Based on input from the NAFEMS membership community, we identified key areas of interest which we will explore leading up to and during the 2021 NAFEMS World Congress, as well as other future activities.
Through this effort, we will provide the community with information and resources so it can expand on the foundation of knowledge developed and shared through various NAFEMS activities.
Are the topics listed here the only ones we will address as part of the Analysis Agenda? Absolutely not! This is a starting point for a continued focus on what is important to you – the NAFEMS community.
Over the next several months, we will be exploring each of the topics below and sharing related resources with you which will be visible in the listing on the left:
Engineering Data Science: The Fourth Paradigm
Data is king. Big data massively increases our ability to gather large volumes of information, analyze it and base our decisions upon it. Engineering and simulation are already harnessing the power of data science and, as methods develop, we need to take this data deluge and use it to transform every aspect of our processes. NAFEMS is focusing on the impact and benefits of data science across the engineering community, and developing best practice and guidance which will enable you to truly benefit from the technological advances.
Analysis and simulation are no longer cloaked in mystery, the sole preserve of boffins. Product designers at every level now have some form of access to simulation tools, blurring the lines between the art of design and the science of analysis. This requires a culture-shift in design and analysis teams and an acceptance that accuracy, speed and effectiveness may all be affected in many ways. NAFEMS is at the heart of the professional development of technology users. We’re looking at what industry needs to robustly bring analysis tools from the back-office to the designer’s laptop, bringing simulation to the fore in the design process.
Simulation Supporting Certification: Relying Less on Test
If simulation and analysis are so precise, why is there still such a need for physical testing? As industry requires ever faster design-cycles, while maintaining control of both budgets and accuracy, qualification by analysis becomes more of a reality. Simulation and test must work together. Making simulation as reliable as traditional testing is a challenge that we must meet head-on. NAFEMS is leading the culture of reliable guidance, professional competency, and rigorous validation that is needed for continued progress towards certification by simulation, with the requisite authority and experience.
Communicating Complexity: Ensuring Simulation is Understood
Simulation results must be presented in a way that decision-makers can understand. Investments in software, hardware, and people, need to be justified by those leading the simulation team to those driving the direction of the business. This means more than just colorful graphics and complicated acronyms. People need to understand risk, quantify the uncertainty and be aware of the predictive capability of their models. NAFEMS can help you to explain the benefits of analysis and simulation clearly and concisely to those who matter. The journey from solver to the boardroom is a difficult one to make, and we’re here to make it easier.
Generative Design: Making the Impossible a Reality
While engineers and designers can provide the best starting points, design exploration can quickly build on those parameters and generate the most effective and refined alternatives that we may never have thought possible. The engineering simulation community is now embracing this technology more than ever before. NAFEMS has always been about ensuring no technology is “black box”, and that the physics is still understood. That’s important now more than ever.
Autonomous Things: Artificial Intelligence becomes Real
Before any autonomous technology hits the real world, we need to simulate its behavior accurately. 5G networks need to be fast and reliable. The physical environment needs to be represented more truly than ever before. Technology that affects the physical world and makes its own data-driven decisions is here, and simulation has never been more critical. NAFEMS is facilitating the conversation on how the simulation community can adapt and rise to the challenge of a world where technology is autonomous. The simulation and modelling around data-driven decisions just can’t be wrong.
System-Level Simulation: Modelling the Sum of the Parts
Large systems need to be analyzed in context. The behavior of an entire system is not always the same as that of its components. Simulating earlier in the design process, even before full specification, simplifying multidisciplinary communication, and reducing compute times are all significant benefits of treating complex problems holistically. NAFEMS is leading the conversation on how System-level Simulation integrates with traditional domain level modelling techniques, as well as more general systems engineering and interoperability of analysis tools.
Simulation Governance: Building a Simulation Capability
Understanding your organization’s simulation capability is vital. Assessing how competent your simulation users are, is equally important. Whether you or your company are new to simulation or experienced industry veterans, knowing how to evaluate, and ultimately improve, your simulation capability is a significant competitive advantage. NAFEMS is at the forefront of assessing and improving user competence in simulation, as well as guiding organizations through the process of implementing and developing a simulation capability.
Multiscale Simulation: Analysis Great and Small
Simulation can look at both the bigger picture on large scales, as well as at microscale level, as close to quantum as we can. The level of accuracy should be no different, whether at the millimeter or kilometer range. NAFEMS is pushing forward with the analysis community to ensure that accurate multiscale simulation is achievable and commonplace.
Simulating Tomorrow: Ensuring a Sustainable Future
The drive towards a more sustainable way of living means that renewable energy, climate change, population growth, sustainable products and power consumption are vital areas that simulation can help to address. The environment in which we produce products is ever-changing, and simulation must keep up with that change, as well as help predict what is coming next. NAFEMS is committed to championing the benefits of simulation and analysis for the benefit of a sustainable future. There will be many challenges in the years and decades ahead, and the simulation community will be ready.
The Digital Twin: Connecting Virtual with Physical
Having a digital model synchronized with the real world has the potential to transform the way we live and work. We need to understand the advantages and limitations of the technology to bring the concept further into our everyday reality, where cyber-physical systems will become ever more commonplace. NAFEMS is exploring the potentially transformative effect that digital twin technology will have on analysis and simulation. We are providing the steady guiding hand that is necessary to ensure standards and best-practice are maintained.
Code Verification: Keeping you Accurate
How do we know the codes solving our simulation problems are accurate? It’s now more vital than ever that our analysis codes are verified accurately and independently. Who is responsible for code verification? What happens when we find an error? The answers to these questions are not only necessary, but they also have a significant impact on how trusted our industry can be. NAFEMS has code verification at its very heart. Our initial working groups were set-up solely to produce benchmark tests for this very purpose, and we see it as our role to ensure that all software codes aspire to the same standard of accuracy.
The Failure Test: Modelling Structural Failure
Failure phenomena are difficult to solve using traditional engineering analysis methods. New methods are now emerging, allowing engineers to try different approaches. These techniques have limits, and we need to know when to use them and where they apply. Implicit codes struggle, explicit codes are better, but how accurate can we be? NAFEMS is looking between the cracks to work with industry and improve the analysis methods we currently use to model structural failure. Traditional tools make it difficult, so it’s time to take a different approach.
Rapid Manufacturing: Towards Distributed Digital Production
The next industrial revolution will not take place in the factory, but the homes and small workshops of the world. Short production runs of highly customized products using additive manufacturing and generative design techniques will be the new normal, and simulation needs to adapt to a more on-demand and agile reality. NAFEMS is looking at how simulation can support this de-centralization and scaling down of production, as well as how we can effectively optimize complex analyses.
Process Simulation: Predicting and Optimizing Systems
Improving operational efficiency and reducing costs, some of the many benefits of process simulation. As well as simulating machines and assemblies, chemical, biological and physical processes can also be simulated, with similar objectives. We can use simulation to trial alternative solutions, as opposed to making numerous and expensive prototypes. NAFEMS is moving into the area of process simulation and looking at how traditional simulation and analysis can apply and contribute to the bottom line.