Digital Engineering and NAFEMS Americas Launch CAASE19 Virtual Conference

The virtual conference will explore the use of simulation and analysis across the design/development process.

The virtual conference will explore the use of simulation and analysis across the design/development process.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The inaugural CAASE19 virtual conference was held on Oct. 8. If you missed the live event, the keynote and individual conference sessions are still available on-demand via our registration page

Last year, Digital Engineering partnered with NAFEMS, the international association for the engineering modeling, analysis and simulation community, to present the Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering (CAASE). Although our next in-person conference is set for next June in Indianapolis, we know that the continued expansion of simulation and analysis activities across the design process isn’t slowing down.

That’s why DE and NAFEMS Americas have launched CAASE19, a one-day virtual conference to take place on October 8, 2019. The entire conference will be available live and online beginning at 1 p.m. ET, and will include sessions conducted by representatives from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Embraer, Procter & Gamble and Ford Motor Co.

CAASE19 provides attendees a glimpse of the simulation-driven future in a series of web presentations from leading experts and end users. Without even leaving their office chairs, attendees will learn about the latest trends in engineering analysis and simulation, how industry leaders are using simulation, what lessons they’ve learned along the way and how the industry can democratize simulation to increase adoption.

We’ve designed the conference to be equally appealing to simulation novices as well as more experienced engineers, with a focus on business benefits and challenges that can help  users better evaluate the potential ROI as they consider how to more extensively deploy simulation into their design and development processes.

Real-World Examples

The keynote and the sessions will simultaneously launch, and we have organized the content along four tracks: Simulation-Driven Design, Simulation Governance & Democratization, Manufacturing Processes & Additive Manufacturing, and Addressing Business Strategies & Challenges.

The keynote and the sessions will simultaneously launch, and we have organized the content along four tracks: Simulation-Driven Design, Simulation Governance & Democratization, Manufacturing Processes & Additive Manufacturing, and Addressing Business Strategies & Challenges.

Sessions include:

From SysML to Mars: Mars2020's MBSE Infusion

Mars 2020, NASA’s next Mars Rover project, inherited a majority of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)’s flight hardware and software. It also inherited the technical baseline described in disparate presentations, spreadsheets, document repositories, emails and intelligent minds that have long left the project. 

To handle the complexities of managing all of this data and expertise, the team has employed model-based systems engineering (MBSE). The CAASE19 session will cover how the MBSE processes help keep the project on track, and how this approach is aligned with JPL’s vision. Additionally, the session  provides information on the advantages and challenges of integrating disparate systems and data on this type of complex project.

Presenter Elyse Fosse is a software systems engineer at JPL, California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, CA. She was an early adopter of MBSE, and has worked on the Mars 2020 Mission since 2014.  She splits her time on Mars2 020 infusing MBSE into the Flight System and Operations System as well as leading the design of autonomous scheduling behaviors. Prior to her work on the Mars 2020 project, she contributed to building the modeling infrastructure in use at JPL today.  

The aDRIVE Simulation Framework: Automated Driving Refined in Virtual Environments

Autonomous vehicles have been a hot topic in the automotive sector for some time, and real-world testing of these cars has steadily increased, even as more semi-autonomous functionality is introduced into vehicles already on the road today and it’s clear simulation is necessary.  In addition to real-world testing, engineers must thoroughly validate vehicle features at higher levels of autonomy. 

This session will explain how leading automaker Ford prototyped a flexible simulation workflow using open-source gaming engine technology, and how this work complements existing modeling workflows within Ford. Attendees will also learn how this system is training and testing next-generation algorithms that will play an important role in future autonomous vehicles.

Presenter Ashley Micks is a technical specialist within Ford’s Autonomous Vehicles LLC, which focuses on the use of simulation for the development and testing of autonomous vehicles. She has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University, and worked in the aerospace simulation and design sector before coming to automotive.

Applications of SPDM in Aircraft Structural Analysis at Embraer

For finite element analysis of a structure such as an aircraft, models need to be decomposed so each team can concentrate on its specialized domain—the fuselage, wings or control surfaces—with the appropriate level of details. Simulation processes used to analyze these design changes are composed of chained applications that generate a large amount of digital information. It’s not feasible to manually keep track of the connections among all the digital artifacts generated. 

However, engineers can effectively manage the cascading changes and the dependencies using a simulation process and data management (SPDM) approach. In this session, Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer (the third largest civil aircraft manufacturer in the world) will show the strategies employed at the company to increase simulation throughput, improve data traceability and to standardize and automate its simulation processes.

The session will be led by Rodrigo Britto Maria, senior engineer, Digital Engineering Systems and Technology Development at Embraer. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering, as well as an MBA from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and an M.Sc. from INPE, the Brazilian Space Research Institute. 

Maria first joined Embraer’s Loads Engineering team, working on dynamic landing and taxiing simulations. He was part of the development of the successful Embraer E-Jets aircraft family. In 2005, Maria joined the Digital Engineering Systems and Technology Development team, concentrating on the new CAE, PLM and SPDM solutions at Embraer.

Is Innovation Diffusion Possible for Engineers?

 The use of modeling and simulation in many industries and organizations is not widespread, and is often limited to a small number of highly capable and motivated individuals.  It has not become mainstream outside of automotive, aerospace and a few other industries. This is a classic case of an innovation being embraced by early adopters, but not by the so-called “early majority” and “late majority”—the vast majority of the potential users.  

The democratization of simulation requires that these solutions can be accessible to a much wider population of non-experts. This session will cover how to deploy the classic “Diffusion of Innovation” approach—grounded in social science research—to enable more people to participate in simulation activities.

Presenter Mark A. Meili is director of Modeling and Simulation for The Procter & Gamble Company, the retail and consumer products giant based in Cincinnati, OH. He has held a variety of technical and management positions in R&D and Product Supply Engineering. His current role spans both organizations and technical work processes from research to commercialization to supply chain operation. 

Meili is both a practitioner and champion of first principles understanding to reduce risk and enable robust technical decision throughout his 32-year professional career. He received Bachelor of Science degrees from Kansas State University, one in Mechanical Engineering and one in Grain Science.

The keynote presentation begins at 1 p.m. ET, followed by the simultaneous broadcast of the four sessions tracks at 2:30 p.m. ET All sessions will be moderated by Digital Engineering Senior Editor Kenneth Wong.

For more information and to register, visit

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