News in Brief
- Libre Mechanics provides this OpenFOAM tutorial for incompressible flow over a submarine.
- Advice on writing a technical paper. Do not use passive voice. Do not use first person. Etc.
- New open-source CFD code: OpenHyperFLOW2D for transient, viscous, compressible, reacting flows.
- MSC Software released SimXpert 2013.
- You have until 31 January to enter MSC’s Simulating Reality Contest. Just submit your image or video made with their products for a chance to win recognition and an iPad mini.
- TransMagic released TransMagic R10 sp1.
- Altair is accepting abstracts for their 2014 European Altair Technology Conference to be held 24-26 June in Munich. Deadline is 28 February.
News in Depth (i.e. TL;DR)
- When anywhere between 30% and 70% of an analyst’s time is spent cleaning up CAD geometry you know there’s a problem. Desktop Engineering presents the CAD-CAE cleanup headache. A few thoughts:
- Best quote: “What’s important? Who’s asking?” The important parts of a CAD model depend on who needs to use that model. A one-size fits all solution does not apply here.
- Worst quote: “Is it fair to put the burden on the designer?” Just recently I read that we need to begin using the word design as a verb instead of a noun. The designer’s job [IMO] is not to create a geometric artifact (i.e. the CAD model). The designer’s job is to create an object that meets certain performance and functional objectives. The latter is driven by analysis and therefore it’s the designer’s job, not a burden. [I am not implying this is easy.]
- Two presentations on the past decades of CFD development are available for you review.
- The first is from Qinetic’s M.T. Arthur. In 2008 he presented Not quite good enough – a retrospective review of developments in aerospace CFD.
- The second is more recent but sets a similar tone. Last month University of Michigan’s Phil Roe spoke on the topic of Colorful Fluid Dynamics – behind the scenes, subtitled with this quote: “Back in 1978, nothing worked. Now in 2013, almost everything works, but nothing works particularly well.”
- One man makes the case that computers love to think in triangles, essentially turning everything into a mesh. [I think the situation is more properly stated as programmers love to think in triangles.]
- SolidProfessor has a new website with new training tools for SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor and more.
- Just a reminder that you have until 31 December to take advantage of CD-adapco’s 2-for-1 registration offer for the STAR Global Conference 2014 (and have a chance to win a TV).
- Tech Soft 3D acquired tetra4D. This transaction brings together the developers of 3D PDF technology (the former) with distribution of 3D PDF end-user products (the latter).
- Flow Science was named one of the best places to work in New Mexico, one of 10 medium-sized businesses to be recognized.
Code of Ethics for Programmers?
Over on Fast Company’s Co.LABS site, the question is raised whether software developers (aka programmers) need to adopt and be held to a standard code of ethics.
As someone closely involved in a programming enterprise this is an provocative question to consider. As the article points out, other professions have ethics codes (lawyers, doctors, etc.). I believe [someone correct me if this is wrong] that professional engineers are subject to some sort of code of conduct as part of their licensing as a PE.
But in my opinion, the answer is no – programmers as a profession do not need their own code of ethics. And quite frankly, the other professions don’t need one either.
Back in the day when I worked for a large defense contractor, one of their corporate VPs got busted for a misdeed like bribery or something. I don’t recall the specifics. But the trickle-down result of that was that every employee had to undergo ethics training and then sign a form stating that they’d behave ethically.
Do you see the fallacy? An ethical person needed neither the training nor the signature to guide their behavior. An unethical person would sign the form regardless and carry on with their nefarious ways.
People are either ethical or unethical and that aspect of their personality is established [in my opinion] by the time they’re 18. Undergraduate instruction, seminars, and signed oaths do little to modify their behavior.
Does that mean businesses, software or otherwise, should operate like a Roman bacchanalia? Of course not. The organization has a responsibility to operate in a professional manner. In fact, I would argue that professional conduct is a key success factor.
We should guard against the false belief that the existence of a programmer’s code of ethics would effectively safeguard the software-buying public. Caveat emptor will always apply.
Briefly, The News
- Someone’s looking to hire a CFD/FEA Analysis Engineer in Ohio.
- Chicago’s SimuTech group seeks a Senior CFD Engineer.
- There’s now an XFlow Users Group on LinkedIn.
- blueCAPE announced blueCFD-AIR, a new CFD tool for airflow in buildings and other structures. blueCFD-AIR is based on blueCFD-Core which is in turn based on OpenFOAM.
- Autodesk Simulation TV shares tips on meshing.
- Abstracts for the ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress are due 17 February.
- The modeFRONTIER International Users’ Meeting will be held 12-13 May 2014 in Trieste, Italy. Abstracts are due by 17 February.
Are Ants a Fluid or a Solid?
Ha – obviously a trick question. They are a viscoelastic solid, exhibiting both liquid and solid behavior depending on strain rate (similar to Silly Putty). On the left you see a stream of ants flowing like a fluid (low strain rate) while on the right you see ants’ solidity under a high strain rate.
The physics here are incontrovertible. No counter arguments will be accepted.
P.S. I apologize for the length of this post and won’t hold it against you if you tl;dr.