Launching the Simulation Revolution
Michael Alba posted on June 26, 2018 |
(Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)
(Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)

Democracy—that quaint notion that every man and woman should have a voice in government—has served humanity admirably since the days of the ancient Greeks, though not without faltering every now and again.

Putting politics aside, the idea of democracy can be extended to the domain of computer aided engineering (CAE). The so-called democratization of simulation is an ongoing effort to enable everyone—expert or otherwise—to enjoy the benefits of simulation technology.

Enter the Analysis, Simulation, and Systems Engineering Software Strategies (ASSESS) initiative. ASSESS is a multi-industry initiative that aims to expand the use and business benefit of CAE tools. To this end, each year an ASSESS Congress is held. It is a gathering of simulation providers and experts to discuss and further the initiative’s goals. The theme of the 2018 Congress, to be held in Braselton, Ga., Oct. 28 – 30, is “Launching the Simulation Revolution.”

The Simulation Revolution

(Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)
(Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)

The simulation revolution brings us back to the idea of democratization. Think of it this way: democratization of simulation is the end goal, and the revolution in simulation is how we—i.e., the broader CAE community—can get there. It’s like the French revolution, but hopefully with less beheadings.

A new web portal, RevolutionInSimulation.org (Rev-Sim.org for short) aims to be the online ecosystem for the simulation revolution. Launched this past May, Rev-Sim.org is a non-profit cross-industry initiative working to democratize simulation.

“The basic goal of this is to provide end users with all the resources they need to democratize simulation,” said Rev-Sim.org co-founder Malcolm Panthaki. “The idea is to expose them to various related topic areas, to give them access to experts in the domain, to bloggers and the industry media for what's going on with current events, and also to solution providers in this area that provide various pieces of the overall solution so that they can come in, get educated and find the solutions they need to begin democratizing simulation within their organizations. The idea is to become the online community that educates, advocates and collaborates for the democratization of simulation.”

Rev-Sim.org offers a consolidated source for resources like articles, videos, lessons and blogs on simulation democratization. The website also rounds up a collection of simulation success stories, web apps and simulation events. Perhaps the biggest draw of Rev-Sim.org is the extensive list of simulation professionals that have volunteered their time to moderate the website.

The moderators of RevolutionInSimulation.org. (Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)
The moderators of RevolutionInSimulation.org. (Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)

“This subject has various associated topics, and each of these topics has between one and three moderators: industry experts that know the topic well and can provide a lot of information and content on how that topic area relates to democratization of simulation,” Panthaki said. “These are the people that are going to be driving this initiative.”

Take Panthaki himself, who moderates several sections of Rev-Sim.org. Panthaki is the founder and CTO of simulation company Comet Solutions, which specializes in one of the most direct methods of simulation democratization:purpose-built web-based applications,which Comet calls SimApps. These apps are built for a very specific purpose, and,as such, they provide a streamlined interface for a specific simulation need. For example, the Coil Spring Calculator SimApp was built exclusively to help design and iterate upon springs.

Images from the Coil Spring Calculator SimApp. (Image courtesy of Comet Solutions.)
Images from the Coil Spring Calculator SimApp. (Image courtesy of Comet Solutions.)

With SimApps and similar bespoke simulation applications, there’s no expertise required. Users won’t have to navigate through complicated menus and hundreds of options. Instead, they’re presented with a straightforward interface for one particular application. This allows even the non-expert user to easily and intuitively use advanced simulation technology.

Reaching the Entire CAE Community

The Rev-Sim.org founding sponsors, which includes ASSESS. (Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)
The Rev-Sim.org founding sponsors, which includes ASSESS. (Image courtesy of RevolutionInSimulation.org.)

The democratization of simulation is a broad effort, and one that necessitates the participation of both end users of simulation tools as well as the simulation software providers. Though Rev-Sim.org and ASSESS share the overarching goal of simulation democratization, each initiative targets a different subset of the CAE community.

“ASSESS is a partner of this effort [Rev-Sim.org], just as we are a partner of ASSESS,” Panthaki said. “We're very, very complementary. ASSESS will work with thought leaders and industry solution providers to highlight the gaps and the issues in achieving democratization. We then take over right from there and not only provide a whole host of resources to a democratization wannabe, so to speak, to educate them on this whole topic and provide a community that can help each other achieve what they need to, but then also give access to the solution providers themselves, who can say ‘these are the things we can provide you with to get you going.’”

ASSESS 2018

ASSESS 2018 will be hosted at the Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Ga. (Image courtesy of ASSESS.)
ASSESS 2018 will be hosted at the Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Ga. (Image courtesy of ASSESS.)

With its theme of launching the simulation revolution, the 2018 ASSESS Congress will be particularly complementary to Rev-Sim.org, pursuing the same goals from the solution provider perspective. The Congress will include an opening address by intrinSIM founder and CEO Joe Walsh, a name you may recall as one of the moderators of Rev-Sim.org. The Congress will also feature two keynote speeches:

  • “Diffusion of Innovation” Applied to Modeling & Simulation – What Can We Learn from Social Science Research?

Mark Meili, R&D director, Modeling & Simulation, The Procter & Gamble Company

  • Keynote Presentation

Dimitri Mavris, director of Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory & Boeing chaired professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Other ASSESS Congress presentations will feature a multi-industry array of experts: Bob Dergisch, Parker Aerospace; Katherine Lewis, Lawrence Livermore; Gene Allen, Decision Incite; Hubertus Tummescheit, Modelon; Scott Leemans, Alphabet (X); Andreas Vlahinos, AES; Scott Shaw, MBDA; Merian Heller, ASME; Ted Blacker, Sandia; Troy Peterson, INCOSE; and Matt Breidenthal, HOK.

Oh, and you don’t host an event at a winery without throwing in a wine tasting. Nothing like a nice Chardonnay to help catalyze the democratization of simulation.

To learn more about ASSESS or to register for ASSESS Congress 2018, visit the ASSESS website.


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