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NAFEMS World Congress 2013 – The Heart of the Engineering Simulation Community 

World Congress incorporating 1st International SPDM Conference in Salzburg, Austria welcomed over 580 attendees over four days from June 9th-12th.


NAFEMS, the International Association for the Engineering Analysis Community held its 2013 World Congress, incorporating the 1st International SPDM Conference, from June 9th – 12th this year.

Once again, the World Congress broke records as the single largest independent, international gathering of the engineering analysis community so far. Over 580 attendees from every corner of the globe ensured that the event represented every industry sector, technology area and software solution available.

The event was supported by DS Simulia as Principal Sponsor, with additional sponsorship coming from Autodesk, Mentor Graphics and Siemens, as well as Esteco, Altair, Ansys, CEI, ESI Group, MSC Software and Phoenix Integration.

“Once again, we’ve seen a record turnout at our latest World Congress”, commented NAFEMS CEO Tim Morris. “There are huge strides being made by industry in the adoption of engineering simulation, and the huge attendance at the event underlines the fact that engineering simulation is thriving as an industry sector, despite the on-going financial downturn”

This year, the Congress also hosted the 1st International Conference on Simulation Process & Data Management, which ran alongside the main Congress. “The enormous interest in SPDM from the industry shows no sign of abating”, said Morris. “The fact that an entire international conference around the subject was so popular and well attended demonstrates that this really is the next big issue for the simulation community and beyond.”

Over four days, the Congress ran as many as eight parallel tracks, focussing on topics as diverse as Fatigue, Multiphysics, HPC, CFD and many, many more. There was a full day of dedicated short-training courses, which we free to attend for all delegates, and many further training courses, discussion sessions and committee meetings took place as part of the event. “As ever, the Congress provided this record number of delegates with a wealth of opportunities to learn, network, engage and connect with the community in a way that no other event provides”, added David Quinn, Head of Marketing and Communications at NAFEMS. “The 2013 Congress firmly cemented the events’ position as the number one independent, international conference in the engineering simulation calendar. NAFEMS has never been more relevant within the analysis community, and in this, our 30th anniversary year, it was fantastic to see the community confirm their commitment to the organisation.”

The Congress also saw the official launch of the new Professional Simulation Engineer (PSE) product from NAFEMS, which will provide certification and competency tracking for individuals and companies working within the industry. “Since people are the most important asset of any company, the newly-launched PSE qualification scheme offers a unique capability for a company to assess and track their engineering analysis and simulation personnel,” commented Dr. Rodney Dreisbach, Chair of the NAFEMS Americas Chapter and Senior Technical Fellow at The Boeing Company. ”The company and the individual simulation engineers can both benefit from a productivity point of view and from a career growth planning perspective.” The launch, held on Tuesday 11th, led to a great deal of interest in the new offering, and full information can be found at www.nafems.org/pse.

There were a number of notable trends which were highlighted over the course of the Congress, providing the community with confirmation that they are not alone in many of the issues they deal with day-to-day. As well as an enormous interest in SPDM, which shows no sign of abating, it was very clear over the three days that huge strides are being made by industry in the adoption of engineering simulation. “Simulation techniques are clearly being put at the heart of the design and development process by many companies”, added Tim Morris. “By providing these companies with a platform and opportunity to engage with their peers, we have been able to facilitate the exchange of these experiences, which will in turn lead to the industry recognising these trends and moving forward based on user-experience.” 

The emergence of some initial convergence between systems engineering and the engineering simulation worlds and communities was also prevalent at the Congress. “An important part of what the Congress provides is the opportunity for other communities and companies to engage fully with the simulation world”, commented Roger Oswald, NAFEMS Congress Manager. “It was extremely encouraging to see attendees and interest from communities and companies which would not traditionally have seen themselves as part of the simulation arena. As our industry sector thrives and expands, we are delighted to welcome these individuals and organisations to engage with NAFEMS.”

The event itself has been widely praised for the high-calibre of technical content available. “Our review committee, who are all NAFEMS volunteers, reviewed over 360 abstracts, and a further 260 full manuscripts to ensure that we were giving attendees the best possible level of technical content which had to be accurate, relevant, and engaging”, added Oswald. “We thank every single one of the many volunteers, presenters, delegates and sponsors who contributed to making this event such an outstanding success.”