BENCHmark July 2007
Many Challenges – One Key Theme
Included in this issue of BENCHmark is a brief report on the recent World Congress. This biennial event is always a focal point in the NAFEMS calendar, and the many formal and informal meetings and get-togethers furnish an opportunity for reflection on many topical issues – the Vancouver meeting continued to expand on this trend.
Since the last World Congress, significant progress has been made in extending the international coverage of NAFEMS. The World Congress is clearly an ideal forum for those from all the regions to meet together. This year, following on from my comments in last issue’s editorial, an Indian delegation came to meet with members of the NAFEMS Council to discuss plans for developing our activities in that booming region.
From a technical perspective, MultiPhysics continues to be a theme which intrigues a multitude of analysts. Feedback from the sessions and workshops devoted to this topic indicate that, whilst significant progress is being made, many frustrations and difficulties still face those that are grappling to solve real-life industrial applications.
Hardware continues to be a perennial issue. On the one hand, there are those that believe that computing power is becoming a (comparatively) lowcost commodity item. If this is the case, then those that manage the simulation process within a company must consider how all this available power can be used to give their company a competitive advantage. And yet on the other hand, there are many applications – MultiPhysics included – where the lack of available computing power is still a major hurdle that is hampering progress.
Yet, despite all the tremendous progress that has been made by everyone that has been evangelising the use of simulation for so many years, the same core reason for the existence of NAFEMS remains a key theme: reliable use of the technology available. Two of the most popular aspects of the meeting were the Validation and Verification Workshop (run jointly with the AIAA and ASME) and a Vendor Challenge organised by Boeing.
I think that this demonstrates one of the key issues facing our industry today: whilst the technology that we are all involved with is undoubtedly making tremendous strides to cover new areas and solve new problems, industrial practitioners are still thirsty for guidance on how to make sure that they are using the technology effectively and, perhaps most importantly, reliably.
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