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NAFEMS World Congress 2011 - The Largest and Most Successful Ever

With over 360 delegates attending, this year’s event was the largest NAFEMS World Congress yet. As the only global event dedicated solely to showcasing state-of-the-art and state-of-practice in engineering analysis and related technologies, the congress provided an impartial forum open to all with a keen interest in achieving the most from their use of simulation. This year’s unprecedented level of attendance has yet again reinforced the relevance of NAFEMS within the analysis community and was a huge factor in the overall success of the event.

 

“NAFEMS has been overwhelmed by the response to this year’s congress. The huge level of interest reinforces the importance of the organisation within the engineering analysis community” – David Quinn, Head of Marketing & Communications at NAFEMS.

The feedback received for the congress from attendees and sponsors alike has been extremely positive. This comes from all those involved in the event, including the principal sponsor SIMULIA, Dassault Systèmes, who have once again reinforced their commitment to NAFEMS and the analysis community in general.

“As the principal sponsor of the NAFEMS 2011 World Congress, SIMULIA was able to demonstrate our long-term commitment to accelerating the development of innovative technology and methods for Realistic Simulation to the international community of analysis experts,” stated Ken Short, V.P. Strategy and Marketing, SIMULIA, Dassault Systèmes. “We are also committed to expanding our relationship with NAFEMS due to their like-minded commitment to operating the world-leading, independent organization and conference dedicated to the growing analysis and simulation community.”

This year delegates came from every corner of the globe to take part in over 150 sessions showcasing a record number of papers from some of the leading minds in the industry. Many of the papers demonstrated the very best and innovative applications of simulation technology withMarzio Grasso of Università Federico II – Napoli and Gysbert Vanzyl of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation winning the ‘Best Paper’ awards for Most Innovative Use of Simulation Technology and Best Practical Use of Simulation Technology respectively.

"As a first attendee at a NAFEMS Congress, I enjoyed it immensely and I learned a great deal." said Prof. Mike Hinton of QinetiQ. "The mix of attendees (10% academia, 30% vendors, 60% industry) coupled with the balance of formal presentations intermingled with specific working group sessions gave the event an interesting and stimulating dynamic – I’ve not seen this in any other conferences and symposia. I thought that the organisation provided by the NAFEMS staff was outstanding – Everything flowed really well thanks to their efforts."

Although all of the sessions were extremely well received, there was considerable attention paid by delegates to some particular topics of interest which will help focus the vision of NAFEMS for the future. For example, Simulation Data Management was certainly a hot topic with an in-depth panel discussion and keynote presentation from Laura Michalske of P&G being amongst the highlights of the congress. Stochastics was also a recurring technical theme throughout the event and there were many presentations dedicated to this particular topic, including that of Brad Farris of Rolls Royce who was awarded Best Presented Paper by delegates for his presentation on ‘Integrated Multi-Variable Probabilistic Design Application of Robust Design in Gas Turbine Components’.  The theme of Stochastics was also mentioned throughout a number of different sessions and presentations in other topic areas. There also appeared to be a great deal of interest in the composites content that was provided, and the NAFEMS’ Composites Working is now taking into consideration how to take forward the topics were raised.

Other note-worthy presentations that took place included the keynote from Ahmed Noor which provided a fascinating insight into the future of "virtual" collaboration through the use of true virtual worlds and avatars, and the invited presentation from Keith Hanna on 'CAE in Sport' which covered the use of simulation technology in some of the most high-pressure sporting arenas in the world, giving an entertaining and thought-provoking look at the application of engineering analysis in some 'less-traditional' areas. Both of these presentations were packed with delegates demonstrating the quality of presentations available at the event.

“It was exciting to be part of the most respected and long-standing event dedicated to FEA, CFD, and simulation technologies,” said Scott Reese, senior director of digital simulation, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “The congress presented a great opportunity for the Autodesk SIM Squad to share simulation knowledge and participate in conversations with other industry experts about the importance of simulation technologies and their impact on business, product development, and society as a whole.”

Another huge success at the congress were the training courses that were provided in Non-Linear Analysis, Composite FE Analysis, Dynamic FE Analysis and Fatigue & Fracture Mechanics in FE Analysis. These courses were extremely popular amongst delegates and every course was fully booked with only standing room available.There was also a packed exhibition area which showcased the top software vendors in the industry and what they have to offer.

With numerous social events taking place, the three-day Congress was also the perfect platform for networking with such a large number of delegates and representatives from leading global organisations. From the refreshment breaks to the cocktail reception to the banquet cruise, there were numerous opportunities provided, which were all extremely popular and well attended. In particular, the banquet cruise was an enormous success with delegates mingling with each other whilst enjoying the breath-taking views of Boston Harbour to the soundtrack of a live jazz band.

This year’s congress saw a number of successes and lots of new records for NAFEMS – the largest number of delegates, the highest number of papers and the largest number of sessions at any NAFEMS’ event, but the greatest success is undoubtedly the overwhelmingly positive feedback that has been received from delegates, sponsors and staff alike.

“I always look forward to this event and this one was the best yet! It’s different from both academic and vendor-specific conferences in this area … its where to go to meet all the vendors and to get a good insight into how technology is being used today.  It’s always nice to meet old friends and to make new contacts from the similarly focused delegates.” – Jim Wood, University of Strathclyde & NAFEMS Council of Management

 

We have uploaded a selection of photos from the event, which can be found on our Flickr page here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nafems/sets/

 

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Date: June 13, 2011