Great products are composed of great individual components that are increasingly assessed from every possible physical perspective. But as you probably know, optimally designed components do not necessarily result in optimal systems. Eventually, the components are assembled, powered, sensed and controlled as an integrated system, and must therefore be simulated as a system to meet peak performance requirements and stringent safety standards. But building and testing integrated product systems and subsystems can be costly and may not identify optimal configurations and/or potential shortcomings. Systems simulation can help to overcome this challenge. Continue reading
In the world of stock-car racing, finding even the smallest competitive advantage is the difference between winning and losing.
That’s why at Richard Childress Racing, we design and build our race cars end-to-end. We engineer and machine our own chassis and suspension components, we design and fabricate our own bodies, and we test and build our own engines. Everything is built from the ground up at RCR.
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
Nuclear power is a key player in the future of clean energy, and multiple companies are pursuing new technologies to maximize nuclear’s contribution to the clean energy space. Founded in 2011 and based in Cambridge, MA, Transatomic Power is an advanced nuclear technology startup developing and commercializing a molten salt reactor (MSR), or a nuclear reactor whose fuel is in liquid, rather than solid, form. This technology, originally developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the 1960’s, offers multiple safety and cost benefits over traditional nuclear reactors, in which the fuel is in the form of solid pellets cooled by water.
Tranatomic’s MSR design builds on the original work at ORNL and adds a few innovative new features that reduce the reactor’s size and, as a result, it’s cost – a huge factor in building new nuclear power plants. Though the development process is a long one, the world needs a larger capacity for clean energy generation, and it’s this ultimate goal that drives the Transatomic team forward. Continue reading
Developing a luxury electric vehicle (EV) from scratch with a short deadline demands organization and access to the right technology to get the job done. Lucid Motors of Menlo Park, California, met the first challenge by putting all the engineers in one room so the structural and aerodynamics engineers would know what the battery, motor and power electronics engineers were doing, right from the start. This collaborative environment has helped them to design a unique automobile with more passenger space by reshaping the battery stack, while optimizing the electric motor, the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the battery life.
After placing fourth at the SpaceX Hyperloop Design Weekend in January 2016, as well as the first ever Hyperloop Pod competition in Los Angeles, California, Hyperloop at Virginia Tech is working tirelessly toward improving every aspect of their pod. The Virginia Tech design team comprises over 60 people, branching out to all majors within the university, from business to aerospace engineering. We currently follow a tick-tock engineering cycle, innovating for one competition, then optimizing for the next using ANSYS Simulation. Continue reading
Some records are broken for glory, while others, like HPC, have more practical results. Compare 2017 Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Joey Chestnut’s record-breaking feat of eating 72 hot dogs (with buns) in 10 minutes during the annual July 4 contest to ANSYS, Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) shattering the supercomputing record by more than 5x. Chestnut was awarded the “Mustard Belt” for the 10th time, $10,000 and an additional 20,000+ calories for his impressive performance. By leveraging high performance computing, Saudi Aramco and KAUST worked with ANSYS to speed up a complex simulation of a separation vessel from several weeks to an overnight run! Continue reading
My visit to ISC High Performance last month in Frankfurt, Germany re-affirmed my belief that computing innovation shows no signs of slowing down. I participated in an industrial HPC user panel at the event, which has traditionally focused on big supercomputing solutions for government and research institutions. The fact that this year’s ISC broke attendance records and dedicated so much time to industry sessions shows how much HPC has become entrenched in other industries.
We have been working with Intel on a few innovations that I wasn’t at liberty to discuss at ISC, but can now share with you that Intel announced its new processors and improvements to their accompanying technologies yesterday. We have been working with Intel to benchmark ANSYS software on the new technologies before their release, so that our mutual customers can immediately see what benefits they’ll receive. Here’s a sneak peek at the results. 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.
Many engineers are using powerful simulation software but are still not deploying HPC to the full extent. Case in point, I presume most of you have heard about the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. There is one starting June 17. I find it very exciting, not least because teams of three drivers per car compete to complete the most laps around the 13.629-km Circuit de la Sarthe in 24 hours! The race cars reach more than 320 km/h on the straightaway, spending most of the 24 hours at full throttle.
Imagine the roar of the engine drowning out the cheers of the crowds as you speed smoothly around the track in a finely tuned (thanks to simulation) race car. Now imagine the track is a country road or dirt road, not so smooth or speedy now, is it? Continue reading