Archive for Nazita Saye

12 April, 2017

Every day we are told about what we can’t do. You can’t do an Ironman without training for it. You can’t eat your dessert first  because you won’t be able to finish your meal. You can’t take your geometry straight out of CAD for analysis – you need to simplify it first. Yup… our lives are full of things we can’t (or perhaps shouldn’t) do. I know that there is a good reason for a lot of them but sometimes we should all be reminded that’s not the case all the time.

That’s why I love this ad from Samsung. Do what you can’t. That is something we do every day.

Our old FloEFD cow traveled far and wide including a mention by Steve Martin in a tweet. This is the new improved one. It was created because we enjoy doing what “we can’t”. Image courtesy of Dr. Robin Bornoff. All rights reserved.


When we talked about opening the world of CFD to the design engineer, we were told you can’t do that – CFD was much too complex to be used by design engineers.

When we talked about our intelligent technology that makes it easy to mesh even very complex geometries, we were told you can’t do that.

When we talked about needing fewer mesh cells to solve a problem without sacrificing accuracy, we were told you can’t do that.

When we talked about reducing the overall simulation time by up to 65-75%, we were told you can’t do that.

Turns out our customers do it every day with FloEFD. But don’t take my word for it…. here are some of their stories.

So the next time someone says you can’t, what will you do?
Until next time,
Nazita

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31 March, 2017

I am truly and well privileged to be working with some very talented folks. You know the kind. The ones who don’t toot their own horn. They’re down to earth and come up with brilliant ideas. While we recognize their contributions internally within the company, they don’t always receive public recognition. But sometimes they do.

Last week the Harvey Rosten Award for Excellence was given to Dr. Robin Bornoff, Dr. John Parry and John Wilson for their work on thermal heatsink optimization methodology. Here they are looking rather dapper while accepting the award:

From left to right – Robin, John (P), and John (W).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the award, here’s a brief summary. Harvey Rosten co-founded Flomerics and personally wrote the solver for the first version of FloTHERM – the de facto standard for electronics cooling simulation. He was also responsible for the development of PHOENICS, the world’s first commercial general purpose CFD software while working at CHAM.

The Harvey Rosten Award was established in his name by his family and friends to commemorate his achievements in the field of thermal analysis of electronics equipment and thermal modeling of electronics parts and packages. The award aims to encourage innovation and excellence in these fields. It is also a pretty big deal in the community… so much so that we did a press release about it and it was widely picked up by the industry press.

I have had the pleasure of working on various projects with all three of them so I know firsthand that these guys share at least two traits with the award namesake: they are all-around great guys and they are incredibly smart. And what’s even cooler is that none of them has let this great honor go to his head – not much of a surprise for those of us who know them.

Well done guys! We are all very proud of you.

Until next time,
Nazita

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22 March, 2017

Aside from my day job, I’ve been working on a rather fun project – creating short videos from the 2016 FloEFD Simulation Conference. I’ve got hours of video footage to look through so I’ve been watching them during those awkward times … you know, when you have a few minutes before a meeting starts but that’s not enough time to start or finish any open tasks. So I tend to grab a cup of coffee and watch a few minutes of videos.

Watching the event through the eyes of the film crew has been an eye opener – it feels like I’m visually “eavesdropping” on the conference. Some clips don’t have sound but the general mood is coming through loud and clear. There was an amazing level of engagement – not just with the presenters but among the attendees during the breaks as well. And a whole lot of smiling…

Based on the results of a post-event survey, 87% of people said that the conference was effective at helping them become more confident in the use of FloEFD. And I’ve watched clip after clip of people actively taking notes and pictures of what was on the screen.

And while it will be easy to fill the agenda with nonstop presentations by our team, it was the presentations made by our customers that made the day. A majority of attendees told us that customer presentations were just as valuable as technology insight ones and since 79% of attendees from 2016 are likely or very likely to attend the event in 2017, we’d like to make sure that the agenda reflects that preference.

So by way of this post I would like to formally invite you to submit an abstract for a presentation on a topic of your choice (as long as it relates to FloEFD 🙂 ). All presentations are 25 minutes long and include 5 minutes of Q&A time. In case you’re wondering what kinds of topics would be of interest, the sky’s the limit but here are some suggestions:

  • How to use FloEFD: For example, one speaker last year talked about generating meaningful reports. Another example would be how to create animations with wow factor. Or top tips for presenting analysis results to management.
  • What’s the engineering process at your company: Feature what you design, how you design it and where FloEFD comes into play. Or how your design team works alongside your analysis team. Or tell us about how quickly you can get your projects off your desk. Think about what makes your company’s use of CFD unique and share it with us.
  • Working with complementary codes for co-simulation: Do you use any other tools in conjunction with FloEFD such as FEA or combine 1D and 3D simulation? Tell us about it!
  • Answering fun questions: Seriously! Have you ever used FloEFD for a bit of fun or to answer any unusual questions such as understanding flow of liquid in a straw to get the best mix of flavors or how a building can set a nearby car on fire? Or can a Lego helicopter fly? Think outside the box and then regale us with your creativity.

These are just some examples. I’m sure you can think of a lot more. Oh and before I forget, registration for the conference is open so you can sign-up here and if you  would like to send in an abstract or learn more about what we’re looking for please follow this link. If you have any questions about the conference please feel free to contact Boris Marovic at boris_marovic at mentor.com.  I’m also very happy to serve as a sounding board.

Come on, don’t be shy. If you had attended the event last year you’d know that the audience was very friendly and supportive so you don’t need to be nervous. We’re a very friendly bunch. I know November is 8 months away but quite frankly I can’t wait to see your presentations!

That’s right! Uncle Boris wants your abstracts. And Boris thank you for letting me have a bit of fun in creating this image for this blog post. All rights reserved.

Until next time,
Nazita

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14 March, 2017

I think my social media feed is pretty normal: happy shiny people doing things, inspirational quotes, a quiz or two testing my spelling or math skills, and lots of cat videos. Sometimes though you can find truly inspirational things among the chatter.

The latest thing that caught my attention was a blurb about a Kickstarter campaign. It was for a solar inflatable lantern and phone charger. The team behind the campaign already had a good track record. They were the folks behind LuminAID. LuminAID is an inflatable, waterproof and solar-powered LED light which was designed by two Columbia University graduate students. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta got an assignment at school to develop a product to help with disaster relief. Since access to light is a huge problem after any kind of disaster, the two focused their energies on developing what eventually became LuminAID. There are already several versions of LuminAID in the market but this campaign was for a lantern that also included a phone charger. Given our reliance on our phones at all times (let alone emergencies), the addition of a phone charger is a game changer.

I love the simple elegance of the product. After being charged in the sun, the LED based product provides hours of light without the burden of having to find a power source including batteries. One model provides 24 hours of light on a single charge and is plenty bright. Since designing the original, the team has distributed more than 25,000 lights to charities in more than 60 countries. And if you’re curious, the lights can be bought from Amazon or their site starting at $15 – a bargain if you ask me.

While originally created for emergency use, the hiking and camping communities have embraced the products as well. For example, I’m a perfect candidate for their new product. I’m not exactly the camping type but I routinely find myself lost on hikes through no fault of my own (well aside from blindly trusting my partner). You see, he loves to leave clearly marked paths to go down unmarked ones and we inevitably get lost – except we don’t use the “L” word… he calls it going on an adventure. So it would be good to have one of the new lanterns in the backpack for the times our “adventure” would require our walking back to home base in the dark. And if we’ve used our mobiles to figure out how to get back then the phone can be charged en route too. Actually this reminds me: it’s time to start carrying a pair of secateurs. It’s getting warmer so I can’t rely on my jacket to push away the stinging nettles but I digress …

The path is clearly marked but where do you think he went? Picture courtesy of yours truly. All rights reserved.

By now you’re probably wondering what this post has got to do with CFD. Well, nothing unless you want to design a cool LED light in which case I strongly recommend that you take a look at FloEFD. I am writing this post because we celebrated International Women’s Day a few days ago and it turns out last week was also Engineers Week. So I thought it would be fun to celebrate both at the same time. And I’m happy to add that I’m not the team’s only fan either as they raised all the funds they needed early to complete the project. Celebrations all around.

Oh and lest I be accused of celebrating accomplishments of women only, well I guess you’ll just have to wait until the week of November 19 to read about my celebrating International Men’s Day by highlighting the accomplishments of a male engineer or two. In the meantime, here’s to all the inventors and dreamers regardless of gender. Happy belated Engineers Week folks.

Until next time,
Nazita

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7 March, 2017

That’s not a typo. I really do mean light as opposed to life. Hear me out… After finishing my undergraduate studies, I didn’t want to immediately go to grad school. I wanted to get some real life experience before diving in again.

When I was ready to go back to school I had lots of choices in Southern California. The one I ultimately chose had something that I valued greatly – professors who worked in their fields of expertise as opposed to those who only taught (and did research). My two years of corporate life taught me that there is a massive difference between those who have a lot of school learning and those who cut their teeth in the business world. In the eyes of a newbie, the latter group made better leaders because they understood the realities of life and they taught me a few lessons that I would have never learned in school.

That’s why programs such as the master’s level Embedded Lighting Systems (ELS) are so important. They offer the best of both worlds. If you haven’t heard about the ELS, here’s the crib sheet: three French universities (the Institut d’Optique Graduate School, ESTACA and Strate Ecole de design) in partnership with several automotive industry giants including Renault, Peugeot-Citroen, Valeo and Automotive Lighting, developed the program.

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The master’s degree program consists of 14 modules offered in a six-month period, followed by an internship and thesis. Taught in English, the program covers design to production, focusing on technologies and methodologies used for embedded lighting. The topics covered are optics and photonics, systems, simulation, mechatronics and design. And I’m proud to say that FloEFD is used in the simulation track. As an award-winning solution for lighting applications, FloEFD enables students to evaluate and optimize thermal performance of their designs immediately inside the CAD environment. Therefore, analysis becomes an extension of design as opposed to a separate and painful step in the process. By the way, as vendors we see this evolution on a daily basis so it’s not surprising to see it implemented in a training program.

Personally I love the holistic approach offered by the ELS.  By the time they graduate, these students will have used the world’s premiere design and simulation tools and obtained real life working experience. And the icing on the cake? The automotive industry gets a steady supply of highly qualified and trained workers who can hit the ground running. What a fantastic competitive advantage in this highly competitive field! If you’re curious to learn more about the ELS please follow this link  and to learn more about lighting design with FloEFD please follow this one.

Looking back at my life, if I could do it again, would I choose the same path? On the whole yes, I would. After all, it brought me to here and now.
Until next time,
Nazita

22 November, 2016

Recently I had the most exhilarating and exhausting time simultaneously. After months of preparations, the 2016 FloEFD Simulation Conference took place in Frankfurt (Nov 8 – 9, 2016). The large group consisted of current users, prospective users and of course us. In fact, the event proved so popular that we had to close registration early.

Given that this was the first year we brought the group together, we were all a bit nervous. Kinda like when you throw your first party. What if no one comes? Or worse yet, what if they come and don’t like it? When the first guests started trickling into the Champions sports bar at the Marriott I realized that for the first time in weeks I was more excited than nervous. Soon the bar was full and you could feel the buzz. As I walked around to introduce myself I quickly realized that we had engineers from around the world…

The gathering on Monday night. Image courtesy of Nazita Saye. All rights reserved.

The gathering on Monday night at the bar. All rights reserved.

When we closed the tab late into the evening, I just knew that we were going to have an awesome time.

Registration opened at 8:30 the next day. The closer we got to 9 am the more badges disappeared from the registration table. Soon our meeting room was full … with an odd seat here and there. The meeting officially started with Boris Marovic and Drs. Moh Sabeur and Alexander Sobachkin welcoming our guests. We had a really nice mix of presentations by our customers and us. On day 1, we were treated to presentations by Renault, Danfoss Silicon Power GmbH, Axis Engineering, TQ Technology, Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe, Techni Process, Datavance, and Zentrum für Wärmemanagement. Making sure that you have a good mix of presentations is never an easy task but I could tell we’d achieved it because during the breaks you’d find people approaching the various presenters to continue the discussion.

The 2016 FloEFD Simulation Conference. Image courtesy of Dr. Ivo Weinhold. All rights reserved.

The meeting in full swing … All rights reserved.

At the end of the day, we all took a couple of chartered buses to the Main Nizza for dinner. We had a lovely view of the river and were entertained by Alan Hudson, magician extraordinaire. This guy was unbelievable. In fact, folks kept moving from table to table to see him perform his card tricks.

How did he do that again? Image courtesy of Nazita Saye. All rights reserved.

How did he do that again? Alexey is not taking his eyes off Alan as Ivo participates in the next trick. All rights reserved.

After watching a couple of his tricks I shook my head in disbelief (like they do in cartoons). I’m still wondering if Alan has invented time travel and somehow stops time to finish his tricks …

Day 2 brought us presentations by Voxdale, HEC B.V, NPO Saturn, Fraunhofer IKTS, Irkut Corporation and eCooling as well as some more presentations by our team including a Q&A session with Dr. Alexander Sobachkin and Alexey Kharitonovich.

We also had two very special events on day 2. We announced the results of the 2016 FloEFD Frontloading CFD Award. The winner was Dr. Aihua Wang from Magneti Marelli for her presentation titled “Integrating Thermal Analysis into Automotive Lighting Product Design”. She received a glass trophy and a $1,500 cash prize which will be donated in her name to the ASPCA – her chosen charity. As she was unable to attend the event, one of her colleagues accepted the award on her behalf.

Dr. Wang's colleague accepting the 2016 FloEFD Frontloading CFD Award on her behalf. Image courtesy of Nazita Saye. All rights reserved.

Dr. Wang’s colleague accepted the 2016 FloEFD Frontloading CFD Award on her behalf. All rights reserved.

Two joint runners-up each received $500 and a glass trophy. Mr. Georg Jäger at Hovalwerk AG was chosen as a runner-up for his paper titled “From Conceptual Brainstorming to a Customized Condensing Boiler”. Mr. Kolio Kojouharov, ex-engineer at Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH, received an award for his presentation titled “Design and Integration of Cooling Systems and Power Packs/Powertrains to Meet the Next Environmental (Tier IV) Regulations”. And if I may be allowed to say: I really enjoyed being involved with this award and am really looking forward to reading next year’s bunch of entries!

Mr. Kolio Kojouharov accepting his award. Image courtesy of Dr. Ivo Weinhold. All rights reserved.

Mr. Kolio Kojouharov accepting his award. All rights reserved.

In addition, all presenters (well those who weren’t Mentor employees) were eligible to win a best presentation award at the conference. All delegates got to vote for their favorite and it was a hotly contested race! The two runners-up were Mr. Koen Beyers from Voxdale for his presentation titled “Wind Tunnel Design and Correlation with FloEFD” and Mr. Enrico Lorenz from Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe for his presentation “Automatic Report Generation with FloEFD”. Our runners up each received a Livescribe Smartpen. Personally I think they’re an amazing piece of kit and hope that both Enrico and Koen find taking notes during meetings a bit easier.

The best presentation award was won by Mr. Klaus Olesen from Danfoss Silicon Power GmbH for his presentation titled “CFD in Cooling of Power Modules”. I had a feeling that he was going to win. During the breaks I’d heard lots of people talking about their first choice and his name kept cropping up. It was a pleasure to award him with a Huawei MediaPad Tablet for his very engaging presentation.

Mr. Klaus Olesen accepting his award for best presentation. Image courtesy of Dr. Ivo Weinhold. All rights reserved.

Mr. Klaus Olesen accepting his award for best presentation. All rights reserved.

Day two ended with lots of happy faces and lots of business cards exchanged. When I left the room there were still lots of folks standing in groups talking. Now that’s a sign of a good “party”… when no one wants to leave.

Day three saw us back in the Frankfurt office where a few folks joined us for a FloEFD workshop.

The learning and exchange of information continues back in the office. Image courtesy of Nazita Saye. All rights reserved.

The learning and exchange of information continues back in the office. All rights reserved.

All in all, I’d say it was a fantastic event but then again as one of the organizers I’m biased. A handful of the presentations will be made available shortly on our website thanks to the generosity of the speakers. They’ll be uploaded as soon as our film crew finish producing them and I’ll inform you when they’re online. In the meantime, we’re still catching up with our regular work so we haven’t had a chance to put up a registration page for the 2017 event yet. But rest assured that we have started work on it and will include the feedback from this year’s event to make next year’s even better. Oh and consider yourselves warned: I really want to include a fun engineering related activity in the agenda. I’m still working on the basics but I’m pretty sure there will be lots of laughs and engineering know-how involved.

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So… here’s the “save the date” card. The event will be held November 7 and 8, 2017 at the Mövenpick Hotel in Berlin. If you’d like to register your interest, please send an email to design_simulation@mentor.com with the subject “2017 FloEFD Simulation Conference” and we’ll send you a reminder to sign up when registration officially opens in a few weeks. I’ve already had a handful of folks tell me that they’ll be there. I hope you’ll join us too. If this year’s event is even remotely similar to next year’s, I think you’ll love it!

Until next time,
Nazita

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26 October, 2016

It’s not every day when a new CFD product comes on the shelf. But today’s the day.

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I’d like to announce FloEFD™ for Solid Edge® – CAD-embedded CFD for Solid Edge users. I believe FloEFD is the only frontloading CFD simulation solution that is embedded in Solid Edge. Frontloading CFD refers to the practice of moving CFD simulation early into the design process where it can help design engineers examine trends and dismiss less desirable design options. And true to our ethos, it features all the awesome qualities of FloEFD such as –

  • FloEFD For Solid Edge - all rights reservedTight integration with Solid Edge – If you’re a fan of FloEFD then you know that we don’t do anything by half measures. When we say tight integration, we actually mean seamless. In other words, you never leave the Solid Edge interface. FloEFD effectively adds a CFD simulation option to the horizontal ribbon bar and a FloEFD analysis tab in the vertical command bar. So once you have your model, you simply start-up the FloEFD wizard to set up your problem, analyze it and see the results.
  • Intuitive user experience – FloEFD was designed from the ground up for use by engineers. So it speaks your language. It’s got an easy-to-use GUI with a fair bit of intelligent automation. Its wizard guides you step by step through the problem set up process. Its interface also uses engineering terms instead of technical jargon so you can focus on solving the problem as opposed to figure out how to use the software.  And it gives you realtime feedback about the solution progress. A really impressive system if you ask me.
  • Parametric study and design comparison study functionality – One of the most important benefits of using FloEFD is that it can give you answers to real engineering problems within engineering timescales. In short, the software is both fast and accurate. This powerful combination lets you take advantage of the compare configuration and parametric study capability to understand the influence of changes in the geometry or boundary conditions on the results. A fascinating capability which can save you hours of effort.

The new product was launched at Solid Edge University earlier today. David Chadwick from Siemens was present at the launch and wrote this brilliant piece about it.  I hope you enjoy reading his post as much as I did.

FloEFD is truly an amazing piece of software and with the addition of the latest version for Solid Edge it continues to help engineers solve their fluid flow and thermal problems. If you’re interested in learning more about the product please follow this link. And if you’re in Indianapolis tomorrow then please stop by the Mentor Graphics booth at SEU16 to have a chat with one of our engineers.
Until next time,
Nazita

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7 October, 2016
The 2015 London Surrey Classic, courtesy of Nazita Saye. All rights reserved.

The 2015 London Surrey Classic, courtesy of Nazita Saye. All rights reserved.

Living and working in Surrey, I don’t have to go to bike races. They come to me.  My affinity for cycling events is well known. I’ve cheered riders doing well known events like the Olympics or the Tour of GB and smaller events such as the Prudential London Surrey Classic 100. Even though I get annoyed at all the road closures, I do cheer on the average MAMIL when I see them go up Leith or Box Hill.

Froomie birthday cake. All rights reserved.

Froomie birthday cake. All rights reserved.

And I’m not the only one around the office. A large group commute to work on their bikes and have even gotten the next generation involved. Just this past week one of the developers baked the coolest cake representing Froomie’s Mount Ventoux ascent in Tour De France for his child’s birthday. The cake design was a special request by his kid and as you can see it’s a proper labor of love.

Yup… this team likes cycling which is why I was really pleased to hear about the Flanders’ Bike Valley project. I had already referred to the center in a previous blog and had also promised to share more information with you about the center and the wind tunnel so here goes!

Established in 2013 as an open innovation center for the cycling industry, the Flanders’ Bike Valley is based in Beringen, Belgium. The impressive looking building houses expertise focusing on 6 major areas including mobility, sports, safety as well as science & technology. One of the jewels in their crown is the state-of-the-art wind tunnel.

The Aero Bar before it was completed. All rights reserved.

The Flanders’ Bike Valley Aero Bar before it was completed. All rights reserved.

The open circuit wind tunnel features powerful fans (270 hp) with a max wind speed of 108 km/h and is about 50m long. Two cyclists can be tested in succession and most importantly, it features a bar. Yup, a bar … Belgians take their refreshments seriously.

The “Aero Bar” (I just love this name) is located underneath the wind tunnel and is fully stocked. When we stopped by the center a couple of months ago, the bar wasn’t finished yet but it looks like it is ready for prime time – on November 26th Team Sky is going to be at the Aero Bar for an evening of sports engineering fun. I especially like the hours listed for the event: Friday from 15:00 to “when the bar is empty” :-).

Anyway, during our visit Koen Beyers, the CEO of Voxdale, took us on a tour of the facilities. Koen’s team had been involved from the very early stages; therefore, he was able to offer valuable input based on his CFD expertise and FloEFD simulation to ensure that the wind tunnel was designed and commissioned properly. Please join Koen on a tour of the facilities by watching this 6 minute video.

I hope you enjoy the tour as much as we did.
Until next time,
Nazita

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27 September, 2016

I don’t know about you but I didn’t have a quiet summer. Despite the gorgeous weather (for the first time in years we actually had a real summer with blue skies, warm weather and everything), the gang and I huddled around our computers busily working on a very special event – the first international FloEFD Simulation Conference. The two-day event will take place November 8 and 9th in Frankfurt, Germany.

FloEFD 2016 Conference

The theme of the conference is Democratizing CFD Simulation in the 21st Century. Why? Because that’s what FloEFD does.

In order for simulation to become a natural step during the design process, it has to be closely connected with design. CFD by nature is one of the most complicated areas and classical CFD requires a lot of time and specialist knowledge to use. Therefore, traditional CFD is ill suited to the needs of the design engineer who is interested in gaining insight and quickly. That’s why FloEFD is the perfect solution for the mechanical engineer and enables companies to frontload CFD.

Frontloading CFD refers to a concept that’s been adopted by thousands of companies and it refers to the practice of conducting simulation early and often. And that’s what we’ll be discussing at the technical conference. The agenda is full of interesting topics:

  • How design engineers and analysts alike can maximize their productivity.
  • Presentations by engineers from Danfoss Silicon Power GmbH, Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Hoval, Zentrum für Wärmemanagement and many more.
  • Free training on the use of the new capabilities of the software (actually this takes place on the 10th but you become eligible for the free training by attending the conference).

The conference is a unique opportunity to meet and network with other users and exchange information – regardless of whether you’re currently using FloEFD or considering using it in the future. It’ll also be an excellent opportunity to talk with the FloEFD development team. Oh and speaking of meeting people, you’ll get to meet a fair number of us, including me!

Attending the conference is free. Why? Because by attending this event you commit your time and we realize that your time is valuable. So this is our way of thanking you for that investment.

For more information about the event or to register please go here.

And if you can’t attend the meeting, there will still be plenty of opportunity to see what is happening at the event. We’ll be reporting live via our social media channels including:
Linked In
Facebook
Twitter

I really hope I get to meet you at the event. And if not, then hopefully I’ll get the chance next year.
Until next time,
Nazita

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23 August, 2016

I don’t know about you but I’m experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms. No more turning on the TV to watch the latest footage from Rio. No more cheering loudly for Team USA into the wee hours of the night. No more banter with my usually reserved neighbors over Team GB giving Team USA a run for their money. And most certainly no more heated discussions by the office water cooler or on social media.

Quite frankly I miss it. It’s enough to make anyone adopt the PhelpsFace full-time!

For two weeks sad and scary news from around the world took a backstage to the Olympics. Every day I’d get a wave of good cheer. A few weeks ago I didn’t know who Simone Biles was but my word don’t I know her now. I laughed wholeheartedly when I saw a picture of Usain Bolt sharing a joke with Andre de Grasse in the 200m final. And I shuddered when I saw footage of Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino crash into one another and then smiled contentedly when I read how they helped each other finish the race. That’s the true spirit of sportsmanship! But I was not happy about Mark Cavendish’s blasé attitude towards causing a crash (I know it was within game rules but I am still peeved over it).

Alas for the past 24 hours the TV has been off and I haven’t been scanning the news sites. And as if to taunt me, one of my social media outlets keeps reminding me of memories from 4 years ago when the Olympics were held in London … Cue “the face”!

While celebrating the accomplishments of all athletes (the ones who won medals and those who didn’t) we mustn’t forget that there were hundreds of people behind the scenes whose help was pivotal in getting the athletes to Rio. Parents who sacrificed sleep to make sure their children were at practice sessions at 5 AM. Wives and husbands who took on extra chores to make sure their spouse could devote an extra couple of hours to practice sessions. Coaches who pushed their athletes beyond their comfort level. And engineers who lent their expertise to help athletes optimize techniques and equipment used.

Javelin-tastic! Animation courtesy of Sergio Antioquia, Mentor Graphics. All rights reserved. Javelin-tastic! Animation courtesy of Sergio Antioquia, Mentor Graphics. All rights reserved.

Personally I find the science behind sports fascinating. For example, if you watched the BBC coverage of the cycling races you would have gotten a fabulous lecture on aerodynamics. There were also several articles about why swimmers break more records than runners.  We at Mentor Graphics got in on the act too. We published a paper called The CFD of the Olympics where we covered a few disciplines. And of course we mustn’t forget about our customers!

The good folks at Voxdale BVBA, an engineering consulting group, were recently engaged in the design and commissioning of a new wind tunnel in Belgium. The team used FloEFD to simulate the wind tunnel before it was built and trust me when I say that the Flanders Bike Valley wind tunnel is a thing of beauty. We’re currently working on a detailed article and video about its design so I won’t spill too many secrets but it was lovely to hear that Ms. Jolien D’Hoore who received a Bronze medal in Rio had spent some time in the wind tunnel testing different gear (suits, helmets, bikes etc.). Now Ms. D’Hoore is a very talented athlete so we definitely don’t want to take any credit for her hard work but it is fantastic to hear that FloEFD had in a very small way helped prepare her for one of the biggest challenges of her career.

And I must admit that knowing that the Paralympics are only two weeks away is helping ease the withdrawal symptoms. I already know that I will cheer for everyone … not just for the home team. I had the fortune of attending several Paralympic cycling races in 2012 where the last athlete to cross the finish line got as loud of a cheer as those who got medals. In. Every. Single. Race. Four years on I still get goose-bumps when I think of it. The cheers not only shook the building and the stands but you could feel the sound through your bones. We were as one celebrating human victory. Just wish we remembered that feeling more often.
Until next time,
Nazita

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