Simulation Pioneer Richard MacNeal Passes, Leaving Behind Huge CAE Legacy
Phillip Keane posted on January 31, 2018 |

Simulation giant MSC Corporation has announced the passing of its co-founder, Dr. Richard MacNeal, aged 94, on Jan. 30.

Dr. MacNeal founded MSC Software Corporation in 1963 along with Robert Schwendler under the name of MacNeal-Schwendler Corporation (MSC).

MacNeal (right) and Schwendler (left) working on the space program.
MacNeal (right) and Schwendler (left) working on the space program.

Under the leadership of Dr. MacNeal, MSC developed SADSAM (Structural Analysis by Digital Simulation of Analog Methods), and he was a pioneer of finite element analysis software to the aerospace industry and NASA’s early space program. During their time at NASA working on NASTRAN (NASA Structural Analysis), MacNeal and Schwendler began to develop MSC Nastran, a commercially available version of NASTRAN that became MSC Corporation’s flagship product. To this day, MSC Nastran is relied upon by industry to analyze and predict stress and strain, vibration and dynamics, acoustics and thermal analysis.

Dr. MacNeal pioneered the development of engineering software. His numerous technical innovations in mathematics dramatically improved the quality of engineering analysis. His entrepreneurial drive to commercialize analysis technology has enabled thousands of companies in virtually every manufacturing segment throughout the world to significantly improve their products and shorten the development cycles.

Dr. MacNeal leaves behind 54 years of technical contributions to the global CAE community and a loving family.

The engineering community owes him a debt of gratitude for the number of man-hours saved by his software achievements. Even NASA has said in 2003 that the value of NASTRAN to society is in excess of $10 billion. That is an enviable legacy indeed.

God speed, sir!

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