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Paul Newton

Paul Newton - Nafems Council of Management

Paul Newton obtained a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Surrey, UK, before studying for an MSc in Computer Science at the University of London. It was here that he first became involved with finite elements, writing his own finite element code to study the performance of higher order isoparametric elements. Paul then developed his interest in numerical methods through his research on Numerical Analysis in the mathematics department at Imperial College, London. While at Imperial College Paul also became involved in research into Computer Assisted Teaching using computational fluid dynamics software to teach fluid dynamics to Mechanical Engineering students.

Upon obtaining his Ph.D. in Numerical Analysis in 1977, Paul joined SIA Ltd. a computer services organisation providing a large scale computing environment to companies throughout the UK. Here he supported the introduction of the ANSYS code, using it to tackle a number of problems in the nuclear and power generation industries. Through this he became exposed to fatigue, plasticity and creep problems so developing experience in non-linear techniques. Further work in the offshore industry involved the use of large strain techniques.

In the early 1980’s Paul introduced the explicit non-linear transient dynamics code, Dyna3d, to SIA. This led to considerable work in the nuclear industry on the analysis of crash scenarios in relation to the safety of nuclear fuel containment flasks.

Paul became involved with NAFEMS from the first year of its foundation. He joined the Non-Linear Working Group (now the Computational Structural Mechanics Working Group ) and contributed significantly to the formulation of a structured working program for the Group.

By the mid-1980’s Paul was leading the Engineering Applications team at SIA. Then in 1986, Paul left SIA to set up the UK office of MSC software. In the mid-1990’s MSC acquired PDA Engineering and the Patran code, considerably expanding MSC’s operations to include advanced graphics codes as well as its traditional analysis codes. Paul led the integration of the UK operations of MSC and PDA.

In 1997 Paul became a member of the council of NAFEMS where he has contributed to the strategic development of the organisation. He also took responsibility within the council for the financial planning and operational development of the organisation.

In 1999 Paul left MSC and developed a career in general management. He obtained a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors in the UK.  Since then he has led a number of organisations in a variety of sectors. One of his roles was as part-time Managing Director of NAFEMS following the resignation of the Chief Executive in 2002. Paul managed NAFEMS while assisting the council in recruiting Tim Morris as Chief Operating Officer. In 2003 Paul established the NAFEMS UK Steering Committee and brought together the Working Group chairmen to form the NAFEMS TLG. In 2005 Tim Morris was promoted to Chief Executive and Paul resumed his role as a non-executive member of the council while continuing as chairman of the NAFEMS TLG and UK Steering Committee as well as continuing his management role at another organisation.

In 2008 Paul joined a government funded program to assist small companies to significantly grow their business. He underwent training to become a business mentor and coach. He continued in this role for several funded programs until 2014. During that period he worked with over 30 Chief Executives to help them develop and grow their businesses.

As well as his work with NAFEMS, Paul is also director of a company in the chemical engineering sector and works with a number of charitable organisations in mentoring or coaching roles. He is a Chartered Mathematician and a Member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. Paul is also a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.