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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

Altair Engineering’s HyperWorks Technology Conference — Days 2 & 3

May 17th, 2010 by Jeff Rowe

Altair Engineering’s Hyperworks Technology Conference (HTC) 2010 showcases its unique product and service offerings, as well as its diverse user base that represents the automotive, aerospace, defense, consumer electronics, and, medical device industries.

While Day 1 was devoted to keynotes and general sessions by Altair executives and major customers, Days 2 and 3 were quite a bit different, but just as compelling.

Day 2 opened with two interesting keynotes. The first one was given by Dave Trop of The Boeing Co. who discussed the increasingly important role that simulation has achieved and the productivity and safety enhancements that it provides. This increasing role was especially evident in the design and manufacture of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner where composite materials are key structural members, requiring vast amounts of simulation and analysis.

The second kenoter on Day 2 was John Baker from the NASA Engineering & Safety Center. He discussed NASA’s use of Altair’s HyperWorks and RADIOSS technologies for the upcoming Constellation progam that will supersede the Space Shuttle program that is winding down.

The remainder of the day was devoted to presentation tracks — Modeling & Visualization, Optimization, High-Performance Computing (HPC), and Simulation.

I tried to attend as many as possible throughout the day, and the two that I found most intriguing were about cloud computing and a greatly accelerated crash simulation program.

At this point, Altair’s cloud computing effort is regarded as a pilot project by the company, but it is moving ahead with it with the hope of scaling it up in the near future. Many questions, however, remain to be answered, but Altair is approaching this year’s buzzword technology — cloud computing — in a logical and business-like way that will make it more than just a buzzword if all goes according to plan.

Altair’s CAD2CRASH24 was a breakthrough project that succeeded in compressing the time required to mesh, assemble and simulate a full-vehicle crash finite-element model – directly from OEM (from Ford Motor Co.) native CAD data from about three weeks to less than 24 hours.

The feat was a successful attempt to dramatically compress the usual time frame for conducting and presenting a full frontal vehicle crash. This results were made possible with Altair’s software tools, advanced hardware (64 cores), and optimized internal Altair processes.

Day 3 of the conference was devoted to process-specific workshops — Crash/Auto, Optimization, University Programs, and Multi-Body Dynamics, and others. The workshops were conducted primarily by Altair employees, partners, and university professors. The workshop sessions were well attended and covered many topics key to the simulation and analysis communities.

Well over 400 attendees enjoyed three days of Altair product, technology, and direction presentations; educational sessions, and networking opportunities. Without exception, every attendee I talked with was pleased with what the company was providing today and impressed with what will be provided going forward.

Look for extended coverage of the HTC 2010, product information, and interviews with Altair Engineering executives in Weekly in the very near future.

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