W​orkshops & Special Sessions

The Role of Blind Benchmarking in Validation

Results of several blind benchmarking studies in both CFD and FEA show that even experienced simulation engineers consistently fail to match physical test results. This suggests that if your primary means of solution validation is relying on a panel of experts, you could be in for a surprise! In this workshop, we’ll review some of these studies, discuss how blind benchmarking can increase the rigor of your simulations, and hold an open and frank interactive discussion session to summarize our findings and propose some ways forward.

Moderation: SGM Working Group


Real Validation Case Studies

There are several sources of guidance for verification and validation of engineering simulation, including the NAFEMS ESQMS and the seven levels of validation concept that has been previously been presented at NAFEMS events. But how effective is this guidance for real validation activities in industry? This workshop will look at real-life examples of end-user validation efforts, looking at what worked well, and where there may be room for improvement.
To maximise the discussions, delegates are encouraged to give thought to and prepare information (where possible) in advance, relating to their own real validation efforts in their day‑to‑day work, and bring it along to the workshop to share and explore as part of the discussion.

Moderation: SGM Working Group


CFD 100: Past, Present and Future

In this session we’ll cast a reflective gaze on the evolution of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) over the last 100 years and try to imagine what the future might hold for the discipline. To illustrate the evolution of CFD during the last century, NAFEMS CFD Working Group has constructed a timeline detailing the chronology of key contributions, starting with Lewis Fry Richardson (LFR) and his seminal work ‘Weather Prediction by Numerical Process’, which was published in 1922. In fact, there are several strands to the timeline representing the contributions from physical/fluid-dynamic, mathematical, numerical/ computational, algorithmic, and technological (computer) developments. The timeline will be presented and discussed, and delegates will be invited to volunteer their own thoughts and contributions. A structured open discussion will also consider the major issues for CFD in the current day, and speculate how CFD may evolve over the coming twenty years.

Moderation: CFD Working Group, Steve Howell (Abercus)


Uncertainty Quantification and Stochastics Enabled by Digital Continuity

Digital modelling and model based Engineering is currently a hot discussion topic in the engineering community. However, there is still a lot of disconnected processes in industry and most of the decisions are still based on reports. A lot of uncertainty quantification work is done in the various functional areas but an overarching end-to-end framework is missing. This topic is also relevant for the area of Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence where models are fit to data and the uncertainties need to be aggregated, especially if these models are used in any autonomous systems activities. The panel will discuss industry trends and requirements in this area and will address questions from the audience.

Participants: Dietmar Vogt (Airbus), Alexander Karl (Rolls-Royce), David Riha (SwRI), Steve Legensky (Intelligent Light)

Panel Discussion: SPDM: Today's Challenges, New Capabilities and Upcoming Developments

Industrial practitioners, and vendors will share their point of view in 5 minutes and then respond to questions from the audience. The aim is to inform the audience about the state of the art and allow the audience to share their point of view with the panelists. A shared view of current challenges will provide valuable input to the NAFEMS SPDM Best Practices Focus Team's activities.

Moderation: Mark Norris (the SDM Consultancy), Steve Howell (Abercus)


Workshop on Stochastics Challenge Problems: Including Data Uncertainty in Probabilistic Solutions

The focus of the Stochastics Working Group (SWG) is to champion and improve best practices that relate to stochastic engineering analysis and simulation methods and tools. By considering various sources and forms of uncertainty that exist in an engineering setting, the outcomes of virtual product development activities can be brought closer to the real world behavior of the modelled systems and components through the use of stochastic tools and methods. This will allow significantly more business value to be extracted from investments in engineering analysis and simulation. To promote discussion and challenge current practices and the state-of-art of stochastic methods related specifically to epistemic uncertainty (uncertainty in knowledge about a problem), the NAFEMS Stochastic Working Group has developed a pair of new challenge problems focused specifically on uncertainty in this form.

This workshop will provide a short summary of solutions to the current challenge problems from both the SWG and community submissions. Additionally, background theory and limitations of relevant methods, and results interpretation will be discussed.

Presenters: Ian Paulson, David Riha (SwRI), Alexander Karl (Rolls-Royce)


Business Impact of Simulation

In this workshop following topics will be discussed:

  • How does, or could, simulation add value in your business or organisation
  • Business goals for simulation
  • The different ways of achieving, measuring and maximising simulations contribution towards achieving business goals
  • How to measure the value of simulation. Establishing a business case and return on investment
  • Challenges in delivering value

Moderation: Andy Richardson (Phronesim), Roger Keene (Consultant)


SPDM Best Practices Workshop

This a forum for SPDM practitioners from industry vendors and systems integrators to share opinions and experience on current technical issues, especially those which could lead to best-practice definitions and standards. The first topics are the core SDM data-model and a standardised approach to connecting interactive CAE applications to SPDM platforms using standard protocols and vocabularies. We will share presentations of possible standard decoupled approaches to CAE application integration and then discuss what a standard approach could look like.

Moderation: Mark Norris (the SDM Consultancy), Steve Howell (Abercus)


ASSESS – reports from the ASSESS Congress

The ASSESS Congress 2023 was an opportunity for thought leaders to work as one to map out the future of engineering simulation and lead the way toward it. This workshop will share the Working Session reports on seven (7) active ASSESS themes.

  • Alignment of Commercial, Research and Government Efforts
  • Supporting Autonomy with Engineering Simulation
  • Business Challenges
  • Engineering Simulation Confidence & Credibility
  • Democratization of Engineering Simulation
  • Integration of Systems and Detailed Sub-System Simulations
  • Engineering Simulation Digital Twin(s)

Moderation: Joe Walsh (ASSESS)


ASSESS Discussion Session

The ASSESS Initiative is a broad reaching multi-industry initiative with a primary goal to facilitate a revolution of enablement that will vastly increase the availability and utility of Engineering Simulation, leading to significantly increased business benefits across the full spectrum of industries, applications and users. The vision of the ASSESS Initiative is to bring together key players for guiding and influencing the software tool strategies for performing model-based analysis, simulation, and systems engineering. This workshop will share & discuss the role of the ASSESS Initiative within NAFEMS to Lead the Future of Engineering Simulation.

Moderation: Joe Walsh (ASSESS)


ASSESS workshop on UMC4ES

Enabling informed decision-making through Engineering Simulation requires that the decision-maker understands the key characteristics of the Engineering Simulation Models involved in making any particular decision. Enabling simulation-informed decision making across the entire product/process system lifecycle requires a common set of Engineering Simulation Model characteristics (metadata) that multiple decision-makers and other models can reference to ensure consistency of goals, assumptions, terminology, and behavior. The Unified Model Characteristics for Engineering Simulation (UMC4ES) is an attempt by the ASSESS Initiative to define a comprehensive set of model characteristics of interest for the complete range of Engineering Simulation Models that can be used across all approaches for implementing Engineering Simulation metadata structures. This workshop will cover the latest draft of UMC4ES and some applications of UMC4ES

Moderation: Joe Walsh (ASSESS)


The VMAP Standard for vendor-neutral CAE Data Storage (2 sessions)

Workshop on Technical Extensions and Interoperability

The lack of software standards in virtual engineering workflows and incompatible interfaces for the transfer of simulation data not only cause additional costs and complex manual adaptation but also lead to inflexible IT solutions, loss of information and significant delays in the overall design process. The standardisation of data interfaces in CAE is therefore vital for all industry segments where simulation processes are central to the product and process design.

The VMAP CAE Data Standard was initially developed by a consortium of 29 partners from industry, software domain, and academia to enable the storage of simulation results in an open and vendor neutral format.

The VMAP Standardisation Community is actively discussing further extensions of the standard:

  • Full Model Data for a Restart of Simulation Runs
  • Handling Data from Online Sensor Systems and Physical Experimental
  • Integrating VMAP based simulation Workflows into manufacturing Digital Twins
  • and in more general enabling better interoperability between simulation and overall PLM systems

The requirement analysis and the extension of the VMAP standard specifications will be driven by small test cases and realistic use cases from industry.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the needs and possibilities of such extensions together with user experts from different industry sectors and developers from software companies.

A short introductory lecture on the VMAP standard as well as short presentations on each of the extensions discussed will serve as a stimulus for an open technical discussion among all participants involved. The workshop will be open for any interested party and engineer.

Organiser: VMAP Standards Community


The Rapidly Growing Initiative – A Valuable Community Resource for Next-Gen Simulation Usage

The democratization of simulation software is increasing the number of simulation users by an order of magnitude. Similar dramatic expansions of use of complex technologies have been witnessed in many other technology-driven industries such as the Internet, automobiles, personal computers, navigation systems, music devices, and mobile phones. In each of these cases, the real expansion occurs when the nascent, complex, hard-to-use technology is packaged into a form that is simple-to-use, robust, affordable, and accurate, and made available to everyone. But this turning point is never simple to accomplish and is hard to predict. However, when it does happen, it has always resulted in an explosion of investment and innovation, exposing the power of the underlying technologies to a much broader audience. With simulation, we are in the midst of experiencing that tipping point, driven by new market forces that consider the traditional, manual, error-prone, expert-only simulation status quo to be unacceptable – massive use of simulation in new technological advances such as autonomous driving, multidisciplinary design optimization of complex systems, and AI/ML require simulation automation, which is fundamental for the democratization process.The free-to-join RevolutionInSimulation online community resource ( was launched at the NAFEMS CAASE conference in June 2018. This 4-year-old community now boasts over 4,000 global members and followers, with a steadily growing set of industry sponsors (>20) with leading names in the simulation ecosystem, and a growing list of topic areas related to next-generation simulation usage. It is becoming established as a valuable resource for the simulation community, as it strives to better understand, deploy and leverage next-generation simulation technologies for mission critical applications within their organizations.Rev-Sim highlights professional resources and a collaborative community to help increase the impact and value of simulation investments through the Democratization of Simulation and simulation automation. Here you’ll have access to success stories, news, articles, whitepapers, blogs, presentations, videos, webinars, best practices and reference materials. Experts have volunteered to be Topic Moderators, curating the resources and authoring blogs on various important next-generation simulation topics such as Automation, Apps, Democratization, HPC, Business Challenges, Digital Twins, Digital Thread and SPDM, Digital Twins, Generative Design, and others. You’ll also have one-stop access to simulation specialists, industry organizations, special interest discussion groups, and industry media, along with software and consulting service providers to help you navigate these topics and deploy the new techniques.The author will first present a brief history of simulation’s journey over the last 5 decades and then list the market forces that are driving fundamental changes in how simulation is packaged and used. Then, you will get a tour of the online Revolution In Simulation web portal. Moderation: Malcolm Panthaki (Revolution in Simulation)

Moderation: Malcolm Panthaki (Revolution in Simulation)


The Use of SPDM Solution to Manage Computational Fluid Dynamics Analyses

Steve Howell developed the JET SPDM solution in 2002, to manage CFD based technical safety analyses in the energy sector. Steve has presented the value of SPDM in terms of supporting ISO 9001 certification, providing traceability and a secure system of record for his consultancy at previous NAFEMS conferences. Importantly, effective SPDM solutions enable time saving by analysts at the point of use. It is critical to the adoption of an information system that it delivers tangible benefits to its target users, especially if those users are busy, expensive, mission-critical staff members. In this workshop, Steve will describe and demonstrate how an SPDM solution helps an analyst to perform a CFD analysis, assuring that data is only entered once and storing data for re-use so that further analyses can lever work already done to repeat analyses with modified inputs.

Moderation: Steve Howell (Abercus)


Applications of Machine Learning using Simulation Data

Engineers created and continue creating significant amount of data using physics-based simulations. Some of us generates large datasets using Design of Experiments or Optimization but most of us generate data points using trial and error process. Those who use DOEs or optimization can learn from the entire datasets by using descriptive and predictive analytics which allows for enhanced design exploration and leads to better design decisions. Recently, ML methods that can use historical dataset compiled from one off trial and errors have been also developed.

In this workshop, we will be showing applications of data science to engineering applications using simulation data. We will talk the usecases, list lessons learned, and demonstrate how different tools are applied. At the end we invite everyone to a productive discussion to further this field to add value to engineering design.

M​oderation: Fatma Kocer (Altair); Shane Mooney (Kinetic Vision); both members of the NAFEMS Engineering Data Science Working Group





P​latinum Sponsors

Dassault Systèmes
NVIDIA / Microsoft

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Media Sponsor

Digital Engineering

In-kind Sponsor

Digital Engineering