even the smallest improvements in aerodynamics, engine performance, traction or durability can influence a team’s success or failure. Each of the F1 teams have a large number of highly qualified engineers working on each part of the car to improve its overall performance. Where do these engineers come from? Is there a given educational path a person should follow to get a chance to work for an F1 team? Next to a sound engineering education and the right motivation and will, probably not. But there are some initiatives that are helpful on the way to the automotive engineering summit. One of them is Formula SAE/Formula Student. Continue reading