Impressions from the First Day of the Conference

Phil Kinnane | October 4, 2012
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I thought that in the next couple of days I would share some of my impressions from the conference. With upwards of 330 attendees, with about as many papers and posters presented, and over 25 minicourses, there’s a lot to talk about.

Keynote Presentation to a Packed Ballroom

The big news from yesterday was the Keynote presentation. Svante Littmarck, CEO of COMSOL, Ed Fontes, CTO, and Bjorn Sjodin, VP of Product Management, gave their presentation to a packed ballroom. They gave the audience a summary of all the new products and features that have arrived with version 4.3a, officially released on Monday earlier this week. The live demonstration of LiveLink™ for Excel®, which I blogged about yesterday, was very well received, and showed the audience exactly how they can expand their modeling capabilities and collaborate with other engineers, who maybe either customers or co-workers.

The presentation then touched upon COMSOL’s development plans for the next year or so. A large number of new modules were mentioned, as well as an alternate way for customers to deploy COMSOL to their organizations. This news created buzz, and Svante, Ed and Bjorn took for questions for at least half an hour. A video of the keynote will be released in the next week or so – keep your eyes peeled for that.

Conference Gold Sponsors Gather for the Panel Discussion

The presentation was directly followed by a panel discussion involving the conference’s gold sponsors. The panel consisted of Rich Moore from SpaceClaim Corporation, the maker of a 3D Direct Solid Modeling software, Jeff Crompton from AltaSim Technologies, a growing consultancy that seem to be able to model all types of physics and multiphysics applications, Stuart Brown from Veryst Engineering, also a growing consultancy but with specialized material testing capabilities, and Nils Steika from MatWeb, a web-based material data base with over 100,000 materials.

The panel discussion turned out to be an appreciated alternative to a standard Q&A session. The sponsors were experts in the field of CAE and the audience enjoyed the insight they were able to provide. Topics included the importance of material properties to accurate modeling, how the cloud will influence modern-day modeling and other engineering, where user experience fits into the simulating and simulation tools, and what best practices are for running a consultancy.

The gold sponsors were also exhibitors along with another 16 sponsors and media partners. Everyone at the conference appeared to be having a great time; in particular during the NASA Tech Briefs Reception and Exhibition in the early evening. With a glass of wine or some other beverage, attendees were able to mingle, speak to the exhibitors, and talk to the presenters of posters about their multiphysics applications.

Today I plan to hit a minicourse and attend some of the User Presentations. There is also another Keynote coming with three very interesting speakers. More on that later, so stay tuned.

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