UC Motorsports Wins the Dynamic Event with ANSYS CFD

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.
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Engineering a Hyperloop Pod with ANSYS

Since starting out as a segmented group of individuals passionate about high-speed technology, Berkeley Hyperloop (bLoop) has come a long way in our (roughly) two years of existence. What started as a vague mission to create a broader impact on the future of transport is now a tangible team of engineers, designers, marketers, logisticians and everything in between and we have no plans of stopping now. Of course, we didn’t do it alone. We’d be remiss if we did not acknowledge the generous support of sponsors like ANSYS, sponsors that have helped us realize the dream of designing and bringing a functional Hyperloop pod to that only existed in our wildest dreams up until a few months ago.

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Formula Motorsports: Accelerating Race Cars through Simulation

UWashington Formula Motorsports is a student-organized team that competes in Formula SAE. We design, build and test two small, formula-style race cars for the competition: one combustion and one electric. Each year we compete nationally and internationally at Formula Student Lincoln and Formula Student Germany. Everything our club produces is done entirely in-house. We produce our own designs, perform our own machining, and manufacture our own carbon fiber parts. Through the entire design process, UWashington Formula Motorsports strives to validate design decisions with sound engineering methods, and the simulations we run using ANSYS make this possible. Continue reading

Eighth Grade Engineers and STEM

I am feeling excited and a bit worried today. Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting a young lady, I’ll just call her Miss E, as part of a job shadow program we do with local 8th grade students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Miss E had an enthusiasm for engineering and learning about engineering, mechanical engineering and robotics in particular, that was contagious.

girls in STEMShe easily grasped engineering concepts, asked excellent questions, and amazed me with her computer skills. She had the ability to extend what I taught her about engineering simulation at the start of our time together and her own life experience to the fluid dynamics and structural mechanics tutorials she did during our meeting. Miss E has had several other excellent opportunities to be exposed to engineering and each one seems to add to her excitement and commitment to an engineering education after high school. Continue reading

Fail Early and Often – Building Success from Failures

Most of the successful engineers I know share one common skill: They are very good at succeeding when they fail. I suspect this is a skill that successful engineers across many disciplines share. Whether someone is building a bridge, an airplane wing or a smartphone app, he or she has likely failed often and used that information to improve the design each time. At ANSYS, we strive to help engineers create better products by allowing designers to fail early and often. With each iteration, the design improves until a safe, useful and profitable product is ready for delivery. This ability comes directly from experience, so how can we give young engineers a head start?

Students from Cornerstone Christian Prep near Pittsburgh demonstrate their robot to staff at ANSYS. The team won their third consecutive overall BEST competition title at the Wolverine BEST Hub this fall.

One avenue is BEST Robotics, a nationwide competition in which high school and middle school students build and demonstrate a human-controlled robot that must perform specific tasks. Funding is provided entirely through sponsors, so schools participate at no cost to them. BEST involves many aspects of real-world product development:

  • Design, construction and operation of a robot
  • Marketing presentation
  • Trade show-style booth construction
  • Technical writing

Students are constrained both by time (six weeks) and resources (a list of parts), requiring them to continually make trade-offs as they modify their designs. Continue reading