Quick Snapshot of NAFEMS Americas Regional Conference
Event covered range of topics in the simulation space, including electrification, autonomous vehicles and diversity in simulation organizations.
July 1, 2022
NAFEMS, the International Association for the Engineering Analysis, Modelling and Simulation Community, hosted 289 attendees hailing from 14 countries worldwide June 21-23, 2022 at the NAFEMS Americas Regional Congress (NRC22) at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indiana. Attendees largely came from locations within the United States but also from countries including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, to name a few.
The biennial regional conference, formerly known as CAASE, brought in visionaries, providers, and practitioners of CAE-related technologies in an open forum.
“We found that getting together a group of people internationally on a niche topic can go quite well. We were anxious to get back in person,” says Tim Morris, CEO of NAFEMS. This is in the first in a series of seven events to be in person this year.
He highlighted that NAFEMS World Congress will be held May 15-18, 2023, in Tampa, FL. At this point in time, he addressed how NAFEMS represents close to 1,600 member companies. Also during the opening kickoff, Morris announced that Kathy Elliot was named vice president of Americas operations.
Questions addressed in the keynotes and conference sessions included:
What is the future for engineering analysis and simulation?
How can designers and engineers realize its full potential?
What are the business, technological, and human enablers that will take past successful developments to new levels in the next ten years?
Rod Dreisbach, senior technical fellow with The Boeing Company, and a charter member and chairman of the Steering Committee for the North American Chapter of NAFEMS, spoke during opening ceremonies, provided details of the Indianapolis event: “This event is a breaking out from the COVID-19 stranglehold. Get out from the indoors for quite an adventure.”
Dreisbach shared details of the 2.5-day event, which had 6 keynotes, 8 parallel tracks with about 100 presentations, 7 technical panel discussions, 8 technical workshops and 8 training courses with certificates for completion.
In an opening keynote, Jillian Steffek, director of engineering at specialty vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh Corporation in Wisconsin, addressed “Incorporating STEM, diversity and a new role: managing a team of Simulation Experts.” For background, the company she represents focuses on materials engineering, advanced simulation, electrification.
Additionally there’s a strong focus on diversity in her company, which uses employee resource groups, including a women’s network, intergenerational network, culture connect network, young professional network, and pride and equality network to represent the various people employed there.
In her time there, more people are aware that, “Different experiences and perspectives can enhance team dynamics. Diversity on the team brings numerous opportunities for advancement while bettering the team.”
She also strongly believes that “Getting into the middle and high schools to influence young people can help for jobs down the road. We are always looking for the next best candidate. We are always looking for a diverse people group.”
Other sessions and keynotes addressed a variety of trending simulation topics ranging from engineering data science, autonomous vehicles, and electrification to digital twins, additive manufacturing and designer oriented simulation.