Happy Birthday, Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau

Caty Fairclough October 27, 2017

Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau was an innovative chemical engineer who designed the first commercial penicillin plant. This plant enabled scientists to produce large quantities of the life-saving drug. Rousseau’s other accomplishments include developing high-octane gasoline and becoming the first woman to join the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). On this day, her birthday, we explore her life and legacy.

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Fanny Littmarck October 26, 2017

Important question: If you pour hot coffee into a vacuum flask, how long will it stay warm? There are two different modeling approaches for studying this scenario, but the more accurate method is also more computationally expensive. Let’s see what they are and when they are appropriate — and hopefully find an answer to the question.

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Caty Fairclough October 23, 2017

Engineers use signal integrity (SI) analyses to generate information on the quality of electrical signals. They can then make design improvements based on this information. A useful technique for SI applications is time-domain reflectometry (TDR), which finds discontinuities in signal paths. Here, we use simulation to perform TDR analyses for two different designs: a high-speed interconnect and a set of parallel microstrip lines.

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Bridget Paulus October 20, 2017

Extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) is an important process in terahertz applications. Developing EOT applications could lead to improvements in medical imaging, quality assurance, and more. To study this phenomenon, researchers simulated EOT devices with different array geometries and material properties. The simulation results were compared and validated with measured data. Let’s take a look at their work…

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Friedrich Maier October 19, 2017

Optimization is an efficient way to gain deeper knowledge of a model. Much like the different flowers in a colorful bouquet, you can perform a variety of different optimization projects using the Optimization Module. However, parameter estimation is also a widely used technique. Such an analysis is usually set as a least-squares problem based on measured data, but for a clear and unique answer, you might need multiple measurements. Today, learn how to estimate parameters using a multiparameter data set.

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Caty Fairclough October 18, 2017

How might a rainbow-colored crustacean help improve cancer detection? The answer lies within the mantis shrimp’s amazing visual system, which is one of the most advanced in the animal kingdom. By using the mantis shrimp as inspiration for an imaging system design, one research group hopes to provide a new cancer detection tool.

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Brianne Costa October 17, 2017

Imagine that reading books with no pictures and 12-point font is all you know. One day, someone hands you a pair of 3D glasses and takes you to see a movie. This is how thousands of researchers and scientists in astrophysics might feel right now — they have been closely working on the recent groundbreaking gravitational waves discovery that enables us to get a clearer, brighter view of the universe.

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Mats Danielsson October 11, 2017

The trebuchet is a large siege weapon that you might recognize from movies set in the Middle Ages or fantasy worlds. This weapon is built on the idea of converting potential energy into kinetic energy to hurl a projectile over a large distance. Simple as it seems, the trebuchet is a complicated dynamical system. In this blog post, we will build a simplified model of a counterweight trebuchet using the Multibody Dynamics Module and examine some of its design features.

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Edmund Dickinson October 10, 2017

In a previous blog post, we discussed why surfaces are special in chemical reactors. In this blog post, we’ll see how surface area is maximized in reactor structures such as pellet beds, and how we can simply and accurately simulate fixed-bed reactors in spite of their local geometric complexity and the importance of microscopic diffusion.

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Caty Fairclough October 6, 2017

George Westinghouse was a prolific inventor who helped shape how we use electricity in America and throughout the world. Among his notable achievements, he improved the safety of trains and furthered the acceptance and use of alternating current (AC) as a standard way to supply electricity. Throughout his life, Westinghouse started many companies and fostered strong ties to other great thinkers. As today is his birthday, we’d like to celebrate his life and accomplishments.

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Caty Fairclough October 4, 2017

Kelvin probes provide a nondestructive and contact-free method of measuring the work function differences of various material combinations. These probes can have a variety of designs, including different tip shapes, lengths, and radii. To find an optimal design while minimizing the need for extensive testing, one group of researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Here’s what they found…

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