Paul Newton first became involved with finite elements in the mid-1970’s 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 PhD 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 CSM 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. This office became instrumental in the introduction to MSC of an explicit non-linear transient dynamics code MSC/DYNA, based on the Dyna3d code. Interest in this type of code led to MSC acquiring the Pisces organisation in Holland in the early 1990’s which then led to the development of the MSC/DYTRAN software. This code soon developed to solve complex fluid structure interaction problems such as bird-strike on aero engines.
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. One of his roles has been to act as interim Managing Director of NAFEMS following the resignation of the Chief Executive in 2002. Paul managed NAFEMS while assisting council in recruiting Tim Morris as Chief Operating Officer. In 2005 Tim was promoted to Chief Executive and Paul resumed his role as a non-executive member of council.