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Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye

Posted Oct 23, 2009

During a recent phone call with one of my favorite reporters, we talked about the difference between easy-to-use and dumbed-down software. We went on to talk about why easy to use CFD software doesn’t’ mean that it has been dumbed down — after all, easy to use software can still be very powerful. But ease-of-use has gotten a bad rap out there. Some people assume that because a software tool is easy to use, anyone can use it. Maybe that is true for your basic word/spreadsheet/presentation software but an easy to use simulation tool should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge of the physics underlying the design. In order to use the software, you’ve got to know about what you are designing.

Quite possibly the only car that'll get me to learn how to drive a stick shift! Spotted on the 405 by yours truly.

Quite possibly the only car that'll get me to learn how to drive a stick shift! Spotted on the 405 by yours truly.

Case in point: I don’t know how to drive a car with manual transmission but I know how to drive. The beauty of this is that I don’t need to know which gear the car should be in for me to drive it from point A to point B. But I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere in a car without knowing how to drive – well maybe I could get the car to lurch a few feet but inevitably this would result in a crash. So going back to what I was saying, design engineers are familiar with the basic physical behavior of their designs; after all, they have been working on that product design day in and day out. Because they have that knowledge, they are able to use our easy-to-use but powerful CFD simulation software to design a better product, faster and cost effectively.

Sometimes though it helps to get a refresher on the basics! That’s why we offer informative 45-minute training sessions to the engineering community for free. This year we have been sponsoring a series of online presentations with each one focusing on a major aspect of mechanical design. The next two will be focusing on heat (to read more about each session please click on the title):

Simulating and Optimizing Heat Transfer, October 28, 2009

Heatsink 101: Everything you ever wanted to know, November 18, 2009

Both of these sessions will be delivered online so please take advantage of them — BTW the presenter for both these sessions, Alex Francois-Saint-Cyr is one of our great engineers based in the States and she is quite knowledgeable about the subject-matter. Anyway, if you can’t make it to the actual session, then you may still want to register because all registrants will be provided with a link to the archived version of the session.

So go ahead and take a refresher course. It’s the best way of ensuring you’re getting the most out of the resources that are available to you for free (and in my book that is good ROI… the return on your time investment that is).

Until next time,

Design Engineer, CFD

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About Nazita Saye

Nazita SayeI have been involved with the CFD user community in one shape or another since 1999 -- when the NIKA team first introduced FloWorks to the engineering community. Over the years I've seen the market evolve and I still marvel at the wide range of products that are being designed with our tools. As the Manager of External Communications for the Mechanical Analysis Division at Mentor, it is my privilege to bring some of our customer stories to you. Visit CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors

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