I’m Sid Agarwal and This Is How I Mesh

Sid Agarwal, Intern on the Technical Support Team.

Sid Agarwal, Intern on the Technical Support Team.

I grew up in India in a small city called Karnal which also happens to be the hometown of late astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

I finished my schooling with an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in 2011. One of the IB Diploma requirements was a 4000 word essay on a topic of my choice. I wrote my essay on designing an airfoil to minimize wake turbulence. To run some experiments I built a small wind tunnel at home. Of course the project was naive and simplistic, however it made me want to learn more about fluid dynamics. That’s how I ended up at Georgia Institute of Technology for a BSc in Aerospace Engineering.

At Georgia Tech I had the opportunity to do some undergraduate research in CFD, or I should say, to begin to understand the challenges and complexities associated with it. All I can tell you about my results is that they were on the correct order of magnitude…most of the time. But, it made me want to learn more about CFD. So, when Pointwise offered me an internship it was a no brainer!

This summer I’m learning about grid generation with the Pointwise Support Team. Be it asking support engineers a ton of questions, or be it bugging the developers with (invalid) bugs, I am learning new things every day!

After this summer I am headed to Sweden for grad school. I will be starting my master’s at KTH Royal Institute of Technology  in Stockholm. I am pretty stoked about the CFD classes I will get to take! My thesis will hopefully also be related to a CFD topic.

  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas
  • Current position: Support Engineer – Intern
  • Current computer: iMac, 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 16 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4670 256 MB, OS X 10.8.5
  • One word that best describes how you work: Sincerely

What software or tools do you use every day?

I use Google Chrome and Safari as my web browsers. Since my machine does not have Microsoft Office, I use Google Docs for taking notes and sharing documents with my colleagues. I watch all the Pointwise training videos on YouTube.

What does your workspace look like?

Sid's current workspace.

Sid’s current workspace.

I work downstairs in the Support wing in Claudio Pitas office. In addition to putting up with my questions, he also has to share his workspace with me.

My desk is pretty austere, except for the iMac on which I work. Besides the computer, there is always a Pointwise coffee mug filled with water in the morning and coffee in the afternoon. You may also see some merchandise from tech companies that John Chawner seems to have an endless supply of.

What are you currently working on?

Pointwise recently released version 17.3R3. I was involved in the regression testing process. As part of the process, I worked through the tutorials in this latest Pointwise version to make sure that the content of the tutorial workbook is still relevant. I also helped verify that the bug-fixes for this version were working as intended.

I am currently writing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tutorials for the website. These small exercises demonstrate basic concepts and “tricks” that allow users to generate grids more effectively.

Other than that, I am working on creating a series of unstructured grid families for the trap wing geometry that was used in the 1st High Lift Prediction Workshop. Right now I am focusing on four grid families. The first two will employ different surface meshing algorithms – Delaunay and Advancing Front. Both of these will then use the Delaunay algorithm for volume grid generation. The second two grid families will be T-Rex versions of the first two (for enhanced boundary layer resolution using anisotropic tetrahedra). This project will serve as a benchmark for future studies and workshops.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

I am still new to grid generation and CFD in general. Creating grids for the trap wing geometry is helping me learn a lot about unstructured meshing. I am hoping that by the time I am done generating grids for this project I will have a strong grasp on the best practices and techniques for unstructured meshing – both with and without anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion (T-Rex).

Any tips for our users?

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

I remember using Pointwise for a research project at Georgia Tech. I opened the software for the very first time, imported my geometry, and started meshing right away. I didn’t spend time “sharpening the axe.” As a result, I was extremely inefficient.

There are a variety of tools such as the DIYs and tutorials demonstrating meshing techniques, tips, tricks, and best practices available on YouTube . Spending a little time on these tutorials upfront will save you a lot of time later on.

What project are you most proud of and why?

I would go with my ongoing project of grid generation for the trap wing geometry.

There are a lot of iterations involved in the design process because we want to adhere to good meshing practices while at the same time maintaining similar characteristics across different grid families. So I have had to revisit the grids I already created due to design decisions that were made further along in the process. That being said, it is a great project to work on!

The luxury of being surrounded by grid generation experts means that I am learning about the best meshing practices, getting instant feedback, and learning handy tricks to save time – a much more pleasant experience than me trying to figure out everything on my own on a Friday night in the Aerospace computer lab at Georgia Tech.

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

I don’t have much experience with CFD solvers and postprocessors, yet. I have only used ANSYS Fluent for one of my projects to analyze transonic flow around a DLR F6 Wing. I used one of the structured grids submitted for the workshop.

Are you reading any interesting technical papers we should know about?

I’m reading John Steinbrenner’s Construction of Prism and Hex Layers from Anisotropic Tetrahedra to learn more about T-Rex and cell combination techniques.

Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?

Yes! I am attending AIAA Aviation on June 23rd in Dallas. I will be at the Pointwise booth most of the time, but I am hoping to catch a presentation or two as well.

What do you do when you’re not generating meshes?

Making myself a latte in the upstairs kitchen.

Every now and then I also like taking a break from the hustle bustle of the city to go hiking. I prefer wilderness hiking because of the peace and quiet. It helps me relax. It also makes me appreciate the little things when I get back – like a warm and dry bed. However, I also enjoy hiking on well marked trails from one town to another, which is quite popular in Europe. In summer of 2013 I hiked the entire Kerry Way in Ireland. I did not mind having a Guinness and some fish & chips after long hikes and chatting with the locals. It was a pretty neat way of travelling the country! Last summer I hiked with a group of from Georgia Tech in Everest National Park in Nepal. Yes, we got a pic of THE Mount Everest.

A view of Mt. Everest on a hike through Everest National Park in Nepal.

A view of Mt. Everest on a hike through Everest National Park in Nepal.

It was a breathtaking hike with spectacular scenery and a unique cultural experience. This summer, I am hoping to hike the Kungsleden trail in Sweden.

Besides hiking, I also enjoy learning languages. I have been learning German for three years now and am pretty much fluent in it. I usually wake up twice or thrice a week at 4:30 am for my Swedish Skype tuition. I am trying to learn as much as I can now so that I can pick up the language faster once I move to Sweden for graduate school. I am also taking beginner French lessons on Skype every Sunday.

What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received?

For the trap wing geometry project that I am working on I needed a farfield that is located at 50 times the body length. I was advised to divide such a big farfield into an inner and an outer farfield. This approach had two significant advantages:

  • My block(s) initialized 10-15 times faster.
  • It allowed me to have greater control over grid resolution in the vicinity of the wing.

If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?

Have you ever tried Indian-Chinese cuisine? It is the “Chinese” food you will find in India and is absolutely phenomenal! My favorite place is Princess Garden in New Delhi.

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5 Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Grid Generator

Grid generation is the most important step in the CFD process. Without a grid, you cannot even perform a CFD simulation. Even meshless methods require a grid, also known as a lattice. Grid generation sits at a very critical stage in the CFD process. It is the preprocessing step following CAD, prior to running a CFD simulation, and where the majority of your personal time is spent during analysis. In fact, grid generation is where you have the most direct influence over the accuracy and convergence of the simulation.

Not all grid generators are created equal however and it is up to you to determine the best tool for the job. Whether you are setting up a new CFD workflow or looking to improve a preexisting process, here are five questions to ask when shopping around for a preprocessor.

1. How well does this preprocessor fit into my design and analysis process?

What you are looking for here is the ability to import geometries and grids from the tool(s) you use and export native grids and boundary conditions to the solver(s) you use. If you are currently working with two different CAD packages, an in-house design tool, your own code for generating part of the grid, and three different CFD solvers depending on the application, ensure the software works with everything you use. This question lets you know how flexible the software is now and what you can expect in the future. Will the preprocessor easily integrate into your process, or will it try to make you fit into its process?

2. How does it handle dirty geometry?

Not all geometry is created equal. Sometimes you may import geometry from your CAD package or receive geometry from a customer, and it will be dirty. The preprocessor you use should be able to clean analytic CAD and/or allow you to mesh over the problem areas.

3. How automated is the meshing process and is it scriptable?

Let’s face it, meshing is the bottleneck of the CFD process. That being said, automation can go a long way toward reducing your time spent meshing. This question will uncover if the software employs a bottom up or top down meshing process. Each offer automation, but you may find that some approaches come at the cost of robustness and/or control. Frequently, automatic meshing methods fail to produce a mesh or produce a mesh that is not suitable for your needs. What alternatives does the preprocessor offer for completing the mesh or improving the quality of an automatic mesh that is not up to standards? You may also find that some software is extensible through scripting. Scripting can enable you to automate part or all of your meshing process allowing you to get more done in less time without sacrificing control over your grid.

4. How much control does it provide throughout the meshing process?

Every simulation is different and therefore meshing requirements change. Pick a tool that gives you options, such as the ability to generate structured, unstructured, hybrid, and overset grids when necessary. Don’t settle for one or the other or a tool that requires you to pay for each module separately. Who knows when you’ll need to use a different meshing technique to meet your project requirements. Many preprocessors sacrifice control in the quest for push-button meshing. Don’t settle for that either. Look for a preprocessor that gives you control over every step of the process. What does control buy you? You can generate higher quality grids with fewer cells by having control over refinement and grid type when and where you need it.

5. What happens when you call for technical support?

You will probably have questions, run into bugs, or have great ideas that you’d like to see implemented in the software. Having someone to contact directly is as important if not more important than the software itself. Would you prefer your first phone contact to be with a help desk person reading questions from a script, or would you like to be able to call or email your own technical support engineer directly? Dig deep here. Ask them to describe the life of a bug, how it is reported, and how long before you can expect to get a fix. Uncover the process by which feature requests become actual features in the software. Ask if support is limited and how long it typically takes to get a response to a question. And find out if they offer training. You may be surprised to learn that free training is offered once you become a customer to help you get up to speed with the software.

Before committing to an evaluation or a purchase, compare the answers you receive with the requirements of your group. If the two align you may have found the preprocessor you’ve been looking for.

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Dallas Dining Tips for AIAA Aviation

More than once in the past week I was asked by folks attending AIAA Aviation in Dallas for BBQ and Tex-Mex restaurant suggestions.

My initial reply was to remind folks that I’m in Fort Worth and only go to Dallas when I absolutely have to.

So I reached out to my friends for recommendations and here’s what they said. (Please note: I haven’t been to any of these places myself.)


Slow Bone www.slowbone.com – Open 11a-3p daily, this is said to be a casual joint. Plus it seems to be relatively close to the Hilton Anatole. 2234 Irving Blvd.

Blind Butcher theblindbutcher.com – Open 4p-2a, this place is a bit more upscale and farther away. 1919 Greenville Ave.

Smoke smokerestaurant.com – It’s said you’d better make reservations for this place over on 901 Ft. Worth Ave.

Pecan Lodge www.pecanlodge.com – This was called the “best BBQ around” but be warned – they run out of meat as the day progresses. 11a-3p Tue-Thu & Sun, 11a-10p Fri-Sat.


El Bolero elboleromexican.com – This is a new location in the Oak Lawn district and appears to be open all day. 1201 Oak Lawn.

El Fenix elfenix.com – The original and most authentic. 1601 McKinney

Sol www.solirlandesgrill.com – Classic architecture and authentic food. 1525 Main St.

Iron Cactus ironcactus.com/dallas – Patio upon patio upon patio. Three floors of patios. 1520 Main St.


Whether it’s Tex-Mex or BBQ I’m certain you’ll find some good food in Big D. And when AIAA brings a conference to Fort Worth I’ll be able to give you first-hand recommendations.

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This Week in CFD

News & Events

  • In this article about Altair‘s 30th anniversary we learn that a) 40% of their clients are in the automotive industry, b) they’ll bring in about $300 million this year, and c) an IPO may or may not be in their future.
  • Did you know there’s an OpenFOAM Q&A site on Stack Exchange?
  • Proceedings from the FLOW-3D European Users Conference are now available online.
  • Intelligent Light shares a bit about their presentation from PAR CFD 2015.
An illustration of new CAD capabilities coming in STAR-CCM+ v10.04. Image from CD-adapco.

An illustration of new CAD capabilities coming in STAR-CCM+ v10.04. Image from CD-adapco. See link below.


  • MoFEM v0.2.2, a C++ library for FEA methods, is now avaiable.
  • Another example of “way out there” user interface technology is Google’s Soli, which uses 60 GHz radar to track sub-millimeter motion (i.e. a highly accurate gesture interface). [My first reaction was to wonder whether it detected “micro changes in air density.” Only fans of Alien will get that reference.]
  • Here’s another preview of new features coming in STAR-CCM+ v10.04, this time involving CAD data. (See image above.)

Applications & Jobs

  • They don’t know where, when or how but research published in Notices of the American Mathematical Society used CFD to conclude that flight MH-370 crashed into the ocean in a near vertical dive. [The article’s use of the word “solved” in its headline is laughable.]
  • LR Senergy was awarded a patent on a CFD-based method for simulating an entire gas/oil well for optimization called Wellscope.
  • TotalSim seeks an experienced CFD engineer with OpenFOAM experience in the UK.

Tessellated Wood

An alert reader (unfortunately I deleted their original message) pointed me to Jay Mantri‘s online photo blog and this untitled photograph of a stack of lumber. Despite not being a fan of photography in general, I kinda like this natural tessellation.

Jay Mantri, Untitled, 2015

Jay Mantri, Untitled, 2015

Bonus Section

Because I’ll be at AIAA Aviation in Dallas virtually all of next week, there won’t be a This Week in CFD post next Friday. (AIAA says they’re going to make me a “Social Media Ambassador” so watch for tweets and other social sharing from me tagged #aiaaAviation.) To help you avoid withdrawal, enjoy this plethora of “stupid fluid tricks.”

Ruslan Kkasanov created a follow-up to his video from two years ago and now explores the interaction of ink, oil, soap and glitter: Odyssey.

Ruslan Khasonov, Odyssey. Image from Colossal. See link above.

Ruslan Khasonov, Odyssey. Image from Colossal. See link above.

Clemens Wirth used a special rotatable set and camera rig to film, Gravity, that’s less disorienting than you’d think and is instead full of simple wonderment.

Clemens Wirth, Gravity. Image from Colossal. See link above.

Clemens Wirth, Gravity. Image from Colossal. See link above.

What happened when John Edmark 3D printed sculptures, spun them, and filmed them with a strobe? Magic. Blooms.

John Edmark, Blooms. Screen capture from Vimeo. See link above.

John Edmark, Blooms. Screen capture from Vimeo. See link above.

If you prefer to interact with your fluid art rather than just look at it, give Fluid & Particles in WebGL a try. Source code available.

George Corney, Fluid & Particles in WebGL. See link above.

George Corney, Fluid & Particles in WebGL. See link above.

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This Week in CFD


An adjoint method for conjugate heat transfer is coming in STAR-CCM+ v10.04. This image shows heat transfer on a cooled turbine blade. Image from CD-adapco. Click image for article.

An adjoint method for conjugate heat transfer is coming in STAR-CCM+ v10.04. This image shows heat transfer on a cooled turbine blade. Image from CD-adapco. Click image for article.

  • At least two of the nine projects for University Turbine Systems funded by the DoE’s National Energy Technology Lab involve CFD.
  • Teach yourself graphics programming with OpenGL with the free online tutorial at OpenGLBook.com.
  • cfMesh v1.1 was released for OpenFOAM meshing.
  • GridPro 6.2 was released. [A little late on this news.]
  • Tecplot announced a partnership with WaterCube for CUBEIT, powered by Tecplot, a software tool for visualizing, validating, and managing river, reservoir, and stream data. Tecplot is hosting a webinar on this topic on 02 July.

Applications and Events

This amazing image of a wind turbine wake comes from FieldView and is a teaser for how you can reduce data size by 3 orders of magnitude without loss of fidelity. Image from Intelligent Light. Click image for article.

This amazing image of a wind turbine wake comes from FieldView and is a teaser for how you can reduce data size by 3 orders of magnitude without loss of fidelity. Image from Intelligent Light. Click image for article.

  • Registration is now open for the CONVERGE User Conference 2015.
  • Best of the visualization web for April 2015.
  • You can read about the workstation market in the latest report from Jon Peddie Research.
  • Exa contributed to the use of CFD for the aero design of the Ligier JS P3 Le Mans car. [It’s when I see cool cars like that when I question why I’m not more of a motorsports fan.]
This truly puts the user in user interface. Tactum is a project by Madlab and Autodesk Research that lets you design wearables by drawing directly on your body and sending the result to a 3D printer. Anyone ready to mesh themselves? As first seen on SolidSmack. Click image for article.

This truly puts the user in user interface. Tactum is a project by Madlab and Autodesk Research that lets you design wearables by drawing directly on your body and sending the result to a 3D printer. Anyone ready to mesh themselves? As first seen on SolidSmack. Click image for article.

Dealing with the Absence of Content

[aka Reading This Blog]

Artist Anish Kapoor has done it again. I first encountered his work when we at Pointwise took a tour of AT&T (aka Cowboys) Stadium here in Arlington, Texas. The Jones family has filled the venue with art – and not just paintings in private suites but huge installations throughout the facility for the enjoyment of all visitors.

One of the more recent acquisitions is Kapoor’s Sky Mirror, a 35 foot diameter polished stainless steel mirror.

This is a selfie of our Pointwise group reflected in Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror at AT&T Stadium.

This is a selfie of our Pointwise group reflected in Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror at AT&T Stadium.

A newer work by Kapoor is Decension, a dark, perpetually swirling whirlpool [swirlpool?]. Kapoor gives general insight into his work by saying he’s interested in unseen spaces, voids, and horizons. He ties Decension and Sky Mirror together this way [emphasis added by me]:

“The odd thing about removing content, in making space, is that we, as human beings, find it very hard to deal with the absence of content. It’s the horror vacui. This Platonic concept lies at the origin of the myth of the cave, the one from which humans look towards the outside world. But here there is also a kind of Freudian opposite image, that of the back of the cave, which is the dark and empty back of being. Your greatest poet, Dante, also ventured into a place like that. It is the place of the void, which paradoxically is full – of fear, of darkness. Whether you represent it with a mirror or with a dark form, it is always the “back”, the point that attracts my interest and triggers my creativity.” -Anish Kapoor

Read more about Decension here (including a video) and visit Kapoor’s website. I propose that any commercial CFD company should be proud to have this installed in their headquarters. It’s an apt metaphor for CFD – the fluid simulation and visualization is very cool but what concerns us most deeply is what lies beneath whether it be numerical algorithms or physical models.

And then there are those of us in meshing looking up from the bottom of the dark pool. Which let’s me end with a Nietzsche quote: “When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”

Anish Kapoor, Decension. Image from Visual News.

Anish Kapoor, Decension. Image from Visual News.

[Sorry. This last bit was perhaps too much of a self-indulgent digression.]

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I’m Travis Carrigan and This Is How I Mesh

Travis Carrigan, Senior Engineer on the Sales & Marketing team.

Travis Carrigan, Senior Engineer on the Sales & Marketing team.

Have you ever been to the Idaho Potato Museum? If not, you should go. They’ll give you a free potato at the end of the tour…or at least they used to. I’ve been there several times. The museum sits in my hometown of Blackfoot, Idaho.

It was back home where I became a pilot and where I spent all my free time bumming around the local airport working on airplanes. Next, I moved to Arlington, Texas where I ended up studying Aerospace Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington. Before receiving my bachelor’s degree in 2009, I worked as a Quality Assurance Engineer on the Boeing 787 program at Vought Aircraft. The following spring, as I wrapped up my junior year, I was offered an internship at Pointwise on the Technical Support team. I took it immediately.

I spent my first summer at Pointwise working with Carolyn Woeber, the manager of our support team. At the time I was responsible for the functional testing of Gridgen and one of the earlier releases of Pointwise. During the summer I learned enough about grid generation to be productive and knew that I’d be doing CFD from then on.

After receiving my bachelor’s degree I started my second internship at Pointwise, this time on the Sales & Marketing team as an applications engineer working with Chris Sideroff. Chris now distributes and supports our software in Canada. I meshed, and meshed, and meshed, every day, all day, all summer. In just a few months I had generated meshes for geometries in nearly every application area where we have a customer. I was hooked.

I continued working as an intern at Pointwise throughout graduate school. During that time I was working mornings at Pointwise, taking a full course load in the afternoons at UTA, and spending my nights in the CFD lab performing vertical axis wind turbine design optimization. As an intern at that time I helped support the sales process and generated content for webinars, videos, and articles. Most of my original work is still floating around our website.

Just before I wrapped up my master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at UTA in 2011, I was offered a full time position with Pointwise as a Senior Engineer on the Sales & Marketing team. Since then I’ve been heavily involved in the production of our technical marketing content and sales process.

My primary area of responsibility is new sales. In order to sell our software, I work closely with prospective customers to help strengthen their CFD process by introducing them to Pointwise. Often an engineer will contact us with a meshing problem and it’s my responsibility to determine if Pointwise is the right fit for their application and help them discover the solution throughout a fully supported evaluation. This is a very technical process and one where I’m always learning about new CFD applications and challenges.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Current position: Senior Engineer, Sales & Marketing
  • Current computer: Razer Blade, Intel Core i7-4720HQ Quad-Core 2.6GHz, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, QHD+ 3200×1800 pixels, Windows 8.1
  • One word that best describes how you work: Wholeheartedly

What software or tools do you use every day?

I live in Outlook. Supporting everyone who is thinking about evaluating Pointwise and those currently working an evaluation means I’m reaching out to potential customers, working with system administrators on installation, fielding technical questions with engineers, and discussing terms and prices with buyers. I work hard to achieve inbox zero by the end of the day because that means I was able to help everyone who reached out to me.

Google Chrome is my window into all our online and web accessible content. I use Chrome to access and manage our Glyph script exchange on GitHub. Throughout the day I’ll look for any Pointwise or meshing questions that arrive via CFD Online. I use TweetDeck to monitor various feeds and tweet events and other CFD related content. Our YouTube page is where we host all our video content and I’m actively uploading new videos and responding to comments. We use YouTrack to log feature requests and bugs in our software, so I keep an eye on that and log any requests that come from discussions with any clients I’m working with. Our internal wiki provides a ton of useful information and is where we work with our developers to define the requirements for new features. I’m currently working on a couple new feature requirements that I can’t wait to share with you! But most of my time spent in Chrome is working with Sage CRM, our customer relationship management software where I track all incoming evaluation requests, quotation requests, and those evaluating the software.

Throughout the day I’ll use Pidgin to chat with my coworkers. A quick message can save a phone call or an email. I use vim when writing or editing Glyph scripts and Cygwin to access my remote Linux workstation to run CFD calculations or generate large meshes. The Microsoft Office suite of tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, no matter how hard I try to find alternatives, keep me productive. I record a lot of videos including webinars, in-depth meshing videos, and tutorials for #TutorialTuesday. Camtasia makes it easy to capture my screen so I can produce content and get it online quickly. And it goes without saying, but I use Pointwise every single day.

There are two more tools I use that I couldn’t do my job without: GoToMeeting and the phone. GoToMeeting has become such an important part of my job that I can’t imagine working without it. When someone would like to see Pointwise in action, or show me something they’re working on and get feedback, in about a minute I can have a meeting up and running. Often one GoToMeeting session will save an entire day’s worth of email, and I can record it and send it to the client. The phone is similar in that a single phone call can save time, it’s more personal, and allows us to escape the computer for a few minutes.

What does your workspace look like?

Travis's current workspace.

Travis’s current workspace.

I’ve moved around our building a lot. I worked in two different conference rooms during my internships, spent a summer in our server room running CFD calculations, worked for about a year in a corner, then an office, and now a corner office. I have a great view of downtown Fort Worth, three large desks, a couple bookshelves, and a plant.

I like to make wherever I’m working comfortable, and by that I mean cluttered with little gizmos and fun stuff. I’ve amassed a small collection of bobble heads against my will and a few really nice aircraft models. Some of the more fun stuff sits on my desk. The Useless Machine provides a lot of entertainment and they have a great return policy—if you don’t find it completely useless, return it for a full refund. Last year I assembled the Strandbeest kit by Gakken and it’s earned a permanent place on my desk. My wife is a Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Research Institute (UTARI) and works in the Biomedical Technologies group. While working on a project involving casting, she made a cast of her hand, which she painted green, and which I stole and proudly display on my desk. I get a kick out of the awkward stares when customers drop by to chat. My wife is very creative and has contributed a number of laser cut wood models to my collection.

What are you currently working on?

A lot of things. I get anxious when I’m not working, so I always have something to do. Most of the work I do is in support of those evaluating Pointwise. I can’t reveal specifics, but what I can say is that during any given week I could be meshing an automotive geometry, a full aircraft, a turbine blade, writing a Glyph script to automate part or all of a meshing process, making a video to demonstrate a particular feature or workflow, or running a CFD calculation to validate a particular meshing strategy. When someone commits to an evaluation, I’m 100% all in to help them discover Pointwise and offer the same level of support they can expect once they become a customer.

Lately I’ve been working on the DrivAer, a realistic external automotive geometry proposed by the Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the Technische Universität München. Often automotive geometry is extremely complex, and the DrivAer is no different with over 15,000 unique surfaces. Working with others in this industry I’ve found that a lot of engineers use discrete automotive models (STLs) and meshing algorithms that are tuned for surface wrapping. The difficulty with this approach is that discrete geometry can degrade accuracy and lacks the topological information that analytic models can provide. However, to take advantage of analytic models coming from CAD requires geometry cleanup and robust meshing strategies. Our goal with this project has been to demonstrate such strategies and best practices for cleaning complex analytic CAD often encountered in the automotive industry and automatically generate boundary layer resolved grids. The project has been successful and we’ll be presenting this work coupled with shape deformation and optimization at the 10th OpenFOAM Workshop.

Hybrid volume mesh for the DrivAer geometry colored by element volume.

Hybrid volume mesh for the DrivAer geometry colored by element volume.

I’ve been involved with our webinars and videos since we started producing them back in 2010. I began by producing only the technical content, then drove the software while others presented, and now I organize and produce our webinars with a customer and/or a software partner. Pointwise webinars give people the opportunity to see the software being used in the real world and for many different applications. At the moment I’m working on our next webinar which will go live later this summer. I’m also involved in producing short tutorials in a segment we call #TutorialTuesdays on YouTube and Twitter, along with longer videos that demonstrate the entire meshing process.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

As I’ve mentioned, one of my roles is pre-sales support during the evaluation stage. Therefore, I must be well versed in our software and best practices so I can help new users get up to speed quickly. That being said, I’d say my meshing specialty is unstructured viscous meshing using T-Rex.

Having worked many different meshing applications over the last few years I’ve come to appreciate the intricacies of getting something rather automated to do what I need it to do for a complex geometry. I know how T-Rex works, I know how and when to apply it, and I know how to get it to do what I want. The secret is all in the surface mesh.

Any tips for our users?

If you’re stuck, contact us. Zach already mentioned it in his post, but I’ll reiterate. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question, comment, or concern. Believe it or not, we love hearing from you. The more feedback the better! We are your grid generation subject matter experts and are available to help in any way we can. Feel free to contact us by phone (1-800-4PTWISE), email (support@pointwise.com), the web, or request a GoToMeeting invitation.

It’s probably scriptable. Glyph scripting is a powerful tool. It gives you access to every command in the Pointwise user interface. However, unlike in the GUI, with Glyph you can string together multiple commands and write your own macros and features. I call this hacking Pointwise since you can get the software to do some pretty incredible things like solving a Rubik’s Cube or playing Pong. A more productive application would involve splitting multiple connectors simultaneously. In Pointwise you would have to split one connector at a time. Another great application is taking a connector, copying, translating, and then stretching it to fit between two points. These three separate tasks can be combined into a single script.

T-Rex is all about the surface mesh. The quality of a volume mesh is highly dependent on the quality of the surface mesh. Keep in mind that when running T-Rex you are advancing elements off of the surface mesh. If your surface mesh quality is poor, the volume mesh will also be poor. So if you encounter a poor quality element in the volume, look at the surface mesh in the vicinity. Not always, but more often than not there is a spacing or something else not set correctly on the surface. Below are my recommendations before generating a volume mesh using T-Rex.

  1. Select all the domains on the surface of your geometry (exclude match domains) and examine the area ratio. The area ratio should be less than 4 everywhere. If you find you have a high area ratio, chances are there is a spacing mismatch at a node. When advancing elements off the surface, smaller elements will reach isotropy (T-Rex stop criteria) sooner than larger elements. This means that if you have a large area ratio you have a small element adjacent to a large element and when advancing into the volume mesh the front could stop prematurely.
  2. With the surface domains still selected, examine the maximum included angle. Keep this as low as possible. Geometry is going to dictate this, so high angles may not be avoidable all the time. I like to keep my max angle less than 150. If I have an element that’s higher than that I’ll decide whether I need to modify the surface mesh in that region either by joining domains, or by approximating the geometry to eliminate the poor angle.
  3. Assuming you haven’t assembled the block yet, take your grid into Grid, Merge and ensure you have no lamina connectors. Lamina connectors on the interior of your grid indicate gaps in the surface mesh and should be fixed or else a watertight volume cannot be generated.

What project are you most proud of and why?

It’s a tie between two Glyph scripting projects. I began working on the first project just before I was hired full time. It was a project for a Quiet Aircraft Technology program member and I worked with Nick Wyman to automate the meshing for conical and chevron jet nozzles. The Glyph scripts we wrote automatically generated overset, multiblock structured grids given an input nozzle geometry. We developed a user interface for each script that exposed all the meshing parameters necessary to generate the grids from scratch so the end-user wouldn’t have to load up the Pointwise GUI. Once the grid had been generated, the script would export all the component grids and PEGASUS control file used for the overset grid assembly. Acoustic simulations were performed, requiring the grids to be of very high quality. To give you an idea how much time this saved the engineers, assembling a single grid by hand would take one to three days depending on the complexity of the nozzle. The script reduced that to under an hour.

Graphical user interface for the jet nozzle overset meshing Glyph script.

Graphical user interface for the jet nozzle overset meshing Glyph script.

The second project was a Glyph scripting library I wrote to elevate the order of linear elements generated using Pointwise. Using the grid coordinate enumerator written in Glyph by David Garlisch, a Senior Engineer on our Product Development team, I was able to gain access to the grid model, compute the nodal locations for the additional points including placing them on the CAD geometry where appropriate, and generate the higher order connectivity for each element. The script was successfully coupled with a script generated by Cameron, Compression Systems that automatically generated multiblock structured finite element grids for open-faced centrifugal impellers. In the end we had a set of automated tools for generating higher order hexahedral grids to improve the prediction of centrifugal impeller failure modes.

The inducer view of the centrifugal impeller illustrates the use of quadratic hexahedral elements. This mesh was generated automatically.

The inducer view of the centrifugal impeller illustrates the use of quadratic hexahedral elements. This mesh was generated automatically.

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

When I need to validate a meshing strategy for a particular application or when I’m working on a project that requires I run a calculation, I rely on a few open source CFD solvers. I’m primarily using OpenFOAM on my Linux workstation for incompressible, steady and unsteady simulations. I’ve been using OpenFOAM for more than five years now and worked with David Garlisch to develop a plugin so Pointwise users can seamlessly export a grid to OpenFOAM without the need to run any additional meshing utilities.

Recently I’ve been using Caelus, a restructured derivative of OpenFOAM that runs on my Windows machine. Because it was forked from OpenFOAM, it’s an environment I’m comfortable working in. That being said, under the covers Caelus is different. Solvers are only included if they’ve been validated against published data, the turbulence models and wall functions have been rewritten, and a number of library enhancements have been made including updated interpolation and gradient schemes.

I’m also using SU2, an open source CFD solver developed out of Stanford University. I have SU2 running on both my Windows machine and my Linux workstation and primarily use it for external aerodynamics calculations. Over the past couple years we’ve done a lot of work with the SU2 team. Last year we hosted a webinar and discussed supersonic aircraft shape design using the Lockheed Martin 1021, a test case from the AIAA Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop. As part of the project I wrote a Glyph script to generate free form deformation boxes and export the data to SU2 for shape deformation. A few months later we held a joint workshop at Stanford where we walked through the entire CFD process using Pointwise and SU2.

For postprocessing I use a mix of ParaView, EnSight by CEI, and Tecplot. My OpenFOAM environment is setup to load results directly into ParaView, and I’m using both EnSight and Tecplot for grid visualization and solution visualization. Our first joint webinar was hosted by Tecplot and we discussed an automated methodology for optimizing the aerodynamic performance of vertical axis wind turbine rotors, my master’s work. We’ve hosted a couple webinars with CEI. One involved North American Eagle and an attempt to break the land speed record, another with CRAFT Tech and analysis of cavitation and acoustics of a water injection pump.

Are you reading any interesting technical papers we should know about?

A few. I’m reading John Steinbrenner’s Construction of Prism and Hex Layers from Anisotropic Tetrahedra which describes T-Rex and more specifically the evolution of cell combination techniques. I’m also reading Aeroacoustic Simulations of a Nose Landing Gear using FUN3D on Pointwise Unstructured Grids by V.N. Vatsa, M.R. Khorrami, J. Rhoads, and D.P. Lockard. Both papers will be presented at AIAA Aviation. While working on the DrivAer grids and simulations I’ve been reading Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the DrivAer Model by A.I. Heft, T. Indinger, and N.A. Adams.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend one of Edward Tufte’s courses on Presenting Data and Information. John Chawner recently wrote an article describing a few of the highlights. After taking the course I started reading Beautiful Evidence. It’s a great book and I especially enjoyed the chapters on sparklines and the fundamental principles of analytical design.

Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?

Absolutely! This month alone I’ll be at three different conferences and workshops. June 15th-19th I’ll be in Montreal at TurboExpo. Please drop by the booth and we can chat about your turbomachinery meshing applications. The following week I’ll be at AIAA Aviation. Be sure to attend our Let’s Talk Meshing Workshop on June 21st before the conference. You’ll learn how to use our latest overset meshing tools, get an introduction to Suggar++, see some new Pointwise features, I’ll be teaching you how to get started with Glyph scripting, and our president will present the product roadmap for Pointwise. You won’t want to miss it. The week after Aviation I’ll be in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the 10th OpenFOAM Workshop. There I’ll be presenting our work on the DrivAer automotive model. Come by and I’ll show you how Pointwise seamlessly integrates with OpenFOAM. The last week of July I’ll be in Orlando, Florida at the AIAA Propulsion and Energy conference.

What do you do when you’re not generating meshes?


Just kidding. I have a lot of different hobbies from running CFD on a Raspberry Pi to building a home flight simulator. After graduate school I started reading again and am a big fan of Daniel Suarez and his books. Right now I’m reading Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte, To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink, The Everything Store by Brad Stone, and IT by Stephen King.

I do a lot of gaming on iOS, Android, PC, and the PS4. A few years ago I fell into indie gaming and discovered a unique world of art I never knew existed. I could recommend a dozen or more great indie titles, but anything by Amanita Design is absolutely perfect. Samorost, Machinarium, and Botanicula will leave you speechless.

Something else I discovered by chance was coffee. Those who know me know I’m coffee crazy. I’ve amassed a collection of more than ten different coffee makers, all manual brewers with different filtering mechanics. I could go on all day about coffee and the science and art of brewing but I won’t. Instead all I’ll tell you is that real coffee doesn’t taste like Starbucks or a K-cup. A real cup of coffee brewed properly will highlight flavors you never knew existed. Imagine drinking a cup of coffee so sweet that you don’t need to add sugar and so smooth that milk and cream are no longer necessary. The Hario V60 is the most natural way to brew a cup of coffee and gives you control of the brew ratio, grind size, water temperature, bloom time, and brew time. If you want to learn more you can visit my blog. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated in a while, but there’s plenty of great content.

Few of my hobbies would be fun without someone to share them with. My wife’s a great sport and supportive of everything I do. The two of us do everything together and have recently taken up fishing near our home. She’s a phenomenal cook, a great travel companion, and my best friend. When I’m not generating meshes I’m spending time with her, sipping a coffee and relaxing.

What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received?

“All models are wrong, but some are useful.” –George E. P. Box

If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?

My wife and I love to eat and try new restaurants wherever we go. Here in Fort Worth, Texas I would recommend Rodeo Goat for the best burger in DFW. If I were back home in Blackfoot, Idaho it would be Rupes. Be sure to try the fry sauce. In San Antonio, Texas I’d say Boudro’s on the Riverwalk. Seattle, Washington would be Elliott’s Oyster House, probably the best seafood place I’ve been to. In San Jose, California you’ve got to drop by Pizza Antica on Santana Row and when you’re finished walk across the street to the Tesla shop just for fun. In New York City definitely Xi’an Famous Foods for some authentic Chinese. If you’re in Albany, New York be sure to try Dave’s Gourmet & Exotic Burgers. It’s the only burger place I know of that sells a python, camel, and kangaroo burger. And lastly, when in Montreal you must visit Le Gourmand Restaurant.

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Post on the Report from the ASSESS Summit

The first Analysis, Simulation, and Systems Engineering Software Summit (ASSESS) was held in January 2015 but its backstory begins in the spring of 2014 at the colocated Collaboration and Interoperability Congress (www.3dcic.com) and NAFEMS Americas Conference 2014 (www.nafems.org/2014/americas). That’s where intrinSIM’s Joe Walsh talked about how business issues, not technology issues, are going to drive simulation forward.

The Coming Simulation Revolution

More specifically, Walsh talked about how increased competitiveness across all industries has forced business leaders (i.e. CEOs, COOs, CFOs)  to focus on innovation, risk management, and cost reduction. As it turns out, simulation is the “key enabler” for each of these components of competitiveness. Not only is it a key enabler, but it’s a driver that can result in a factor of 10-100 growth in the use of simulation, not the 10-15% growth we’ve become used to – a revolution, not an evolution.

Joe Walsh, intrinSIM

Joe Walsh

This revolution, according to Walsh, will require simulation software to become “fit for purpose, smart, integrated, and transparent.”

The ASSESS Summit

The positive reaction to Walsh’s presentation was the seed from which ASSESS grew with the aid of Cyon Research’s Brad Holtz. Forty “ambassadors” from across the world of simulation (users, software vendors, industry and financial analysts) were invited to this inaugural summit, held in January 2015. After a kickoff presentation and a plenary discussion of simulation’s many issues, the attendees were formed into working groups that collectively identified over 100 issues with the current state of simulation. In a final plenary session, all these issues were voted on to identify those deemed most important.

So, what were the top simulation issues identified by the summit? Presented in no particular order:

  1. Pre-CAD analysis and optimization
  2. Combining heterogeneous models in a systems approach
  3. Model fidelity and the role of unsexy stuff
  4. Knowledge capture & re-use
  5. Impact of web, cloud, and mobile
  6. Design centric workflows
  7. Ease of use and usability
  8. “Licensing models need to be revisited”

Unfortunately, that last issue about licensing models was not addressed at COFES. Too bad. It would’ve been an interesting discussion. Revisited why? Revisited how?

Also, the ASSESS organizers admit that their 40 ambassadors may have been too heavily weighted to the software vendor side of the business. (Although you wouldn’t expect #8 from such a group. That tells me the group was operating openly and transparently.) So the organizers plan to compile a list of the top couple dozen issues and present them to a more diverse audience to see whether the top eight change. No timeline was given for when that would be done.

Let’s now delve into the top seven. Please note that what follows is an attempt to summarize the salient points from the presentations and is often quoted word-for-word either from the presenters’ statements or their slides. Any misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or outright mistakes are mine. My thoughts are italicized.

Pre-CAD Analysis and Optimization

Or how do you simulate when there’s no CAD model?

Steve Levine, SIMULIA

Steve Levine

Everyone talks about simulation being most effective very early in the design process when it’s easy to explore changes. Also, the farther upstream you swim in the design process, the more potential users you encounter. Theoretically, you could have every engineer performing simulation in this scenario, maybe by the year 2025.

For comparison’s sake, it is currently estimated that only 1 in 6 engineers use simulation which itself represents a decade’s worth of growth from when only 1 in 22 used it.

So, how do you use simulation when there isn’t a CAD model? To be very clear, there’s a difference between CAD and geometry. But the gist of the idea is to use simulation to evolve the requirements into an idealized design. In essence, this approach would accomplish something everyone says we should be doing anyway: placing function before form.

Topology optimization is an example of how this might work, to drive a shape given a set of requirements, actually mapping out the design space. That’s not to say this is a closed issue because conceptualizing function, choosing the right parameters to optimize, and ensuring manufacturability are open for research. [This sounds very similar to adaptive meshing. If you start with a grid that’s too coarse, you’ll never even start to resolve some features and therefore they won’t be adapted to.]

So what would simulation software look like for use in this pre-CAD stage?

  • Lightweight, not heavy like CAD.
  • Direct, both modeling and simulation.
  • Extreme speed, “good enough” fidelity. [This is tricky. Lowering the fidelity requirement places serious boundaries on the range of applicability of the simulation software, boundaries that have to be communicated and hopefully enforced.]
  • Optimization methods that guide design.

Taming System Complexity

We all know that systems are becoming more complex through various factors.

Humbertus Tummeschiet, Modelon

Hubertus Tummescheit

  • Many big things
  • that may be interconnected
  • in a heterogeneous environment
  • where the underlying mathematics are difficult and/or not well understood
  • all impacted by what we don’t know and even more so by what we don’t know we don’t know.

The way we handle complexity now is simply “divide and conquer” by which we apply domain specific tools and techniques to certain aspects of a problem and connect the results in some sort of hierarchical network. We need to expand on this approach by applying the very well-known principles of systems theory in a way that:

  • uses general, formal systems logic [I see this as being a big challenge for things like CFD and FEA]
  • is efficient (i.e. parallelizable)
  • supports verification and validation practices
  • and is made practical through the use of open standards (for example, FMI). [This last issue in particular is one raised by the CFD Vision 2030 Study in the context of multi-disciplinary design optimization. I don’t recall whether that report cites FMI.]

Unsexy Stuff is Key

This presentation is the one I most wanted to hear. After all, nothing is less sexy than mesh generation. But this working group took a different approach to the topic. It’s our “culture” that’s to blame.

Jack Ring

Jack Ring

  • We spend too much time on individual solutions instead of helping management understand the usefulness of simulation. [This statement on its surface seems to conflict with Joe Walsh’s premise that CEOs are now groking simulation. But we are at an inflection point where our upselling of simulation will fall on more receptive ears.]
  • We are not good at finding out what it is that users really want to know. [The topic of understanding and managing requirements comes up again later.]
  • Our adherence to standards of validation is “disastrous” and “blotchy.” [This is actually kinda sad.]
  • Uncertainty quantification is non-existent which may not be that big a deal because we also don’t know the degree of fidelity required by our users. [This concern was also cited in NASA’s CFD Vision 2030 Study.]

What are the next steps toward resolving these issues?

  • Create a standard for conducting simulations and ensure its adoption by simulation users and software providers. [I wonder well how NAFEMS’ Professional Simulation Engineer certification fits this need.]
  • Define simulation cost and uncertainty over time to track improvement.

Simulation for Discovery and Knowledge Creation

It’s time to stop running simulations and then losing or just deleting the results. Instead, simulation can and should be used to build databases of knowledge about system performance from which we can discover engineering insights.

Mark Halpern

Mark Halpern

Web, Cloud & Mobile

There’s probably no better COFES attendee than Onshape’s Jon Hirschtick to present ASSESS’ opinions on web, cloud, and mobile (hereinafter “the cloud”) as they pertain to simulation software.

As Jon said, CAE may be the last group of people on earth debating whether the cloud is a relevant topic that we as an industry need to consider.

Jon Hirschtick

Jon Hirschtick

The cloud is not new to us in general, but is in the sense of using CAE tools that are hosted on a remote server, run in a web browser, and are accessed via mobile platforms.

The benefits – critical to the future of CAE – of the cloud are:

  • Accessibility: If we are going to expand use of simulation software by 10x or more, offering a platform that’s highly accessible (no download, no install) is key. There is also a cost benefit here, because users don’t have to worry too much about what computer they have to use for simulation. Which leads to the next benefit.
  • Performance: Because CPU clock speeds have flatlined, performance gains will come from massive parallelism and these performance gains are critical if people are going to be running 10x the simulations. Cloud computing means everyone doesn’t need to own their own private HPC system.
  • Simplicity: This is an IT topic and pertains to downloading, installing, maintaining, updating, license managing – all of the overhead that no one likes.
  • Design Exploration: To fully integrate simulation into the design process, and to do so very early in the design process to make significant impact, simulation will be used to populate and explore the design space. The compute load alone makes this task well suited for the cloud.
  • Cost: Because the cloud would be used only when needed, you’d pay only when you need it rather than 24×7 like we do for installed software. Other cost savings arise from not having to maintain your own HPC system and the IT staff to maintain it and the software.
  • Collaboration: Because the cloud is central, common, and easily accessible to all users it naturally enables group collaboration on projects.

Of course, the cloud does come with some baggage.

  • Security: While there are legitimate security concerns about use of the cloud (e.g. military aerospace companies who simply cannot remotely host their data) many of security concerns are simply (and likely mistaken) perceptions that data on a cloud server is less secure than data on an employee’s laptop. The same laptop they’re using to browse random websites, the same laptop they take home and on business trips.
  • Legacy code: Programming for cloud is an entirely new paradigm that many (most?) CAE programmers don’t currently have expertise in. Do we port our current codes or do we reprogram from scratch?
  • Territoriality: Sometimes international government regulations restrict where data can be put. Plus, governments will want their cut of the action through tariffs and taxes.
  • User acceptance: We will have to take into account the user community’s level of comfort with cloud-based simulation applications and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model. [For example, I have heard user complaints about upgrades being thrust upon them in the SaaS model whether they like them or not. And then there’s the “big brother” aspect of SaaS in which the software vendor can monitor which features are being used and at what frequency.]

Design Centered Workflow

The essential essence of this issue is one that has been around for at least a decade: geometric design should be an output of functional design rather than the reverse which is how it is now. In other words, right now we draw a shape in CAD and then simulate to see how it performs. What we should be doing is exploring the design space with simulation and seeing what geometry is produced.

Keith Meintjes

Keith Meintjes

The phrase “tyranny of CAD ” was used to describe the situation where manufacturing lead times dominate the schedule for product development which resequenced the flow of engineering so that simulation is done after the fact where it is less effective in achieving design goals.

How do we go about keeping design at the center of simulation?

  • We must have traceable and verifiable requirements that are linked to simulation and to CAD. [See above where this is deemed one of the unsexy things.]
  • We must take a hierarchical approach to having models of varying levels of fidelity.
  • These models must be the cornerstones of collaboration.
  • Simulation and optimization must be ubiquitous to the design process. embedded and optimizable simulation throughout meaning that the user (a designer) won’t need specialized simulation knowledge.

The rhetorical question was asked: “Why don’t we have geometry for X where X ≠ manufacturing?”


Malcolm Panthaki

Malcolm Panthaki

Usability goes well beyond the user interface. The pinnacle of usability may be the apps we all have on our smartphones.

  • They are useful with an obvious or almost implicit ROI.
  • They have a simple, intuitive interface.
  • They don’t require a user manual.
  • They are focused on solving a single problem.

On the other hand, the nadir of usability may be general purpose CAE software. Where does that lack of usability come from?

  • Extensive functionality with more added each day.
  • Significant expertise and experience are required to get reliable and accurate results.
  • Users must have expertise in both the relevant physics and the simulation software.

We all appreciate the fact that physics simulations can be complex. But do they have to be complicated too?

One method for solving this problem is simulation apps (aka sim apps) in which expert knowledge is captured in a narrowly focused tool that non-experts can use via the web for easy access.

The Way Forward for Us

The general intent of ASSESS’ organizers and participants is to maintain this effort as a long-term initiative, to advocate, shepherd, monitor, cajole, support, and promote the analysis and simulation market through its anticipated and desired growth.

The manner in which this will be accomplished is currently a matter of discussion.

In the last 12 months or so I’ve seen the future of analysis and simulation addressed from both the very technical side (in the form of NASA’s CFD Vision 2030 Study) and the business side (in the case of ASSESS). Both these efforts were led by very smart people.

Like you, I have spent a lot of time thinking “What does all this mean for us? Are these issues already influencing our users? Should they influence us? And when? To what degree? And how.”

I should have some answers for you in the coming weeks.

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