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Jim Wood

Engineering Consultant


Jim Wood - Nafems Council of Management






I have been a member of NAFEMS since its inception and during my long membership, I have had the privilege of serving the organisation in various capacities. As a member of the Council of Management since 2005, I have witnessed the significant growth in membership, international presence, income from membership, events and training, as well as staffing levels.

I have been a member of the Education and Training Working Group since 1997 and more recently a member of the Analysis Management Working Group. As a member of the World Congress Planning Committee, I had the pleasure of being involved in the detailed planning of the Rhode Island (1999), Lake Como (2001), Orlando (2003) and Malta (2005) events. Prior to this, I had also been a member of the organising committee for two “non-NAFEMS” International Conferences on Education and Training in Finite Element Analysis. I have also been involved in abstract and paper review for the Vancouver (2007), Crete (2009), Boston (2011), Salzburg (2013), San Diego (2015) and Stockholm (2017) World Congresses.

NAFEMS conference related activity has also included presentations of papers at many of the above Congresses as well as at earlier events, including those at Stratford-upon-Avon (1991) and Amsterdam (1995); I also delivered a keynote address at the 2010 NAFEMS Virtual Conference. I have organised and chaired various seminars; published articles in Benchmark; produced and refereed reports. I delivered a web-based learning exemplar on contract to NAFEMS as far back as 2002.

My interest in work-based learning continued as a member of the NAFEMS FENET Thematic Network , serving on the Steering Committee and as one of the coordinators in the Education and Dissemination area. As part of this EU-funded project, led by NAFEMS, I was involved in the delivery of international workshops in Copenhagen, Zurich and Trieste in 2002; Barcelona and Noordwijk, in 2003; Palma and Glasgow in 2004 and Budapest in 2005.

I was then responsible for a successful proposal to the EU for 480,000 Euros for the CCOPPS project (Certification of Competencies in the Power and Pressure Systems Industry), which ran from 2006-2008 with the University of Strathclyde, NAFEMS, CETIM, University of Stuttgart, University of Malta and the University of Warsaw as partners. This project delivered 2off work-based learning modules, (still being delivered today), as well as what was in reality the first Competency Framework in the Engineering Simulation field. I still act externally as the lead tutor for these modules.

This successful project led to the EASIT2 project (Engineering Analysis and Simulation Innovation Transfer), which received a further 400,000 Euros funding under the Leonardo Transfer of Innovation initiative. I also conceived and led this project during 2010-2012 with the University of Strathclyde, NAFEMS, ENGINSOFT, EADS, EON, RENAULT, AMEC, NOKIA, NEVESBU, GEOFEM, TETRAPAK and SELEX as partners. This project developed the CCOPPS Competency Framework, expanding it from 16 technical areas to 24 and made it non-industry specific in nature. The project also implemented the significant number of competencies (once again, developed by various domain experts) in a web-based recording and competency management system. The outputs from this project effectively became the NAFEMS PSE (Professional Simulation Engineer) System. This system replaced the Registered Analyst Scheme, in which I was the 3rd applicant to be registered (at advanced level). I then served as an assessor for the RA Scheme for many years and now carry out the same activity with the PSE System and also sit on the PSE Board. Already the new competency-based PSE system is proving more successful than the previous points-based RA Scheme.

My first contact with numerical methods happened over 40 years ago, on an ICL computer called “George” with punch-tape input, before moving to a Burrough’s machine with new “interactive” teletype terminals as well as a card batch input service. This was rapidly followed by Prime mini-computers and then Apollo workstations. It was on a Prime P400 that my finite element interest started in the late 70s. My first love was PAFEC and despite wasting 3 months of my PhD trying to convert PAFEC to double-precision, before being gazumped by an official release - which included double precision as well as the Semiloof doubly-curved thin shell element subroutines. I still have fond memories indeed of the team at Nottingham. The following years brought exposure to Computervision, Patran, Rasna, Pro-Engineer, Mechanica, Ansys, Abaqus and Creo. I was responsible for the development of the original PATPAF and PAFPAT translators between PAFEC and Patran, as well as similar translators for Computervision and PAFEC.

My research interests are in the areas of pressure vessels, fatigue, residual stresses, cladding and dissimilar joints, with a general interest in bioinspiration. I have supervised 12off PhD students to a successful conclusion and along the way published 30 refereed journal publications, 35 refereed conference publications and made over 50 invited presentations. I am named on 1 patent. I have acted as PhD examiner for various Universities in the UK and funding for my postgraduate students came through EPSRC CASE awards as well as university studentships.

I am still active as a consultant with industry and have completed over 150 consultancies for some 60 varied engineering companies throughout the UK. I regularly run “Pressure Vessel Design by Analysis” courses for industry, both in the UK and abroad. Customers include Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the UK and CERN in Switzerland.

I had a long career in academia as lecturer, senior lecturer, head of department and associate dean of school. I have also served on senate and acted as course leader and external examiner for courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am acutely aware of the challenges and changes affecting Higher Education and my EU funded project experience has also raised my awareness of higher education internationally and the efforts to harmonise systems. Other relevant professional activity includes: Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and Fellow of the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.

Education has always been at the heart of NAFEMS and various world-wide surveys into barriers to the effective use of analysis and simulation technologies, have consistently indicated that many challenges still exist in addressing the needs of industry. The delivery of effective training resource material to the workplace, via a secure web-based environment, is an area that I would like to see further developments in. The particular needs of the increasing number of small to medium enterprises is also an issue close to my heart. Improving the NAFEMS-University interface and raising awareness amongst tomorrow’s engineers and potential members has been on the agenda for some time. To this end, I proposed a NAFEMS module approval scheme for Universities that has been adopted by the ETWG. It is my goal that during my term of office, I can assist NAFEMS in addressing these challenges further, as well as the wider business agenda.