ASSESS Expands its Mission

Simulation industry initiative provides updates on market conditions, use cases, and begins work on simulation for autonomous systems.

Simulation industry initiative provides updates on market conditions, use cases, and begins work on simulation for autonomous systems.

Members of the ASSESS Initiative gathered in Atlanta in March for the first ASSESS Congress to be held since the group formally became part of NAFEMS. At the event, members discussed the current state of simulation adoption, listened to presentations from leading end users and vendors, and evaluated new opportunities for the technology.

In his opening remarks, Joe Walsh, director of ASSESS and founder of IntrinSIM, laid out some of the current conditions in the simulation space. According to data from Cambashi, the CAE market reached $8.8 billion in 2021, and experienced a growth rate of 7.1% going into 2022. Market growth for 2023 is projected at 12%. (The lower rate of growth in 2022 was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic instability.)

“Demand for simulation is still growing,” Walsh said. “We are at the verge of an inflection point. There is plenty of demand for simulation, but what is stopping us reaching that inflection point is implementation requires expertise that isn't available.” 

Because there aren't enough simulation experts available to fill those roles, the market has to rethink how it can adjust the required level of expertise. Attendees and speakers also discussed some of the barriers to adoption, including current software licensing structures that can be a barrier for smaller and mid-sized companies. 

Joe Walsh, director of ASSESS, at the ASSESS Congress in Atlanta. Image courtesy of ASSESS.

Presentations at the conference included a look at how model-based systems engineering (MBSE) can be leveraged in a collaborative way, the need for abundant and affordable compute power and storage for computational engineering, and the importance of context in managing the resultant engineering data. Attendees also learned about the need for coupling commercial simulation tools with specialized research codes in novel applications like simulating nuclear fusion.

Presenters also touched on the possibility of leveraging easier-to-use simulation tools and processes to train more stakeholders about products and processes – and then establish a new engineering culture within manufacturing. 

Walsh provided an update on the Unified Model Characteristics for Engineering Simulation (UMC4ES) project. UMC4ES is meant to standardize metadata across the entire range of engineering systems models. While focused primarily on standardizing the vocabulary of modeling, it could serve as the basis for future standards that could improve interoperability across tools.

“This is an attempt to define a comprehensive set of model characteristics of interest for the complete range of engineering simulation models that can be used across all approaches for implementing engineering simulation in all applications,”  Walsh said. “Once we have that, then we can start sharing things.” 

After that update, Dr. Olivia Pinon-Fischer of the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL)’s Digital Engineering Division, led a presentation on the implementation of UMC4ES at ASDL.

ASSESS also began work on a new theme at this year's conference. The ASSESS Initiative is organized around several themes, with committees assigned to develop working papers and other assets around them. Previously, there were seven themes – Align, Business, Credibility, Democratization, Generative Design, Integration and Digital Twins. 

This year, the group launched initial discussions around the theme of Autonomy. Two discussion sessions hammered out some general definitions about what autonomy means, and the different ways that simulation plays a role in developing these systems. ASSESS will eventually appoint a committee to the theme and determine what types of work the group can do to encourage the expanded use of simulation in these applications. 

ASSESS members will meet again at the NAFEMS World Congress, and hold a workshop on May 18 to present reports on the work done at the Atlanta meeting.

You can learn more at the ASSESS website:


More ASSESS Initiative Coverage

ASSESS Initiative Company Profile

More NAFEMS Coverage

NAFEMS Company Profile

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Brian Albright's avatar
Brian Albright

Brian Albright is the editorial director of Digital Engineering. Contact him at [email protected].

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