I’m Sebastian Desand and This Is How I Mesh

I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, the country most famous for Ikea, Abba and Ingrid Bergman. This is still where I live with my wife, two kids and two cats. I do travel quite often within Europe, but also to the U.S. on occasion.

I am a lawyer by education, spiced with economics, business administration, political science and mathematics. More about my background can be found on my LinkedIn profile. The last four years I have been focused on bringing the ground-breaking technology behind Ingrid Cloud to the market. The technology is the result of some 15 years of research conducted at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Current position: CEO/Co-Founder of Ingrid Cloud
  • Current computer: Ingrid Cloud uses a Cray XC40 and for personal use I mostly use a MacBook
  • One word that best describes how you work: Focused

How do you know Pointwise?

First through LinkedIn and then as a client.

What do you see are the biggest challenges facing CFD in the next 5 years?

I see challenges from different perspectives. Partly for the current users of CFD (CFD engineers, companies that use CFD, CFD consultants) and partly for the companies providing CFD technology to current and future users.

One of the main problems that I see within the CFD community is a widely spread skepticism to any other technology than what they have, at some point, learned to be “true.”

The main challenges for CFD users:

  • Better at understanding and communicating the business value of CFD as well as asking the “so-what” question and drawing the right implications from simulations
  • Focusing more on analysis of the results than the actual craftmanship of conducting simulations (which is becoming more and more automated)
  • Being faster in adopting new technology, not sticking to what they know and having a “not invented here” attitude
  • Using cloud computing more efficiently
  • Moving from the averaged solutions of today with a lot of modeling but minimal amount of computations, to highly resolved, transient solutions with a minimal amount of modeling by using powerful HPC resources

For CFD technology providers:

  • Providing non-specialists with accurate, fast and easy to use CFD tools to enable simulations earlier in the design process
  • Increasing scalability in existing codes and making them ready for exascale computing
  • Building tools for design optimization coupled with CFD
  • Developing better tools for automated (and intelligent) cad-cleanup and mesh refinement
  • Increasing accuracy, speed, ease of use, AND reducing cost
  • Increasing automation and democratization for CFD
  • Better integration of CFD with current design tools
  • Coupling CFD with other tools for analysis
  • Developing intelligent CFD solutions which can be one of the cornerstones in computational and generative design

What are you currently working on?

We are currently working on addressing the points that I mentioned as challenges for the CFD technology providers. But more specifically, we are working on an add-in for Autodesk Revit, as well as future proofing our Urban Wind Comfort application for guidelines that are being decided in different cities and countries. We are also working on implementing design optimization, as well as a mesher application.

What project are you most proud of and why?

Launching Ingrid Cloud, a fully automated cloud-based service for transient CFD simulations that are highly accurate, fast and easy to use. After more than a decade of research it took more than three years of product development just to get a minimum viable product out on the market. The technology is extremely complex, but we deliver it in a very easy-to-use cloud-based product that takes care of the entire work flow for the user. Simply upload a geometry, set a few parameters and press go.

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

I read technical papers all the time to stay up-to-date with advancements in technology.

What software or tools do you use every day?

The company mostly uses our own software of course. But we also use software provided by third party developers daily. Personally, as the CEO, I guess I mostly use Excel and PowerPoint.

What does your workspace look like?

Messy but somewhat organized.

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

Yes. We were just at London Build. We were considering Autodesk University, but opted out. Next conference for me is SLUSH in Helsinki.

The CFD engineers in the company attend more technically focused conferences as well.

What do you do outside the world of CFD?

Besides focusing on our product development and our customers, I talk a lot to investors. Outside my work I mostly spend time with family and friends.

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

  1. Keep it simple and use the computational power available. The more you model, the more sources of error and uncertainty.
  2. Never forget to ask “so-what” after concluding something. The value is very often in the implications.

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

Depends on the company and location I’m in. I enjoy most cuisines as long as it’s high quality. But in the U.S., I can recommend Press in Napa Valley.

About Travis Carrigan

A Pointwise engineer helping other engineers solve their meshing problems.
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