The Future of Simulation Engineering: Observations from the STAR-CCM Conference 2017

March 17, 2017

Attendees dove deep into the latest developments and applications of the software, and explored what’s needed to deliver “Better Designs. Faster.” Attendees also got a look into the future of STAR-CCM+ within the new Siemens portfolio product, Simcenter.

CFD can be applied to almost any engineering problem, but its real value comes from the ability to improve a product or design through multiple design iterations.

George Laird 380pxWe spoke with our Principal Mechanical Engineer for Applied CAx, George Laird, PhD, PE,  about his observations on the conference. George utilizes STAR-CCM+ for a number of his CFD consulting projects.

“First off this was one of the best simulation conferences I’ve ever been to,” said George.

What was the main focus at the conference this year?

“Maximizing your design. It was the ability to use virtual prototyping to take a functional design to something that’s in a class of its own. Designs become so efficient and at minimal cost that your competitors can’t touch them.”

What were some of the standout sessions you caught?

“I really liked the session on overset meshing where the speaker threw out questions ot the audience about the 3 golden rules of polyhedral meshing in STAR-CCM+.”

Did you catch the keynote speaker, Norbert Haug, former Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports?

“It was amazing to see how cars have evolved aerodynamically starting from the early boxes with drag coefficients close to 0.4 to the current Mercedes-Benz sedan at 0.19 in major part due to CFD.”

How is the transition to the Siemens portfolio product, Simcenter, coming along?

“The big push is to have STAR-CCM+ fully coupled to FEMAP and NX NASTRAN which are also part of the Simcenter. This is not a hard push since the current CTO of STAR-CCM+ is a former user of FEMAP and Nastran.”

Given your heavy use of FEMAP in your work, how do you see yourself using the two products side by side?

“Even though Siemens PLM Software has one of the best CAD tools on the marketplace (NX CAD), FEMAP is still faster and more agile in taking a chunk of junk and turning it into idealized geometry that is CFD friendly.”

How was it being in Berlin?

“I didn’t see much of Berlin because I didn’t want to leave the conference venue, because the socializing over fine German ‘helles’ was so good. But having lived in Germany for this year with a satellite office in Munich, I’ve witnessed first hand  the competitiveness in the German automotive industry (BMW, Mercedes, VW, etc.)”

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