The calendar on my desktop informs me that British summertime is, officially, here. The view from my window in dreich (ask a Scot), damp, and drizzly Glasgow says different, but the fact that we’ve just landed back in the UK from the NAFEMS World Congress helps to confirm the time of year. Well, I say just – a few weeks in sun-drenched southern Spain have helped to take the edge off ever so slightly…
This year’s World Congress was the biggest and most successful NAFEMS event to date. The fact that I get to say that same thing every two years is a fantastic tribute to everyone involved in the organisation, from our working and steering group members through to the NWC team, the wider NAFEMS staff, and everyone who sponsored, presented, and attended the Congress. We had a very strong focus this time on what we saw as the “Big Issues” in the simulation community, and the congress certainly delivered when we asked everyone involved to give these some thought and focus during their time in Stockholm. We have an interesting summary of how these issues took centre-stage at NWC17 on page 48 of this issue.
This issue of Benchmark focusses on one of the things that has probably caused me most grief on an almost weekly basis in my fifteen years with NAFEMS (yup, you read that correctly). Optimisation. Or optimization. Sor Z. US or UK. Turns out that both are acceptable (S or Z, that is), so it’s very much a personal opinion. And as someone who likes to stay on the fence as long as possible, we’ve included both in this issue. Spellings, that is.
The recently formed Optimisation Working Group have been instrumental in helping to put this issue of the magazine together. We’ve included a multitude of excellent articles on this wide-ranging topic for you, demonstrating that optimisation is a topic that everyone involved in engineering analysis and simulation should at least be aware of if not fully engaged with.
And, for the first time in the history of benchmark, we have a direct nod to East Coast rap culture, which is something I’ve been working towards for many, many years. First reader to email me with the page number this is on will receive a copy of the album in the post. It’s my job to help make you that little bit cooler. Trust me. And, as a counter-balance, we have the start of a new series on ‘Excel for Engineers’ on page 84.
Enjoy this issue – and, as ever, please do get in touch with your thoughts, like sharing feelings, feedback, dreams, aspirations, and anything else like sharing.
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