Simulation is a critical part of the engineering process

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Simulation is a complex but critical part of the engineering process and David Quinn thinks a good way to learn more about it is to attend NAFEMS’ biennial gathering in June where you can also network with peers

Attention. Everyone’s competing for your attention. Everyone wants you to shell out for version 76.243 of the new tool that will revolutionise the way you work, impress your boss, save your company millions, integrate with everything else you own and remind you to book your car in for an MOT.

Attention. But there’s only so much we can give. Only so many pitches we can listen to, ideas we can implement, and marketing blah-blah we can process. So I’ll get straight to the point.

Every two years, the engineering modelling, analysis and simulation community comes together for the NAFEMS World Congress (NAFEMS is the International Association for the Engineering Modelling, Analysis and Simulation Community).

Every industry is represented. Every software vendor is there. And every single person who is involved in analysis and simulation will find something at the event which will genuinely impact their working life, make them reconsider how they are doing things, or equip them with practical knowledge that they can go away and implement.


The 2017 Congress is taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 11th to 14th of June. With over 350 presentations spread across four days, 20 inclusive training courses to pick and choose from, and practical insight from the guys who really, and I mean really, know their stuff. There is no other independent event like it. I know this. I’ve checked.

So why should you come along? What’s it like for a ‘first-timer’ at the congress?

In the past, we’ve welcomed keynotes from NASA on the potential for cognitive computing for engineering analysis, from P&G on how they design their Pringles to ‘fly’, and from BMW on the technology behind the industry leading i8.

This year it’s no different — you’ll hear from the major players in simulation at Porsche, Volvo, and Boeing, among others, who will be sharing an insight into various aspects of the simulation process within their organisations.

And that’s just the keynotes. There are a dizzying number of presentations and workshops taking place over the four days — covering everything from Fatigue and Fracture, Acoustics, Multiphase Flow, Materials, Process Automation… the list goes on.

This year will also see the launch of our dedicated Manufacturing Process Simulation & Additive Manufacturing Symposium, covering virtual manufacturing tools within the product design and manufacturing cycle, and featuring an invited presentation from the National Composites Centre among others.

Add to this the third International Conference on Simulation Process & Data Management, included in the Congress program, and it’s fair to say that there is something for everyone in the industry at the event.

It’s no coincidence that almost every one of the major software vendors will have a significant presence at the event. An outstanding exhibition area will complement the main presentation tracks and give you access to ask the questions you need answered from the developers of the very software you use every day. And unlike many other exhibitions, it’s highly likely that some of the experts behind the technology are on-site as well as the sales guys.

The big issues

As part of the 2017 Congress, we’ll be focussing on the ‘big issues’ facing the simulation community. We don’t live in a bubble — the technology is moving on at a rapid pace, and the only way to stay ahead is to look to the future and examine the issues that such fast-moving developments raise. We’ll be looking at, amongst other things;
• How simulation can support the 3D printing revolution
• How the major analysis codes are evolving to address new HPC trends
• How you can embed analysis and simulation into the manufacturing culture within your organisation
• How companies are extending the benefits of simulation to their non-expert users
• Why simulation engineers should be aware of the role played by the systems engineer
• How leading companies are using their simulation capability to support product certification

What is NAFEMS anyway

In case you didn’t know, we’ve been around since 1983. We’re a non-profit membership association, and our sole reason for being is to provide a focal point for the diverse analysis and simulation community, push the technology forward in a vendor-neutral way, and ensure that the users have a voice in an increasingly commercial world.

A look through the companies that are members of the association will show you that all the major manufacturers, OEMs and software vendors themselves are involved. Often, the World Congress is an entry point to people like you who are interested in learning more about who we are and what we do, while taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge and opportunity on show at the event.

Tell me more!

I know, I know — sounds good, doesn’t it? You can view the full agenda, registration information and more at the website below. And if you have any questions, give us a call or drop us an email. We hope you’ll consider joining us in Stockholm, for what we hope will be a fantastic event.

David Quinn on learning more about simulation at NAFEMS biennial gathering in June

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