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BENCHMARK October 2020

BENCHMARK October 2020

Simulation Supporting Certification


BENCHMARK October 2020 Simulation Supporting Certification


In the BENCHMARK October 2020 Issue, you will find out about:

  • Simulation Supporting Certification – NAFEMS View
  • Virtual Testing For Certification
  • The use of CFD to Support COMAH and SEVESO Safety Reports
  • The First Hybrid NAFEMS World Congress
  • Designer Oriented Software - Is it Accurate? Part 2
  • Towards a Virtual Nuclear Reactor
  • Ahead of the Curve


It’s no use getting the answer right if the question is wrong. I first got sight of the simulation vs test debate way back in 2005 at a NAFEMS UK seminar of the same name. Yes, I know lots of you will have been grappling with the question for decades before that, but take the point – it’s not a new debate. But is it the correct one to be having?

We’ve quickly found out how easily ‘physical’ things can become inaccessible, from offices to seminars to pubs, restaurants and even each other’s homes. And we’ve (mostly) adapted. How many people think twice now about speaking to someone on their webcam? I’m talking ‘face to face’ with people significantly more these days than I was last year. The question is – when the restrictions stopping us from meeting-up are a distant memory, will we go back to the office, to the pub, into each other’s homes? Of course we will. We didn’t “replace” face to face socialising and working. We complimented it, found alternatives we could use, and worked around restrictions.

I do think that the jump to a more “virtual” life in many cases will carry forward, even when we can all see each other again. But we will continue to use the options and technology we have adopted since earlier this year. And that’s how I think we have to frame the “simulation vs test” debate.

As part of the NAFEMS Analysis Agenda (details at, thisissue of benchmark sees us looking at Certification by Simulation – essentially, how we can use simulation as a more central part of the regulatory and certification process. Not how we can replace testing in that process. As Ian Symington, NAFEMS Technical Officer, says in his piece on page 8, relying more on simulation for certification doesn’t mean that testing should disappear.

As we move into a period of uncertain economic circumstances (to put it mildly), anything that can reduce costs in the certification process is a worthwhile endeavour. Reducing the money, time and resources that are spent in the design and development process is a massive driver behind moving away from relying on physical testing. There’s a renewed urgency to bring simulation to the front and centre of the certification process. It’s not a straight fight though - this isn’t Ali vs Frazier. It’s Starsky & Hutch.

I hope you are all staying safe, staying sane, and that you enjoy this issue of benchmark.

David Quinn - Editor

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Benchmark October 2020


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