In the BENCHMARK October 2019 Issue, you will find out about:
This is a first, to be honest. I had a lookback over the sixty or so issues of benchmark I’ve been part of over the years, and this one is probably the first that doesn’t have a single article about a car, a plane or a building. Simple things are engineers. You like structure. You want explanations and facts: provable theories and solvable equations. Nature isn’t quite that simple yet.
Presumably, you’ve heard the old joke where three engineers are discussing God (or whatever the name of your preferred deity). The mechanical guy thinks God is a mechanical engineer – “Just look at all the joints!” The electrical engineer is sure she is one of them, because of the tens of thousands of electrical connections in the body; she couldn’t possibly be anything else. However, the geotechnical engineer has the most compelling argument. “You’re both wrong. Only a civil engineer would run a sewage line through a recreational area.”
The point is that no-one truly understands the human body as yet. We’ve tried, and we keep getting better, but the very nature of an organic carbon-based life-form means that just getting to the stage of working out what we should be trying to understand requires incredible computing power and software.However, thankfully, we may be on the cusp of taking a leap towards this understanding. The biomedical and biomechanics areas are ones which have long been candidates to benefit hugely from simulation. If you think crash testing a brand-new Tesla Model 3 is expensive, then wait until you see the legal bill you are going to run up drop testing a human (as much as you may have some candidates in mind for exactly that).
This issue of benchmark focusses on how simulation is being used more and more to simulate ‘Nature.’ It’s not the traditional area NAFEMS’ covers, but it’s one which is expanding exponentially as our understanding gets better. By Nature, we mean everything,well, natural. We have articles on the foot, the skeleton, the finger… I could go on, but you get the picture. There’s also an excellent presentation available from CAASE18 by Tina Morrison from the US FDA, giving an overview of how big a part simulation plays in some of their work.
This is a whole different ball game to the kind of simulation most of us are used to. There’s no blue print. There are no set material characteristics. You think the material models used to represent a high strength alloy are complex? Try modelling regenerating bone or skin. We’re all unique, some of us more so than others. And there’s no cheat sheet yet.
As well as specifics, we also have a fascinating opinion piece from NAFEMS Council Member Jim Wood which asks “are biological structures optimum”? The wonders of nature and life are all around us – taking a minute to stop and think about the very design of the natural world and how it impacts us, as well as how we affect it, is a minute well spent.
To round off this issue, we have the continuation of our “Excel for STEM” series,an insight into the EU funded VMAP project,and an excellent “Analysis Origins” piece on Altair / Optistruct, which features some genuinely outstanding 90’s knitwear.
All in all, we hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine.
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