George Laird's blog

ITAR - Data Security For All Our Clients

We are generalists at Predictive Engineering and it has its pros and cons.  We cross-pollinate from medical (orthopedic to endoscopic), rail (transit to heavy locomotives), automotive (electric to Class 8 trucks to school buses), aviation (commercial, supersonic and military), space (hypervelocity missiles to satellites), marine (ships and submarines), civil (hydroelectric turbines to fish ladders to water treatment tanks) and, not to bore you too much, ASME Section VIII, Division 2, “Design-by-Analysis” pressure vessel work (beer kegs to nuclear waste processing vessels under seismic and fatigue).  It is a long list and it just continues to grow.

Okay, why all this pre-amble?  Our clients’ intellectual property (IP) often represents their “crown jewels” and protection of this data is something we take very seriously.  Although Predictive is ITAR-Registered, we treat all our clients’ data as if it were ITAR data.  What does this really mean at the end of the day?  It means we use best practices to ensure that no harm comes to any data, for example, using the “Dutch Reach” method when opening a car door to prevent an accident (i.e., data loss) and likewise, being “Safe” with our data and having backups that are under “lock and key”.  It sounds a bit silly, but good data security is just about best practices and thinking of others, since how would you feel if someone infected you with COVID by not wearing a mask?

ITAR - Data Security for All Our Clients - Predictive Engineering FEA Consulting Services and Engineers - Portland Oregon

XFEM - Galactic Extended FEM - Coming to a Screen Near You

Extended finite element method (XFEM) was developed by the late, great Dr. Ted Belytschko et al. at the end of the 90’s (see Wikipedia for more details).  Since he worked closely with the developers of LS-DYNA on many other topics, it is natural to see his work implemented within ‘DYNA.  I first met him in the early 90’s when I took his and Prof. Hughes week-long Nonlinear FEA Methods in Palo Alto, CA.   As for myself, I sat in the back with a post-doctoral student from Budiansky’s group out of Harvard so he could explain to me what was going on since I was pretty much dazed and confused during the whole week.

LS-DYNA: What Should Engineering Managers Ask Their New Simulation Engineer During an Interview?

One engineer’s observation about the world of simulation engineering beyond the folk tales of “oh its really easy”

The FEA Quiz Revisited

The basic challenge that every simulation engineer faces is how do we tell the difference between a cartoon and that of a simulation. As a friend of mine has remarked, I can make you a cartoon very inexpensively but an accurate simulation will cost you. It is a tough game since engineering is a blend of getting the job done on schedule and on budget and how does one decide that a simulation is good enough? I have no answer since it is the responsibility and the reputation of the simulation engineer to decide whether or not that the answer is good enough and it is a weighty responsibility. Combine this responsibility with the at times tiresome nature of model construction and checkout, and the pool of engineers willing to become simulation engineers is not exactly large. Which leads to another comment by a friend: “Many engineers think they might want to be simulation engineers.” But of course, once they start slogging thru the modeling process and get their asses kicked via bad simulations, they realize that maybe it ain’t the dream job that they had envisioned!

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