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Frank Popielas - Dana Corporation, USA


Frank started his career with Dana at the Sealing Products Group, Victor Reinz in Europe in1994. He worked as a project engineer in the R&D center and was responsible for the MLS (Multi Layer Steel Gaskets) team in the development and of the FEA capabilities in the Victor Reinz Group. In 1999, Frank moved to the Victor Reinz facility in North America in 1999.

He is currently Sr. Manager for Global CAE at the Power Technologies Group, Dana Holding Corp. responsible for the global CAE activities of the Group and the development of new simulation related technologies. Frank is a mentor for advanced development projects, leads Dana CAE Council and is head of Dana CAE. Within this role he is responsible for the global Dana CAE activities and strategic developments in this area for the Corporation.

In addition  Frank has been a member of the NAFEMS Steering Committee Americas since 2011. He has produced several publications over the last few years in Germany, India, Russia and the USA covering topics including CAE, material development and product technology for sealing and shielding application. Frank holds over 30 patents.

Presentation Abstract

Simulation and its new Role as the Development Engine in the Virtual Engineering Environment 


Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) has been around for a long time. But focusing on just the “traditional” CAE is not sufficient anymore. The global economic environment and consumer demands require a complete new outside-of-the-box thinking in order to satisfy those requirements. In many recent papers and presentation it was discussed that the selling price is not the main and only driver to a product’s competitiveness anymore, and being competitive also includes engineering support structure towards the customer, engineering support technology, time-to-market, quality guarantee at any point in time, product information access at any time and, of-course, development and product costs. In order to achieve this we need a complete new engineering environment and a transformation of the simulation space and its understanding thereof.

Simulation and its new Role as the Development Engine in the Virtual Engineering Environment 

The traditional understanding of CAE was solely focused on FEA (Finite Element Analysis), CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), and in recent years more so also FSI (Fluid Structure Interaction). But it was focused on complex simulation tasks and providing a more user friendly environment with some kind of linking between the main computational domains. It saw in recent years additional focus on multi-physics in general, while at the same time trying to extend simulation techniques more coordinated into non-traditional for simulation engineering disciplines, like CAD. Links to FEA within CAD tools are available for quite some time though, but the engineering community was not ready for it yet then. 

In our current environment a rethinking started to take place to define what is needed in order to meet the requirements of the market for not just more upfront optimized engineering but for a more coordinated optimizing engineering across all engineering disciplines involved in a product development. An understanding within the traditional CAE started to shape that all different areas of a physical behavior of a product need to be considered in order to be able to better optimize up-front the functionality of it. Huge investments started to happen into multi-physics. Some of those techniques involved more and more links with manufacturing simulation. This gave it additional push to look into optimization tools to cover quality assessments, like 6-sigma capabilities while at the same time providing computational support to do DoE (Design of Experiments) studies. 

The new developing complexity of the simulation environment and the request from the engineering community to do more up-front virtual product development required a renewed look into the understanding of System Engineering as well. There are to consider different systems within engineering and their disciplines like the “traditional” systems engineering to study and help to optimize a complex system behavior, with its recent focus already on model based system engineering and system simulation to go beyond just component simulation in order to consider correctly the interactions between components and/or subsystems. Still, there is much more to it.

The first step though is to combine the separated groups to start to look into System Modeling and Simulation as a combined engineering discipline. This gives the area of Co-simulation a renewed push. It has been around for a few years but didn’t really take off in a broad scale. At the same time we have a unique chance to define this as a holistic approach covering not just those two traditional domains but combining it with other areas defining the end product, like financial requirements, supply chain management, warranty guaranty, etc. 

Simulation techniques by themselves though will not go anywhere if we don’t involve in this discussion simulation data management with its complexity, understanding that we are not only talking about how we manage, track and trace data, how we support a simulation work flow but also how we access data and provide access to data. This is where we are talking about simulation network from an IT perspective and collaboration environments. 

In this presentation I will provide an overview of a future virtual engineering environment, discuss the market requirements towards the simulation space from an overall engineering perspective, how we need to define the new developing area of System Modeling and Simulation and how it can be a commercial success. This will cover topics from the traditional CAE and System Engineering, over manufacturing and quality to network architecture questions, like VDI (Virtual Desktop Initiative) and Cloud Computing, and modern collaborative Engineering Communities. The new CAE will include all types of virtual engineering tools and techniques. Simulation is at the heart of all engineering, it is its driving engine. This is what we can call iCAE. 


Simulation is taking on a completely new meaning in our time and even more so in the future. It will combine all different domains from CAE, System Engineering, manufacturing and quality engineering, etc. It will sit on a new IT infrastructure foundation enabling real-time access to all data at any point in time from anywhere in the world seamlessly. The world of iCAE becomes reality – simulation becomes the development engine for engineering.