In the BENCHMARK April 2022 Issue, you will find out about:
It occurred to me a few days ago that I’m not quite sure how many people actually read this part of the magazine each quarter. The timing of this revelation – just after my NAFEMS 20th anniversary – is a little concerning. Still, it’s a valid question; just how many people read or listen to what each of us has to say on any given day? It’s now easier than ever for anyone and everyone to put their thoughts and musings out into the world regardless of appropriateness, relevance, or factual correctness. But, just because it’s easy to do, does that mean we should do it?
In recent times, the subjects of disinformation, propaganda, and media censorship have been at the forefront of many of our minds. For me, this has translated into a recognition of just how much, now more than ever, we really do need to hear as many voices and opinions as possible. The platforms that provide space for diverse views, dissenting voices, and fact-checking in all walks of life need to be fiercely protected and promoted. We are all individual parts of a whole – by coming together in collectives to represent our interests, discuss our theories, and exchange knowledge and information, we become stronger.
That applies in every walk of life – personal, professional, or political. Each of these strands of our lives is interwoven, and through promoting collaboration, cooperation, and understanding, we influence each other and together we grow.
NAFEMS has endeavoured to provide that open forum for the engineering analysis community for almost 40 years now - and we’re sticking with the concept that we’re all better off when we listen to each other, gather opinions, share experience, and yes, argue about the best ways forward for the technology. The way we do that is constantly developing, and we always listen to what the community itself wants and needs. For example, last year’s World Congress eventually went online because the more we listened to you and saw what was happening around us, the more it became clear that an in-person international event would not be the best way forward. And we’re listening to you again by pushing forward with plans for an in-person NAFEMS Regional Conference 2022 (NRC22) programme.
Through the difficulties and challenges of the past two years we have learned a lot, and we move forward with all the lessons we’ve learned. Over the course of this year this will see us expand our online training offering to offer more topics than ever (nafems.org/e-learning), and make our programme of online seminars, conferences and webinars a permanent part of how we do things.
This issue of benchmark is very much a reflection of the different aspects of our community and illustrates the diversity of the topics we cover. We have an excellent article on Global Warming by Ron Carson, detailing his thoughts on an innovative solution to the problem, alongside some interesting articles from other authors covering topics as varied as the analysis of grain silos and virtual material testing. Regular contributor Angus Ramsay discusses the case for code verification and why we should all remember to treat results as “guilty until proven innocent”, no matter how robust our software claims to be. Finally, our Stochastics Working Group launched a new challenge problem in this issue. The plan is to discuss your contributions and look at the answers over the upcoming NRC22 conference series.
We welcome each of you to get involved with our events programme, our training courses, our working and steering groups, and our magazine and publications. Want to write an article, a blog post, a book, or a comment? Talk to us. Do you want to discuss a training course you’d like to see us offer or even get involved in producing? Get in touch. Want to be part of one of our working groups or steering committees but don’t know where to start or what’s involved? Drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
David Quinn - Editor
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